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Famous faces coming to the West End in 2020

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 10 January 2020, Last Updated 29 January 2020

2020 is an exciting year for Theatreland! We’ve got brand new screen-to-stage adaptions, unique revivals, Broadway transfers, and a whole lotta famous faces!

From multi-award-winning Hollywood stars to British icons making their stage debuts, we round up some of the famous faces coming to the West End in 2020.

Toby Jones and Richard Armitage in Uncle Vanya

Uncle Vanya ensemble. Photo by Seamus Ryan.Uncle Vanya cast. Photo by Seamus Ryan.

14 January – 2 May

In this thrilling new adaption of Chekov’s Uncle Vanya, Toby Jones (Detectorists, Captain America) stars as Vanya, while Richard Armitage (The Crucible, The Hobbit) will take to the stage for the first time in six years in the role of Doctor Astrov.

You may remember Toby starring alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy in Don’t Forget The Driver, a BBC Two comedy-drama series which aired in April 2019, and which he co-wrote with Tim Crouch. Richard, on the other hand, has most recently starred in the movies Berlin Station, Oceans 8, and in the famous role of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit trilogy. He will appear later this month as the lead in Netflix’s thriller series, The Stranger.

We can’t wait to see the two British acting greats in this tale of love, loss and family tensions, brought to new life by the Oliver Award-winning Conor McPherson (Girl From The North Country, The Weir) at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Cumming in Endgame

Alan Cumming & Daniel RadcliffeAlan Cumming and Daniel Radcliffe

 27 January – 28 March

Hold tight, theatre fans! Two highly prolific British actors are gracing the West End this year in The Old Vic‘s revival of Samuel Beckett’s macabre comedy, Endgame.

This rarely-seen double bill will see Harry Potter superstar, Daniel Radcliffe return to the stage after his successful run in Equus. He will be joined by Olivier Award-winning Alan Cumming, known in Theatreland for Hamlet (Donmar Warehouse), Accidental Death of An Anarchist and Bent (West End). In addition, Jane Horrocks (Pinter At The Pinter season at the Harold Pinter Theatre, East is East, Cabaret) and Karl Johnson (King Lear, As You Like ItGirl from The North Country) will also be joining the star-studded lineup. 

Alan and Daniel will play one of theatre’s most famous double acts in a bittersweet comedy about the relationship between a blind old tyrant named Hamm (played by Alan), his servant (played by Daniel), and his two parents. Clinging stubbornly to their routine of casual savagery and mutual dependence, this star-studded show is sure to be a big crowd pleaser! 

James McAvoy in Cyrano De Bergerac

James McAvoy as the Cyrano de BergeracJames McAvoy as the Cyrano De Bergerac

Open now – 29 February

James McAvoy needs no introduction. From the X Men series to Atonement, Split and even West End roles in Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studios, Three Days of Rain at the Apollo Theatre, and Breathing Corpses at the Royal Court, this big screen star is gracing Theatreland once again in Jamie Lloyd’s Cyrano De Bergerac.

Having worked together in 2013 in West End’s Macbeth at Trafalgar Studios, James will be playing the fictionalised account of a real 17th-century French playwrite and author. Cyrano is funny, brash, extremely talented and has a big heart. However, he has an extremely large nose, which causes him to doubt himself. Can he win the heart of the woman he loves or will he allow a society riddled with superficiality and narcissists to get the better of him?

Aimie Atkinson & Danny Mac in Pretty Woman: The Musical

Aimie Atkinson and Danny Mac. Photo by Oliver Rosser

14 February – 2 January 2021

Big news for all hopeless romantics, you’re going to love this one… Landing in the West End this year, just in time for Valentine’s Day is the stage adaption of the iconic film, Pretty Woman: The Musical. Leading the production will be Aimie Atkinson, in the role of Vivian and Danny Mac as Edward.

Aimie is no stranger to the stage, having completed a run in Six since its opening, while Danny has joined the cast on tour for Amélie The Musical and Wicked and most recently played the lead role in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Dominion Theatre. You may also recognise him from the small screen as Dodger from Hollyoaks from 2011-2015!

As one of the highest-grossing rom-com stories of all time, this musical adaption brings together the story you know and love with a soundtrack that will jump you straight back to the 1980s.

Timothée Chalamet and Dame Eileen Atkins in 4000 Miles

4000 Miles_Timothee Chamalet_Eileen AtkinsTimothée Chalamet and Dame Eileen Atkins

6 April – 23 May

Mark your diaries theatre fans! Timothée Chalamet and Dame Eileen Atkins are coming to The Old Vic from 6 April starring in Amy Herzog’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama nominated play, 4000 Miles.

