What’s On Stage In London: January 2014

Welcome to the first instalment of our updated What’s On Stage In London series, where we’ll be looking at the month ahead to give you our pick of new openings. Organised by (very general) category and opening date, we hope this will allow you to browse and book ahead of time so you don’t miss out on seeing your favourite London shows. Useful? Missing something? Pile of crap? Please let us know. 

King Lear performs at the National Theatre

King Lear performs at the National Theatre

Classic

They never go out of fashion: Shakespeare, Molière, Sophocles and Beckett.

4 JanHamlet at New Diorama Theatre – Award-wining young theatre company The Faction take on this Shakespeare classic. £16/£13, until 22 Feb

7 JanTartuffe at Lion and Unicorn Theatre - This adaptation of Jean-Baptiste Molière’s 17th century theatrical comedy surrounds a family up in arms over the presence of a new, mysterious “friend”. £15/£12, until 18 Jan

9 JanThebes at New Diorama Theatre - The Faction also take on Oedipus’ Thebes, weaving together Sophocles and Aeschylus to present the full, bloody account. £16/£13, until 22 Feb

9 JanThe Duchess of Malfi at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – Gemma Arterton plays the title role in this production, the first in the Globe’s new indoor theatre the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. £7/£5, until 16 Feb

13 JanNot I, Footfalls, Rockaby at Royal Court Theatre – Lisa Dwan returns to the Royal Court Theatre to perform a one-woman Samuel Beckett trilogy. £10-£25, until 18 Jan

14 JanOedipus Retold at Tristan Bates Theatre – We’re back in Thebes for a retelling of Oedipus Tyrannos by Jeremy Kingston performed alongside Jeremy’s original work, Oedipus At The Crossroads. £16/£14, until 8 Feb

16 JanOthello: The Moor of Venice at Riverside Studios - Orangutan Productions bring Shakespeare to Hammersmith. £16/£14, until 8 Feb

19 JanMapping Beckett at the Cockpit - Mapping Beckett looks at a range of writers from the Beckettian mind-map. The run starts with Shakespeare and is followed by an open discussion. £7, until 14 Sept

23 JanKing Lear at National Theatre - The National Theatre does the classics beautifully, and we’re sure this production of King Lear, with Simon Russell Beale as the lead, will be no different. £12-£50, until 25 March

28 JanHamlet at Barons Court Theatre - another Hamlet adaptation, this time by Nick Pelas. £12-£14, until 2 Feb

30 Jan - Happy Days at Young Vic – Olivier Award-winning stage and screen actress Juliet Stevenson takes on one of the great roles in Samuel Beckett’s surreal masterpiece, directed by Natalie Abrahami. £10-£35, until 8 March

Dance

Bollywood, China Gansu Dance Troupe, flamenco and beautiful ballet. 

9 JanLe Corsaire at London’s Coliseum (pictured) – Swashbuckling pirates, betrayals and ballet combine at this English National Ballet production. £45-£74.50, until 19 Jan

11 JanSilk Road at Peacock Theatre  - Taking inspiration from the Dunhuang murals and the history of the Silk Road, the China Gansu Dance Troupe tell a story of friendship and peace between Chinese people and foreign merchants during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). £17.50-£40.50, until 12 Jan

18 JanGiselle at Royal Opera House - One of the greatest romantic ballets, Peter Wright’s production of Marius Petipa’s classic is a tale of betrayal, supernatural spirits and true love. £5-£95, until 10 Feb

30 JanWhat’s Become Of You? at Barbican - The story of one woman’s immersion into the world of flamenco, with accompanying traditional live vocals and guitar. £16-£28, until 1 Feb

30 JanMerchants of Bollywood at Peacock Theatre - Charting the history of the world’s largest and most prolific film industry, Bollywood is back at Peacock Theatre after an acclaimed international tour. £18-£45, until 15 Feb

30 Jan - Men in Motion at London’s Coliseum – For two nights only, Royal Ballet Principal bring Ivan Putrov’s Men in Motion to London’s Coliseum, celebrating the male dancer’s ability and paying homage to works created for the male dancer over the last century. £65-£79, until 31 Jan

English National Ballet bring swashbuckling pirates to London's Coliseum, with Le Corsaire.

