The days are lighter, the sun has got his hat on and Pimm’s is flowing like tap water, which can only mean that summer is here! Catch a wide selection of fantastic productions in London this June, July and August, from massive musical hits and long-running plays to new drama and jaw-dropping circus. We’ve picked a selection of our favourite summer shows to help you with your choice.
London summer shows: plays
Pressure (Ambassadors Theatre) – From 6 June
Being a weatherman is difficult at the best of times, the decision whether to barbeque or not to barbecue often lays in their hands. But imagine trying to predict the weather for the Second World War’s D-Day landings, when the fate of 350,000 soldiers relies on you being correct. David Haig’s drama is the story of one man in just that position. BOOK NOW
Imperium I: Conspirator and Imperium II: Dictator (Gielgud Theatre) – From 14 and 21 June
See the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Cicero plays as they come to London. Based on Robert Harris’ novels, the pair of shows follow Cicero’s rise in popularity, the crumbling of the Roman Republic and the ascension of Julius Caesar. BOOK NOW FOR CONSPIRATOR OR DICTATOR
The Jungle (Playhouse Theatre) – From 16 June
Previously a hit at the Young Vic, this drama exploring life in the Calais refugee camp heads to the West End. Co-directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, the show tells a tale of human survival and hope, despite the most desperate conditions.
The Lieutenant Of Inishmore (Noël Coward Theatre) – From 23 June
Written by Oscar winner Martin McDonagh, The Lieutenant Of Inishmore is a dark comedy set in Ireland. Poldark’s Aidan Turner plays Mad Padraic, a terrorist who sets his sights on revenge when he learns his pet cat has been attacked. BOOK NOW
The Lehman Trilogy (National Theatre) – From 4 July
Sam Mendes directs the UK premiere of this epic drama. Follow the rise and fall of the Lehman family, who found one of the world’s most influential financial institutions… the same institution caught in the middle of the 2008 banking collapse.
A Monster Calls (The Old Vic) – From 7 July
Discover the story of a 13-year-old boy whose father has moved to America and mother can’t recover from a serious illness. One night he receives an unusual visitor, a monster with a story to tell. BOOK NOW
Allelujah! (Bridge Theatre) – From 11 July
Alan Bennett’s new play is set in a hospital faced with closure. While the hospital fights for survival, a documentary crew is embedded in the geriatric ward, following the exploits of an old people’s choir.
King Lear (Duke of York’s Theatre) – From 11 July
Catch X-Men and Lord Of The Rings star – and stage legend – Ian McKellen in Shakespeare’s tragedy. McKellen plays an ageing monarch who splits his kingdom between his three daughters. It is a decision that triggers his downfall.
Othello (Shakespeare’s Globe) – From 20 July
Oscar winner Mark Rylance returns to Shakespeare’s Globe to play the dastardly Iago in Shakespeare’s drama, following a general who is manipulated into a jealous rage.
London summer shows: musicals
Heathers The Musical (The Other Palace) – From 9 June
Carrie Hope Fletcher leads the cast of this cult musical. Based on the 1980s film, Heathers The Musical is set in a classic, cliquey high school. When rebellious new boy JD arrives, people start dying. BOOK NOW
The Tony Award-winning musical theatre show receives its UK premiere. Follow the life of Alison, from her schooling in the 1970s, to coming out to her parents and finding love.
The King And I (London Palladium) – From 21 June
Catch Ken Watanabe and Kelli O’Hara in this classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. With songs including Getting To Know You and Shall We Dance, it tells the story of Anna Leonowens, a woman who moves to Siam to tutor the king’s children and wives. BOOK NOW
Knights Of The Rose (Arts Theatre) – From 29 June
Discover a new musical that mixes rock hits with swords, chivalry and sacrifice. Music from Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi and Bonnie Tyler features in this tale of knights returning from battle to find they have an even greater fight on their hands. BOOK NOW
Little Shop Of Horrors (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) – From 3 August
US drag star Vicky Vox plays man-eating plant Audrey II, as cult musical Little Shop Of Horrors comes to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, one of the best venues to see summer shows in London. Marc Antolin plays Seymour, a lovelorn shop assistant who discovers a hungry new plant at his Skid Row florists. BOOK NOW
London summer shows: entertainment
Sounds And Sorcery Celebrating Disney Fantasia (The Vaults) – From 3 July
Dive into the world of Disney’s Fantasia with this new immersive show that takes place under Waterloo station. Walk through the tunnels as the show transforms The Vaults into a world of wonder and magic using music, lighting, design and special effects. BOOK NOW