If you suffer from FOMO – that’s fear of missing out to those of you not on Instagram – or are currently holed up in a log cabin in the woods purely to avoid the media hoopla of a certain production of Hamlet after not setting your alarm early enough to get tickets, we have just the thing for you to help you get ahead of the game for autumn.
Yes it’s August and yes most theatrically minded people have their heads buried in an Edinburgh Fringe Festival programme right about now, but we are big fans of planning ahead, having something to look forward to in the diary, hearing those tickets drop through your letter box and, of course, not missing out. So to help decide on your must-see shows this autumn, here are Official London Theatre’s top autumn shows you can book for right now.
Photograph 51 – From 5 September
Some shows are predestined to become one of the most talked about productions of the year and the combination of screen star Nicole Kidman and the hugely talented Michael Grandage guarantee Photograph 51 a place on 2015’s list.
Kidman was last seen on the London stage in 1998 when The Cold Mountain star appeared in the Sam Mendes’ production of The Blue Room. More than 15 years later she is returning to play her part in giving Anna Ziegler’s play about British scientist Rosalind Franklin and a race to prove the importance of a precious photograph its UK premiere.
Book tickets to Photograph 51 here
Kinky Boots – From 21 August
Kinky Boots actually starts previews this month, so it’s up to you whether you can bear to wait until autumn or not to see the Olivier Award nominated Killian Donnelly lead the West End premiere of this Tony Award-winning hit. Either way, expect to be won over by Harvey Fierstein’s “big hearted and high-spirited” take on the British film about a man who must save his late father’s shoe factory and finds inspiration in the form of the fabulous Lola (played by Matt Henry).
Not sure it’s for you? Did we mention it’s a) already proved a huge hit on Broadway (you can watch the Broadway trailer below for a taster…) and b) the music comes from the one and only pop legend Cyndi Lauper. Expect fun, colour, sparkle, incredible shoes and a whole lot of heart.
Book tickets to Kinky Boots here
Future Conditional – From 1 September
We’re hugely excited about Future Conditional for many a reason. 1) It stars the brilliant Rob Brydon alongside a humongous cast of up and coming talent. 2) It will take on one of our favourite subjects to debate in the Official London Theatre office: the education system (yes, really). And 3) It’s written by Tamsin Oglesby, which means it’s likely to be clever and funny in equal measure. But the most exciting thing about the school-set piece is it will officially mark the start of a new era for The Old Vic as Matthew Warchus takes the helm as Artistic Director. While Kevin Spacey might be a tough act to follow, we reckon the Matilda The Musical director has it in the bag.
Book tickets to Future Conditional here
Presenting an emoji take on what’s been happening here today: our next show #FutureConditional is in rehearsals ????✏️???????????????? ????
— The Old Vic Theatre (@oldvictheatre) July 17, 2015
wonder.land – From 29 November
From one new Artistic Director to another, Rufus Norris’ inaugural season as Director of the National Theatre continues in November with Blur icon Damon Albarn and playwright Moira Buffini’s modern musical take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland.
Casting is yet to be announced for the London premiere, but the show played earlier this year at the Manchester International Festival with Rosalie Craig as Alice and, unless there is a radical rethink, from the production photos we can safely expect the show to be every bit as trippy, technicoloured and eye dazzlingly imaginative as you could hope for.
Book tickets to wonder.land here
Harlequinade – From 24 October
You get not one but two – well, three actually – Olivier Award winners for your money with this show. The two on stage come in the form of much loved stage and screen actor Zoë Wanamaker and this year’s Best Actor in a Musical Olivier Award winner John Dagleish (Sunny Afternoon) who will lead co-director – and Olivier Award winner – Kenneth Branagh’s production.
The play itself is one of Terence Rattigan’s most rarely performed gems and tells the story of a theatre company putting on The Winter’s Tale and Romeo And Juliet, both of which also play as part of Branagh’s much anticipated Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season at the Garrick Theatre.
Wanamaker fans, trust us, you do not want to miss this show. Not least because the star will perform Rattigan’s monologue All On Her Own before every performance. Now that’s what we call an added bonus.
Book tickets to Harlequinade here
— Branagh Theatre (@BranaghTheatre) July 10, 2015
Cats – From 23 October
If you missed the critically acclaimed 2014/2015 revival of arguably Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most iconic musical, you have a second opportunity as it returns for a limited season this autumn. This time Beverley Knight takes her turn performing that musical theatre track in the role of Grizabella. So book your tickets for the Jellicle Ball now and get ready for cat heaven at the London Palladium.
Book tickets to Cats here
Jane Eyre – From 8 September
Sometimes classics can be done to death but, believe us, this is not the case with this “bold and dynamic” take on Charlotte Brontë’s stunning tale of an orphan’s fight for freedom and her dramatic journey to fulfilment on her terms.
The piece was first seen at the Bristol Old Vic in 2014 when The Telegraph described Sally Cookson’s staging as “a continually absorbing achievement”. We predict an outstanding evening.
Book tickets to Jane Eyre here
Click here for a list of all autumn shows available to book now.