English National Ballet bring swashbuckling pirates to London’s Coliseum, with Le Corsaire.

Comedy

From Butlins to Downton Abbey. 

9 JanIsy Suttie’s Love Letters at Pleasance Theatre - a work in progress show featuring love stories and song from musical comic and actress Isy Suttie. £5, until 17 Jan.

9 JanDon Gil of the Green Breeches at Arcola – a 17th century comedy by Tirso de Molina which blends mistaken identity, role-reversal, ghosts and green trousers. New translation by Sean O’Brien. £14-£18, until 15 March

21 JanThe Ugly Sister at Soho Theatre - a “sinister and sensuous” cabaret that dares to tell the “real” story of Cinderella. £12.50-£20, until 2 Feb

22 JanShang-a-Lang at King’s Head Theatre – A comic look at friendship and reaching “a certain age”, as two friends go for a pick-me-up weekend at Butlins. Written by Catherine Johnson, who also wrote international stage and screen smash Mamma Mia! £15-£25, until 15 Feb

28 JanThe Only Way is Downton at Trafalgar Studios – Luke Kempner’s impressions comedy comes to London in a parody of Downton Abbey. £20-£30, until 22 Feb

31 JanAddicted to Everything at Soho Theatre – more Downton Abbey, this time from comedy duo Guilt & Shame and mixed up with sex, drugs, partying, pornography and, um, bestaility. Yikes.

Musicals & Opera

Treat your ears with Ivor Novello, Massenet and Britten.

5 JanValley of Song at Finborough Theatre – Ivor Novello’s very last musical, Valley of Song, is an homage to his homeland, Wales, and the music of his youth. £18/£16, until 25 Jan

14 JanManon at Royal Opera House – A young girl longing for love is corrupted by wealth and luxury in Massenet’s classic opera, directed by Laurent Pelly. £7-£160, until 4 Feb

29 JanPeter Grimes at London’s Coliseum – David Alden’s five-star sell-out production of Britten’s beautiful opera. Only £91-£125 tickets remaining, until 27 Feb

Alternative

Think you’ve already seen it all? Give these more unusual productions a go. 

6 JanDon Quijote at Camden People’s Theatre – An exploration of Cervantes’ novel, as part of Camden People’s Theatre’s Starting Blocks scheme. Combining visual imagery, anarchic performance and original music, each performance the title role will be played by a secret guest performer. £8/£10, until 25 Jan

8 JanThe London International Mime Festival at various venues – We have included some of this annual festival’s shows elsewhere in this list (What’s Become Of You?, The Dead, Anatomia Publica) but the entire festival deserves a mention too. With over 25 days of contemporary theatre coming to London from around the world, there are plenty of unusual performances to choose from,. Until 1 Feb

10 JanThe Day Shall Declare It at Theatre Delicatessen’s Marylebone space – Drawing on the lesser known short plays by Tennessee Williams, The Day Shall Declare It was created by LA theatre company Wilderness who create theatre in LA’s many abandoned spaces. Now the production will be performed in one of London’s own found spaces, the former BBC London premises at 35 Marylebone High Street. £15/£12, until 31 Jan

14 JanRETOLD at The Space – RETOLD presents darkly comic, thought-provoking, contemporary renditions of three traditional fairytales: Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White. £9/£7, until 18th Jan

21 JanAnatomia Publica at Barbican – Highly skilled performers use physical storytelling to tell the tale of a soldier, missing in action and presumed dead, who returns home to find his wife is remarried and living with another man. £16, until 25 Jan.

RETOLD presents contemporary renditions of three traditional fairytales, at The Space

RETOLD presents contemporary renditions of three traditional fairytales, at The Space

Drama

Focused, thoughtful or hard-hitting, these productions look set to provide high drama. 

