The 2019 London Theatre Winter Preview | Playbill

International News The 2019 London Theatre Winter Preview Cate Blanchett and Stephen Dillane in a Martin Crimp world premiere, Gillian Anderson and Lily James in All About Eve, and the U.K. premieres of Come From Away and Waitress are among the many productions opening on the other side of the Atlantic this January through March.
As two-time Tony winner Patti LuPone and Rosalie Craig continue in the critically acclaimed, gender-reversed production of Stephen Sondheim's Company (directed by Marianne Elliott at the Gielgud Theatre), three-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner Martha Plimpton stars in the U.K. premiere of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize–winning Sweat (at the Donmar Warehouse through January 26), and recent Hello, Dolly! star Charlie Stemp plays the Prince in a pantomime production of Snow White at the London Palladium (through January 13), many other productions are scheduled to arrive in London in the next three months. Here's a sampling of what's opening on and off the West End from January through March of 2019:

Productions are listed in chronological order based on the date of the first preview performance.

Check out what’s coming to Broadway this winter.
Check out what’s coming to Off-Broadway this winter.

January 9: The 35th anniversary revival of Kevin Elyot’s 1982 play Coming Clean, produced by King’s Head Theatre in 2017, begins performances in the West End's Trafalgar Studios 2. Elyot’s playwriting debut, which continues to February 2, depicts the breakdown of a gay couple’s relationship, examining questions of fidelity and love. Adam Spreadbury-Maher, the artistic director of the King’s Head Theatre, directs. Click here for tickets and information.

January 11: Director, choreographer, and performer Akram Khan’s Until the Lions returns to London’s Roundhouse through January 17 with Khan dancing the role of Bheeshma for the final time. Inspired by poet Karthika Naïr’s book Until The Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata, an original reworking of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the piece combines the Indian dance form Kathak and contemporary dance to explore themes of gender and time. Click here for tickets and information.

January 14: Violet, the Off-Broadway hit that played a limited engagement on Broadway in 2014 starring Tony winner Sutton Foster, makes its U.K. premiere at the Charing Cross Theatre, where it continues through April 6. Kaisa Hammarlund, who played Alison Bechdel in the U.K. premiere of Fun Home at the Young Vic, will star in the title role with Jay Marsh (Miss Saigon) as Flick and Matthew Harvey (Loserville) as Monty. Featuring music by Tony winner Jeanine Tesori and a book and lyrics by Brian Crawley, the production, directed by Shuntaro Fujita with choreography by Cressida Carré, will subsequently transfer to Tokyo. Click here for tickets and information.

January 16: Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Tony winner Stephen Dillane star in the world premiere of Martin Crimp's When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other: Twelve Variations on Samuel Richardson's Pamela. Directed by Katie Mitchell, opening is set for January 23 with performances scheduled to continue through March 2 at the National Theatre. Crimp’s play explores the messy, often violent nature of desire and the fluidity of gender dynamics as five characters enter a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance. Click here for tickets and information.

January 21: The hit improvised comedy show Showstopper! The Improvised Musical will play an eight-week run at The Other Palace this winter alongside regular monthly performances in the West End’s Lyric Theatre. The Olivier Award-winning show will play The Other Palace beginning January 21, 2019. During the run the company will celebrate their 1,000th performance. Showstopper! was born out of a 2008 workshop at the Actors’ Centre in London, when Dylan Emery, Adam Meggido, and Ken Campbell took a group of actors with little or no improvisation experience and within a week attempted to get them to perform an hour-long extemporized musical in front of a full house. Click here for more information.

January 25: Hampstead Theatre presents the U.K. premiere of Cost of Living, which earned playwright Martyna Majok the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Edward Hall helms the London production, which continues through March 2. The drama follows the lives of four people: Eddie, an unemployed truck driver; Ani, his ex-wife who's left quadriplegic after a tragic accident; John, who has cerebral palsy; and Jess, his new caregiver. Katy Sullivan, who created the role of Ani in the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Manhattan Theatre Club production, will repeat her work opposite Olivier winner Adrian Lester (Company, Primary Colors) in the role of Eddie, Emily Barber in the role of Jess, and Jack Hunter in the role of John.

January 25: International stage and screen star Ian McKellen, most recently on Broadway in the 2013 revivals of Waiting for Godot and No Man's Land, celebrates his 80th birthday with a new solo show Ian McKellen On Stage. Launching January 25 at London's The Space it will play 80 stages throughout the U.K. The tour will conclude September 15 in the National Theatre’s Olivier. In between, McKellen will visit theatres large and small, many that hold personal connections, including amateur groups he knew as a child and notable playhouses he has played in as a professional actor over the last half-century. Audiences can expect a mixture of anecdotes and acting, including Tolkien, Shakespeare, and others. Click here for more information.

