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10 theatre shows that finish before 10pm

Eleni Cashell

By Eleni Cashell Published 10 January 2019

Is there anything better than immersing yourself in some fantastic theatre, then having a stroll towards the train station, with hardly any crowds around you, feeling fully confident that you’ll comfortably make your train home?

But this scenario can only really happen if you see a show that finishes before 10pm. But luckily for you, we’ve found some productions that meet that criteria!

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical (Photo: Karla Gowett)

Running time: 1h50 (including interval)

Imagine not only seeing a musical where you’re out by 10pm, but a musical no one other audience would ever see again. Sounds like we’re making things up right? We’re actually describing the premise of Showstopper!

This Olivier Award-winning show asks the audience for not just a little bit of help, but for the complete inspiration for a musical each night…no pressure or anything! A show full of laughter, unpredictable songs, very last-minute choreography and hilarious results, you’ve never seen anything like Showstopper! The Improvised Musical…literally.

Showstopper tickets are currently available in our New Year Sale too!


Come From Away

Come From Away at Phoenix Theatre

Running time: 1h40 (no interval)

A new musical for the West End, Come from Away tells the incredible true story of 7,000 passengers, whose journeys to New York on 9/11 were redirected to Gander after the airspace closed. This show is a truly heart-warming story of friendship, kindness and love in times of crisis and hardship.

With such an emotional story to tell, there’s no interval in this show. Although you’ll be so wrapped up in the story and how it’s told, you won’t miss the ice cream or drink break.


Six The Musical

Six The Musical - Photo by Idil Sukan
Running time: 1h15 (no interval)

Because Six initial began as an Edinburgh Fringe show, it needed to keep to a tight time constraint of a one-hour performance (something expected of most shows during the Fringe). It may have picked up a few extra minutes along the way to its transfer at the Arts Theatre, but it’s still a concise, punchy show that you’ll be streaming from Spotify the minute the curtain call finishes.

And with over 3.5 million streams so far so you certainly won’t be alone as you try to stop yourself singing aloud on the train home.


Songs For Nobodies

Bernadette Robinson in Songs For Nobodies

Running time: 1h30 (no interval)

Offering you a celebration of not just one iconic diva, but five, all in under two hours, you’ll certainly get value for money with this show!

In just 90 minutes you’ll witness the incredible Bernadette Robinson brings the legacies of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf and Maria Callas to life on stage. Going from low, smoky blues right up high to soprano in under two hours, all accompanied by a live band, you’ll be wishing it was a longer show after all!


Nine Night

The cast of Nine Night (Photo: Helen Murray)

Running time: 1h45 (no interval)

Another West End transfer, this time from the National Theatre, Nine Night explores the complicated themes of family life, and the rituals they undertake to bring them closer together.

The show is set within a traditional Jamaican Nine Night Wake following the death of a family member, Gloria. The narrative focuses on Gloria’s children and grandchildren, and how they’re affected by not only the grief of losing her but also the nine nights of music, food and stories they’re expected to take part in.

Nine Night was a huge success when it ran at the National, so you’ll have to be quick…like, think how quickly you’d usually run for the last train home…that quick.


The Play That Goes Wrong

The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

Running time: 2h05 (including interval)

Watch out for falling scenery, misplaced props and unprepared actors in The Play That Goes Wrong.

One of the longer productions on this list, this slapstick show about an amateur dramatics group trying to put on a performance has previously won an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. You’ll certainly be in for a side-splitting treat that’s for sure! (not literally of course…the scenery won’t fall on your head or anything)


The Woman In Black

Richard Hope and Mark Hawkins in The Woman In Black (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

Running Time: 2h, (including interval)

If you’re in the mood for something scary and a little bit darker, then The Woman in Black will give you shivers until you get home. And not just because there are rumours that the Fortune Theatre is haunted!

One of Theatreland’s favourite ghost stories, the show is all about solicitor Arthur Kipps, who is sent to a creepy, isolated house (he should have spotted the red flags there, to be honest) to sort out paperwork of a recently deceased woman.

With tragedy around every corner, spooky goings on and scared locals who don’t want to talk, you’ll be surprised how a two-cast play with a small number of props that lasts under two hours can have such an impact on you.


True West

Johnny Flynn and Kit Harington in True West (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Running time: 2h (including interval)

Go to the Californian desert and back, and still make the last train home by going to see True West.

Performing at the Vaudeville Theatre, Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn play two arguing brothers who are trying to sell a film script to a producer.

Intrigued? Check out these behind-the-scenes photos from the early days of rehearsals!

Related Article: Final casting for the return of Six announced
The return of Six The Musical is just around the corner and today it's been confirmed that the original Arts Theatre cast will be returning to their roles.


German Cornejo’s Tango Fire

Tango Fire at Peacock Theatre

Running time: 2h (including interval)

Dust off your dancing shoes, because you’ll want to tango all the way home after you’ve watched the incredible talent of the Tango Fire cast.

Performed by six couples, including World Tango champions, the show takes you through the history of Argentine tango, from its early origins right up to contemporary interpretations. And considering it’s been touring for the last 14 years, you’re bound to be in for a good show!


The Twilight Zone

John Marquez in The Twilight Zone at Almeida Theatre (Photo: Marc Brenner)

Running time: 2h10 (including interval)

Leave reality at the door as you enter another dimension, and not just an alternative reality where you actually make the last train home either.

Adapted from the successful TV show, across eight stories you’ll travel on a chilling journey into the unknown. Transported to places where the extraordinary is ordinary, the impossible probable, and where you’re never entirely sure what’s real and what’s your imagination.


Other shows that finish before 10pm include:


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come from away Nine Night showstopper! the improvised musical six the musical songs for nobodies tango fire the play that goes wrong the twilight zone the woman in black true west

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