West End 2018: Shows to book for now

Our pick of the best tickets to buy now for new shows in the West End 2018 season

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The new year brings with it an exciting selection of new shows opening in London’s theatres, from classic musicals to tune-filled extravaganzas, from transfers of award-winning plays to dramas that are new to the stage. Here’s our pick of the best new shows the West End 2018 season has to offer:

The Birthday Party (Harold Pinter Theatre) – From 9 January

The Birthday Party at Harold Pinter Theatre
The Birthday Party at Harold Pinter Theatre – West End 2018

The years gets off to a starry start with this celebrity-packed dark comedy. Zoë Wanamaker plays the owner of a coastal boarding house. Toby Jones plays her only boarder, Stanley. When two unexpected guests arrive, their lives are flipped into nightmarish confusion. Stephen Mangan and Pearl Mackie also star in Harold Pinter’s play. BOOK NOW

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Wyndham’s Theatre) – From 27 January

Long Day's Journey Into Night at Wyndham's Theatre
Long Day’s Journey Into Night at Wyndham’s Theatre – West End 2018

Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville star in this production of Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The acclaimed actors are husband and wife in this story of a family with problems, whose tension grows over the course of a day. Richard Eyre directs the production that previously won acclaim when it ran at Bristol Old Vic. BOOK NOW

Strictly Ballroom The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre) – From 16 March

Strictly Ballroom The Musical at Piccadilly Theatre
Strictly Ballroom The Musical at Piccadilly Theatre – West End 2018

Olivier Award-winning choreographer Drew McOnie directs this musical set in the world of competitive ballroom dance. Based on the Baz Luhrmann film, it follows dancer Scott Hastings, who defies expectations to compete on his own terms. The musical features songs including Love Is In The Air and Time After Time. BOOK NOW

Tina The Musical (Aldwych Theatre) – From 21 March

TINA at Aldwych Theatre
TINA at Aldwych Theatre – West End 2018

Simply The Best. Nutbush City Limits. Proud Mary. What’s Love Got To Do With It? The list of songs in this new Tina Turner musical is impressive by anyone’s standards. But this show, written by Olivier Award-winning playwright Katori Hall, tells Turner’s story, too. And what an incredible story it is, as Turner goes from cotton picking as a child to playing stadiums as a global superstar. BOOK NOW

Quiz (Noël Coward Theatre) – From 31 March

Quiz at Noel Coward Theatre
Quiz at Noel Coward Theatre – West End 2018

Playwright James Graham had a bumper 2017. His play Ink was so successful at the Almeida Theatre that transferred to the West End. A second play, Labour Of Love, went straight into the West End. And Quiz received acclaim during a run at Chichester Festival Theatre. Now the play, inspired by Charles Ingram’s notorious Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? coughing scandal, heads to the West End, too. It’s a winner, even if Ingram wasn’t. BOOK NOW

The King And I (London Palladium) – From 21 June

The King And I at London Palladium
The King And I at London Palladium – West End 2018

One of the world’s best-loved musicals returns to the London stage. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic follows Anna. She’s employed by the King of Siam to tutor his wife and children. As cultures clash, a remarkable relationship grows. This production, which has already won awards on Broadway, stars Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe. BOOK NOW

The Lieutenant Of Inishmore (Noël Coward Theatre) – From 23 June

The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at Noel Coward Theatre
The Lieutenant Of Inishmore at Noel Coward Theatre – West End 2018

Poldark star Aidan Turner makes his West End debut in this revival of Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy. Turner plays a feared, unhinged terrorist who, when he discovers his cat has been attacked, sets out to take his revenge. BOOK NOW

A Monster Calls (The Old Vic) – From 7 July

A Monster Calls at The Old Vic
A Monster Calls at The Old Vic – West End 2018

Patrick Ness’s novel is brought to the stage by masterful adapter Sally Cookson, who will work with her company of performers to devise the piece. Its story follows a young boy whose father has moved to America and whose mother is sick. One night. Just after midnight. A monster comes to his window. BOOK NOW

Company (Gielgud Theatre) – From 26 September

Company at Gielgud Theatre
Company at Gielgud Theatre – West End 2018

Stephen Sondheim’s musical is staged in a way never seen before. Normally, it’s the story of Bobby, but director Marianne Elliott switches the gender of the show’s leading character. On Bobbi’s 35th birthday, her friends all want to know why she hasn’t married and settled down. Rosalie Craig plays Bobbi, with Patti LuPone as Joanne. BOOK NOW 

A Very Very Very Dark Matter (Bridge Theatre) – From 10 October

A Very Very Very Dark Matter at Bridge Theatre
A Very Very Very Dark Matter at Bridge Theatre – West End 2018

The second Martin McDonagh play on the list is a new one. Jim Broadbent leads the cast in this drama about storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. But he has a dark secret. And he keeps her in his attic. Expect a twisted but hilarious tale.