The three-time Olivier Award-winning Dame Eileen will return to The Old Vic after first appearing in 1961 where she starred in Roots, Twelfth Night, Richard III and The Tempest. She most recently starred in the West End production of Florian Zeller’s The Height Of The Storm. Dame Eileen was also one of the co-creators of British TV classic, Upstairs, Downstairs and is the proud owner of both a CBE and DBE for her contribution to the arts.

Likewise, Timothée needs no introduction. Lauded for his performances in Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age film Lady Bird and his lead role in Call Me By Your Name in 2017, the American actor will be making his West End debut in this long-awaited play. He is most recently known for starring in the role of Laurie in the film adaption of Little Women.

Directed by Matthew Warchus (A Christmas Carol, Matilda The Musical, Endgame, Local Hero) Timothée and Dame Eileen will play the lead roles in a gripping story about family, loss and bridging the gap between generations.

David Mitchell and Gemma Whelan in Upstart Crow

Upstart Crow ticketsDavid Mitchell in Upstart Crow

7 February – 25 April

David Mitchell is making his West End debut in Upstart Crow, as he reprises his leading TV role in a stage adaption of the critically acclaimed BBC sitcom about William Shakespeare. Best known as one half of comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, David’s TV credits include Peep Show and Would I Lie To You?

Joining him will be Gemma Whelan, who will also be reprising her TV role as Kate, the aspiring actress and William’s housekeeper. Having starred in Game Of Thrones and Gentleman Jack, she is another famous face to look out for. A number of other actors from the sitcom will also be appearing in the stage production, including Helen Monks, who plays Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna, Rob Rouse as household servant Bottom, Steve Spiers as actor Richard Burbage, and Mark Heap, who originally played Shakespeare’s nemesis Robert Greene, as new character Dr John Hall.

Playing at Gieguld Theatre from 7 February, follow the tale of William as he struggles to find inspiration for a new story.

Emilia Clarke in The Seagull

Emilia Clarke will make her West End debut in The Seagull, directed by Jamie Lloyd.

11 March – 30 May

Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke will be making her West End debut this year in Anya Reiss’ adaption of Chekov’s The Seagull.

The Jamie Lloyd Company’s show tells the story of a young woman who is desperate for fame and a way out, a young man who is pining after the woman of his dreams, a successful writer longing for a sense of achievement, and an actress who wants to fight the changing of the times. 

Emilia is mostly known for her television role as Daenerys Targaryen in Game Of Thrones which garnered her critical acclaim and several accolades. Though this will be her debut in the West End, the English actress took Broadway by storm in 2013 as the iconic Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world this year, we can’t wait to see Emilia smash it on the stage in 2020! 

Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford in Sunday In The Park With George

11 June – 5 September

The one and only Jake Gyllenhaal will be starring alongside Annaleigh Ashford in Sunday In The Park With George at the Savoy Theatre this summer.

As one of the most acclaimed musicals of all time – Sondheim and Lapine’s masterpiece follows painter Georges Seurat (played by Jake) in the months leading up to the completion of his most famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

The Academy Award-winning screen and stage actor and Tony Award-winning actress will reprise their roles from the Broadway production for the highly anticipated West End transfer. You may recognise Jake from a long list of movies including Jarhead, The Day After Tomorrow and Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time, while Broadway star Annaleigh has been cast in Wicked, Legally Blonde, Kinky Boots, and many more!

Playing for a strictly limited time, be sure to snap up those tickets before it’s too late!

Imelda Staunton in Hello, Dolly!

Imelda Staunton. Photo by Charlie Gray.

11 August – 6 March 2021

With British icon Imelda Staunton leading the cast in this classic Broadway musical as the titular lead, Dolly Gallagher Levi, tickets are sure to fly off the shelves!

The West End favourite is known for her roles in Sweeney Todd, Gypsy and Into The Woods, winning an Olivier Award for each. Written in 1964, this new production will be the first revival since it ran in the West End in 2009 with Imelda reuniting with Director Dominic Cooke for the first time since the critically acclaimed Follies at the National Theatre.

Written in 1964, the musical tells the story of Dolly who makes her living by matchmaking in New York at the turn of the 20th century. The city is abuzz for Dolly’s visit, as she’s tasked with finding a partner for Horace Vendergelder, a famous half-a-millionaire. Featured music and lyrics come from musical legend Jerry Herman and includes Put On Your Sunday Clothes and Ribbons Down My Back. We can’t wait to see the magic they’ve created this time!


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Aimie Atkinson alan cumming dame eileen atkins daniel radcliffe danny mac david mitchell imelda staunton jake gyllenhaal james mcavoy richard armitage Timothée Chalamet toby jones

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