January 26: The National Theatre and Theatr Clwyd’s critically acclaimed co-production of Laura Wade's Home, I’m Darling, which enjoyed a sold-out run in the National's Dorfman Theatre this past summer, begins its transfer to the West End's Duke of York's Theatre. Directed by Theatre Clwyd Artistic Director Tamara Harvey and featuring original star Katherine Parkinson, the engagement will officially open February 5 and continue through April 13. Parkinson reprises her role as Judy in the new comedy about one woman’s quest to be the perfect 1950s housewife. Click here for tickets and information.

January 28: Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 The Musical plays London's Savoy Theatre January 28–August 31 under the direction of Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun. The cast is led by Louise Redknapp as Violet Newstead, Amber Davies as Judy Bernly, Natalie McQueen as Doralee Rhodes, Bonnie Langford as Roz Keith, and Brian Conley as Franklin Hart, Jr. 9 to 5 features a book by Patricia Resnick, the 1980 film’s original screenwriter, and an original, Tony-nominated score by country legend Parton (who played Doralee in the film). Click here for tickets and information.

January 28: Layton Williams, who starred in the title role of London's Billy Elliot and is best known for his work in the BBC series Beautiful People and the BBC comedy Bad Education, steps into the title role of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre in the West End. He succeeds John McCrea, who created the role of Jamie when the show debuted at Sheffield Crucible Theatre in February 2017, and who played the part since its opening in the West End in November 2017. Click here for tickets and information.

January 30: The U.K. premiere of Come From Away, which tells the true story of 7,000 airline passengers stranded in Newfoundland in the wake of September 11, begins performances at London's Phoenix Theatre with an official opening night February 18. (Prior to the West End, the musical is playing a limited engagement at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin through January 19.) The cast includes Wicked star Rachel Tucker, Jenna Boyd, Nathanael Campbell, Clive Carter, Mary Doherty, Robert Hands, Helen Hobson, Jonathan Andrew Hume, Harry Morrison, Emma Salvo, David Shannon, and Cat Simmons, with Mark Dugdale, Bob Harms, Chiara Baronti, Kirsty Malpass, Tania Mathurin, Alexander McMorran, Brandon Lee Sears, and Jennifer Tierney. The musical, which continues to play Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, features a book, music, and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein and is directed by Tony winner Christopher Ashley, with musical staging by Kelly Devine. Click here for tickets and information.

February 2: Emmy Award winner Gillian Anderson stars as Margo Channing opposite Lily James as Eve Harrington in Ivo van Hove’s stage adaptation of the 1950 film All About Eve, which begins a 14-week run at London's Noël Coward Theatre prior to an official opening February 12. The company also includes Julian Ovenden as Bill, BAFTA Award winner Monica Dolan as Karen, alongside Sheila Reid as Birdie, and Rhashan Stone as Lloyd. Performances are scheduled through May 11. Click here for tickets and information.

February 4: Performances begin for The Old Vic's presentation of Arthur Miller's The American Clock, directed by Tony nominee Rachel Chavkin. To reflect the evolution of the American family, the staging features multiple performers playing each of the three members of the central Baum family: Amber Aga, Clare Burt, and Golda Rosheuvel as Rose, Abhin Galeya and John Marquez as Moe, and Fred Haig, Jyuddah Jaymes, and Taheen Modak as Lee. Opening night is scheduled for February 13 with a final performance March 30. Click here for tickets and information.

February 5: The U.K.'s 50th anniversary production of Arthur Miller's The Price, which played Theatre Royal Bath, transfers to London's Wyndham's Theatre. The four performers who took the stage in Bath reprise their roles for the London bow under the direction of Jonathan Church: David Suchet as Gregory Solomon, Olivier winner Brendan Coyle as Victor Franz, Adrian Lukis as Walter Franz, and Sara Stewart as Esther Franz. Performances continue through April 27. Click here for tickets and information.

February 7: The world premiere of Hannah Patterson’s Eden, a modern-day David and Goliath drama, begins at the Hampstead under the direction of Matthew Xia. The limited engagement runs through March 16. Click here for tickets and information.

February 8: Donmar Warehouse's Berberian Sound Studio, based on the 2012 thriller by Peter Strickland, is adapted by Joel Horwood and Tom Scutt, with Scutt directing. Set in an Italian sound studio, the play explores the increasingly tense and frightening goings-on as a Foley artist is tasked with using various vegetables to create increasingly violent sound effects. Opening is February 14 for a limited run through March 30. Click here for tickets and information.

