What better way to spend the colder months than in the comfort of a theatre, enjoying some of London’s best theatrical offerings for the season? We’re rounding up our must-see performances for November and December.
A Christmas Carol
20 November 2017 – 20 January 2018, the Old Vic Theatre. Directed by Matthew Warchus
To kick off the festive season in style, turn to The Old Vic’s new adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. With BAFTA-award winner Rhys Ifans in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, the production retells the much-loved tale of a man visited by four ghosts on Christmas Eve, forcing him to recognise his selfish behaviour in time for Christmas. Adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne, the man behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, this production is perfect for some pre-Christmas cheer.
Images by Helen Maybanks
A Woman of No Importance
6 October 2017 – 30 December 2017, Vaudeville Theatre. Directed by Dominic Dromgoole.
Set in the 19th century but with a continued relevance today, Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance explores class, family and ultimately the era’s double standards towards women. The play sets itself at a country estate, where a party takes place. Aristocratic guests face unexpected visitors and events, derailing the party. Both comedic and dramatic results make sobering observations about the treatment of women, establishing Wilde’s feminist credentials and his work’s ability to remain relevant today. The play is part of a longer Oscar Wilde season at the West End, with talks, lectures and performances celebrating the Irish playwright.
Images by Marc Brenner
Antony & Cleopatra
30 November 2017 – 20 January 2018, Barbican, Directed by Iqbal Khan
Arguably one of Shakespeare’s greatest and most tumultuous love stories, Antony & Cleopatra returns in a new adaptation at the Barbican. Directed by Iqbal Khan, the play tells the story of Marc Antony’s rise to power following Caesar’s assassination, and Antony’s subsequent neglect of his role in favour of his mistress Cleopatra. A conflict between love and duty sees Antony losing his reputation and struggling with Cleopatra, in a passionate story with a tragic end. A sleek interpretation, continuing the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Rome season, and following on directly from Julius Caesar. Singer-songwriter Laura Mvula provides the music for this adaptation of Shakespeare’s text.
29 November 2017 – 30 December 2017, Southwark Playhouse. Directed by Jonathan O’Boyle
J.M Barrie’s magical Dear Brutus returns to the stage in an adaptation at the Southwark playhouse. Barrie, the writer behind Peter Pan, created another mystical world in this play, where a remote English Village is abuzz with rumours of an enchanted wood. When inhabitants go to explore, the wood comes alive and the visitors are invited to enter. A set reminiscent of Peter Pan adds to the fantasy, moving from a stiff drawing room to a moonlit wood. For a touch of magic this Christmas, fall in love with Barrie’s classic tale.
The Suppliant Women
13 November 2017 – 25 November 2017, the Young Vic. Directed by Ramin Gray.
Following a group of fifty women travelling by boat to seek sanctuary in Greece, the Young Vic’s adaptation of Aeschylus’ The Suppliant Women is the latest in their Horizon’s series, exploring the lives of refugees. The fear of the women as they travel from North Africa to Greece, escaping forced marriage. Their hopes for protection and assistance are met with reluctance. The okay, with a chorus of local women from London, has a strong and startling resonance in today’s climate, despite the original ancient text being written 2,500 years ago. The play poses questions of humanity and place which will continue to have an impact for future generations.