7 JanWomen of Twilight at White Bear Theatre  - Sylvia Rayman’s all-women play returns to the White Bear after a highly successful run in October of this year. £14/£10, until 26 Jan

8 JanKeepsake at Old Red Lion Theatre – The world premiere of award-winning American playwright Gregory Beam, Keepsake tells the story of two sisters who attempt to reconnect following their father’s suicide. £10-£16, until 25 Jan

10 JanOnly Our Own at Arts Theatre – Follows the Irish war of independence, and one nation’s journey from a highly polarised society to a modern integrated one. £15-£29.50, until 1 Feb

14 JanCiphers at Bush Theatre – director Blanche McIntyre reunites with Dawn King for this story of a sister who stumbles into a world of secrets following the death of her sister. £10/£15, until 8 Feb

14 JanCuckoo at Unicorn Theatre  - “Erica used to go on research trips to the Congo, now all she has is Woman’s Hour, Waitrose and wearisome dinner parties. Then one morning she discovers her daughter’s new and only friend sitting in the kitchen and life gets interesting”. £10-£16, until 25 Jan

14 JanFlight at Jack Studio Theatre – Mikhail Bulgakov’s play, adapted by Howard Colyer, follows the fate of a small group of Russians from the Crimea to Paris, as the Civil War comes to an end. It is a tragic comedy that was never staged during the life of its author due to the opposition of Stalin. £14/£11, until 1 Feb

16 JanBlurred Lines at The Shed - A journey through the minefield of contemporary gender politics, with songs, at National Theatre’s excellent pop-up venue. £12/£20, until 22 Feb

21 Jan  – A Dolls House at The London Theatre – Bromley Little Theatre presents Samuel Adamson’s version of the most re-mastered play in history. £12.50, until 26 Jan

22 JanWhat The Women Did at Southwark Playhouse – A triple bill of short plays written during and about the First World War seen from the point of view of the women left to fight the war at home. £18/£16, until 15 Feb

25 JanThe Robbers at New Diorama Theatre – The Faction are back again for a fierce, fast and furious exploration of modern masculinity. £16/£13, until 22 Feb

28 JanThe Dead at Barbican – Published 100 years ago, The Dead is a James Joyce short story, now reinvented by Italian theatre-makers, Città di Ebla. £16, until 1 Feb

Contemporary

The more unusual subject matters: a ghost story, a personal look at social workers, a woman who gives birth to a grizzly bear. Hey, we said unusual.

16 JanThe Weir at Wyndham’s Theatre – Following the critically acclaimed sell-out run at the Donmar Warehouse, this modern ghost story transfers to Wyndham’s Theatre for twelve weeks only. £12-£87, until 19 April

17 JanThe Pass at Royal Court Theatre – A new story about sex, fame, football and how much you’re willing to lose in order to win. £20, until 1 March

22 JanRapture, Blister, Burn at Hampstead Theatre – Gina Gionfriddo dissects modern gender politics in this breathtakingly witty and virtuosic comedy, starring Emilia Fox. £15-£32, until 22 Feb

28 JanBear at Old Red Lion Theatre – “The tragedy of a woman who gave birth to a grizzly bear’, apparently. £15/£13, until 23 Feb

28 JanCarthage at Finborough Theatre  - Carthage is a personal response by social worker and playwright Chris Thompson to ten years of managing risk and intervening in other people’s lives. £14-£18, until 22 Feb

29 JanRed Velvet at Tricycle Theatre – The multi award-winning production which became one of the must-see shows of 2012 returns to the Tricycle for a limited run prior to its New York transfer. We are really excited about this and there are only a few tickets remaining so book quick! £12-£30, until 15 March

And don’t forget about the brilliant Get Into London Theatre scheme which, between 1 January and 13 February 2014, offers heavily reduced tickets to over 45 top London shows, including The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and Swan Lake

What are you planning on seeing on stage in London this January? Any of the above tickle your fancy? Seeing something not listed here? Tell us in the comments below. 

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