facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen. #IMissTheatre

OLT’s acrostic autumn line-up

First Published 9 September 2013, Last Updated 11 September 2013

Official London Theatre has officially – naturally – declared today the first day of the autumn season, as both the slate coloured sky and the fast-filling diary of every theatre critic in London will affirm. After the quiet of the summer, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a distant dream and all eyes are back on the West End and the incredible show selection coming up in the next four months.

The parallels of a new season with that going back to school feeling are undeniable. The newly sharpened pencils and notepads for press nights may be exciting, but choosing what to see can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve compiled our English Literature GCSE-inspired acrostic guide to autumn, to break down the 200+, ever-growing list of shows we have as playing this autumn into 10 manageable bite-sized nuggets.


…is for aardvark. Nope, just kidding we couldn’t squeeze that in as much as we tried. A, in fact, is for adaptations. You can’t walk down Shaftesbury Avenue without bumping into a literary adaptation this autumn. From comedy Jeeves & Wooster In Perfect Nonsense (from 30 October), adapted from P G Wodehouse’s classic stories and starring the genius casting of duo Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfadyen, to The Royal Opera House’s adaptation of Kenneth Graham’s The Wind In The Willows (from 11 December) for the festive season. Leave the West End and you’re faced with the far more terrifying adaptation of Swedish cult film Let The Right One In, which will bring the chilling tale of vampires and childhood bullies to the Royal Court theatre from 29 November.


…is for productions as unconventional as a Mark Rylance award acceptance speech, which is fitting as it’s a Rylance-directed production that has inspired this category. Previewing now, his production of Shakespeare’s popular comedy Much Ado About Nothing stars the brilliant, but unconventionally aged, Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones as the sparring duo Beatrice and Benedick. We don’t reckon this casting decision is anywhere near as unconventional as the delightfully eccentric Dame Edna Everage will be in Barry Humpries’ farewell show Eat, Pray, Love! though.  Don’t miss your chance to see that most famous blue rinse in the flesh from 13 November at the London Palladium.


…is for Tom. Tom Hiddleston in fact, who caused a near Twitter meltdown – well on our feed anyway – when it was announced he will return to the London stage this autumn after his recent Hollywood conquering performances to star at the Donmar Warehouse in Josie Rourke’s production of Coriolanus from 6 December.

In the spirit of gender equality (and to fit in another corker), T is also for Tamzin Outhwaite who will lead a cast of comedy favourites including Miranda star Sarah Hadland and Peep Show’s Robert Webb in actor Simon Paisley Day’s playwriting debut Raving, which plays at Hampstead theatre from 17 October.


…is for uncouth, which we imagine Clive Exton’s Parker family in Barking In Essex to be from descriptions of Essex’s most dysfunctional – and criminal – family. Starring Lee Evans, Sheila Hancock and Keeley Hawes, the comedy is now playing in all its fake furred, stiletto-heeled splendour at the Wyndham’s theatre.


…is for musicals. It may be an obvious one, but this season must be unparalleled for the quality of creative teams embarking on new all-singing, all-dancing productions.
First up is the much-anticipated stage adaptation of Roddy Doyle’s cult novel The Commitments from 21 September, with direction from one of theatre’s most in demand directors Jamie Lloyd and a cast of exciting newcomers. Next, Tim Rice makes a welcome return to the West End with a new musical take on the epic love story From Here To Eternity, which previews from 30 September. Over the river at the National Theatre, Tori Amos makes her musical theatre debut with The Light Princess plays from 25 September, while the Young Vic will become the first UK venue to stage the 12-time Tony Award nominated The Scottsboro Boys from 18 October directed by the five-time Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman. If that wasn’t enough to whet your musical appetite, everyone’s favourite theatre impresario, Andrew Lloyd Webber, is back! The theatre legend debuts his new musical, Stephen Ward, based one of the most sensational political scandals of the 20th century, Stephen Ward, from 3 December.


…is for nettled, which is very likely an emotion that one of the dozen men, including high-profile cast members Robert Vaughn, Jeff Fahey, Nick Moran and Martin Shaw, might channel to play their role in the stage adaptation of cult film Twelve Angry Men. The Christopher Hayden-directed production plays at the Garrick theatre from 7 November.

We also imagine that gangsters frequently feel nettled and there are plenty in the Chichester Festival Theatre transfer of Jonathan Church’s critically acclaimed The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui. Henry Goodman reprises his title role at the Old Vic from 18 September.


…is how many productions are left to run as part of former Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Michael Grandage’s first season at the Noël Coward theatre with his new company, the Michael Grandage Company. We’ve already seen Simon Russell Beale in Privates On Parade, Judi Dench in Peter And Alice and Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmann and there are an equally star-studded line-up to come. Now previewing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream stars Sheridan Smith and David Walliams, while from 23 November Jude Law will once again work with the director to star in the title role of Shakespeare’s historic tale of nationhood, Henry V.


…is how many times Rupert Grint has been seen in the West End (not including sightings at the Groucho Club obviously). Harry Potter fans will be delighted, no doubt, that the star is making his debut in Jez Butterworth’s acclaimed 1950s-set drama Mojo. Theatre fans will be equally excited by his fellow cast members that include stage favourites Daniel Mays, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Coyle and Colin Morgan. Butterworth’s latest collaboration with director Ian Rickson plays at the Harold Pinter theatre from 26 October.


…is for the number of small boys who must embark on an adventure-filled journey in Emil And The Detectives, the National Theatre’s new family show that plays from 25 November and will transform the Olivier theatre into 1920s Berlin, where, according to the NT, you’ll find a place full of surprises and danger, where everything moves at the speed of your imagination.


…is for the number of Tony Awards Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake picked up when it played on Broadway. We know it better however as a must-see show for all dance fans. Turning tradition on its head, Bourne’s radical reinterpretation of this classic will once again blend comedy, humour and spectacle at the Islington venue from 4 December.


Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.