Welcome to October. The nights are getting longer; the days are getting colder; and as a terrible chill settles into our collective bones, All-Hallows Eve, where ghosts and goblins roam the streets, is fast approaching. Yet, far from cower in the corner like a pack of frightened mules, the whynow team have bravely strode into the dark in search of the finest theatrical entertainment London has to offer. They even remembered to write it down, in this, our monthly guide to theatre in London.
Good – Harold Pinter Theatre
5 October – 24 December
Dropping the Inside Man–dog collar to make a triumphant return to the West End, David Tennant stars in Pinter’s seminal play, Good, at the old Comedy Theatre on Panton Street. John Halder, a literary professor living in 1930s Frankfurt, gets pulled into a movement with unthinkable consequences in one of the most impactful plays of the 20th century. Olivier-winner Elliot Levey also stars as Halder’s friend, Maurice.
Stranger Sings! – The Vaults Theatre
5 October – 15 January
Comb out your mullet and untangle your fairy lights for Jonathan Hogue’s musical send-up of the hit Netflix show. Featuring a dancing demogorgon, an unhealthy smattering of synth and more pop-culture references than you can shake a spiked baseball bat at, fans of the upside down will find plenty to love in the UK debut of the off-Broadway smash.
My Neighbour Totoro – The Barbican Centre
8 October – 21 January
All aboard the Cat Bus! The beloved Studio Ghibli animation takes to the stage in its world premiere at the Barbican Centre. Featuring puppets hand-crafted by the Jim Henson company, My Neighbour Totoro tells the story of two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, as they relocate to the countryside and befriend the magical spirits of the forest in a poignant exploration of childhood imagination.
Marvellous – Soho Place
15 October – 26 November
Fancy being among the first patrons of a brand-new West End theatre? Remember the 2014 film adaptation starring Toby Jones? Ever wondered what goes on in the locker rooms of Stoke City FC? Marvellous adapts Neil Baldwin’s memoir of the same name in a feel-good story of getting the most out of life, and kicks off the opening of the first new West End venue in fifty years.
The Canterville Ghost – Southwark Playhouse
11 October – 5 November
Go Wilde for this adaptation of the author’s classic ghost story, as four performers tell the story of the mysterious Sir Simon der Canteville, who disappeared 300 years ago after being accused of murder. It’s a limited run for this spooky season, too, so what better eway to get the ectoplasm pumping than with a spot of classic vaudeville.
The Woman In Black – Fortune Theatre
1989 – Present
Finally, no Halloween season would be complete without the classic Susan Hill ghost story, The Woman In Black. Performed in what amounts to a black box by three actors, the haunting exploits of the titular ghoul remains the second-longest running show in the West End for good reason: it’ll scare the pants off you.