February 8: American Idol and Smash star Katharine McPhee makes her West End debut, reprising her starring role as pie-maker Jenna in the U.K. premiere of the musical Waitress. The stage and screen star will be joined by David Hunter as Dr. Pomatter, Marisha Wallace as Becky, Laura Baldwin as Dawn, and Peter Hannah as Earl. Opening night at the Adelphi Theatre is scheduled for March 7. Click here for tickets and information.

February 9: Denis O'Hare, a Tony winner for his performance in Take Me Out, makes his National Theatre debut in the title role of a new version of Molière’s comic masterpiece, Tartuffe, by John Donnelly. Opening night at the National's Lyttelton is set for February 21 with tickets on sale through April 30. Blanche McIntyre directs. Click here for tickets and information.

February 10: Broadway icon Chita Rivera will offer two concerts at Cadogan Hall. The two-time Tony winner will recreate signature moments from her career, including numbers from West Side Story; Sweet Charity; Chicago; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Bye, Bye, Birdie; The Rink; The Visit; and more. Rivera will be accompanied by an orchestra led by her long-time music director Michael Croiter. Click here for tickets and information.

February 12: Following Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Richard the Second, which runs through February 2 starring Simon Russell Beale, London's Almeida Theatre presents the world premiere Anne Washburn's Shipwreck, set in an old farmhouse and to which the 45th President of the United States has been invited to dinner. Artistic Director Rupert Goold directs the production, which runs through March 30. Click here for tickets and information.

February 12: The acclaimed 2017 production of Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies returns to the National Theatre's Olivier through April 6. Dominic Cooke returns to direct the legendary party set on the stage of the Weismann Theatre, which is about to be demolished. The cast is headed by Olivier winner Tracie Bennett as Carlotta, Joanna Riding as Sally, Alexander Hanson as Ben, Janie Dee as Phyllis, and Peter Forbes as Buddy. Click here for tickets and information.

February 13: Gently Down the Stream, the new play from Bent playwright Martin Sherman that examines inter-generational relationships in the gay community and the evolution of LGBT rights within the last 50 years, receives its U.K. premiere at the Park Theatre. The play had its world premiere Off-Broadway at the Public Theater in 2017, starring Tony winners Harvey Fierstein and Gabriel Ebert. Tony nominee Sean Mathias, who helmed the Off-Broadway premiere, also directs the London production that runs through March 16. Click here for tickets and information.

March 4: The new theatrical take on The Twilight Zone, which premiered at the Almeida Theatre last year, begins at London’s Ambassadors Theatre. The 1960s CBS series has been adapted for the stage by Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play) as eight stories from original writers Rod Serling, Charles Beaumont, and Richard Matheson unfold. Richard Jones directs. Click here for tickets and information.

March 5: Golden Globe, Olivier, and Evening Standard Award winner Tom Hiddleston stars in Jamie Lloyd’s production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal, part of the Pinter at the Pinter season. Betrayal, which charts a compelling seven-year romance, captured in reverse chronological order, will officially open March 13 and continue through June 1. Click here for tickets and information.

March 21: Kellie Smith’s Wilderness, directed by Anna Ledwich, starts performances at the Hampstead. Running through April 27, the play follows a separated couple fighting to maintain amicable relations for the sake of their son. Click here for tickets and information.

March 25: The Off-Broadway bound Grief is the Thing with Feathers based on the novel by Max Porter, adapted and directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy, begins performances at London's Barbican. The play follows a widower and his two young boys who are visited by Crow—an antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter—who threatens to stay until they no longer need him. Presented by Wayward Productions in association with Complicité, Grief will play the Barbican through April 13, after which it will head directly to Brooklyn’s St. Ann's Warehouse (April 20–May 12). Click here for tickets and information.

March 26: The National Theatre's revival of Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls, directed by Lyndsey Turner, features Liv Hill as Angie, Katherine Kingsley as Marlene, Wendy Kweh as Lady Nijo, Amanda Lawrence as Pope Joan, Ashley McGuire as Dull Gret, Ashna Rabheru as Kit, and Siobhan Redmond as Isabella Bird. Opening April 3, the play concerns Marlene, the head of the Top Girls employment agency, who is certain that the future belongs to women like her. But first, she needs to host a dinner party for some of history's most memorable women. Click here for tickets and information.

Check out what’s coming to Broadway this winter.
Check out what’s coming to Off-Broadway this winter.
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