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11 Theatre Shows To See In London This May

3 May 2017 by Emily Moulder
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Whether you’re booking for a May Bank Holiday or just want to catch the latest show in the West End, there’s so much to see this May! There’s Broadway classics, stand-up comedy and Shakespearean favourites, new comedies and Cold War dramas – there are some great shows opening soon, so now’s your chance to plan your next month of theatre.

Nell Gwynn

Photo Credit: Shakespeare's Globe
Photo Credit: Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe, 2 May – 13 May

Jessica Swales‘ critically-acclaimed production of Nell Gwynn comes to The Globe for a strictly limited run. Sherlock‘s Laura Pitt-Pulford stars as Nell, a beautiful young woman who catches the eye of King Charles II. At a time of cultural change, the puritanical ways of the past are on their way out and Nell and the King usher in a new hedonistic lifestyle for London.

Life Of Galileo

Photo Credit: Young Vic
Photo Credit: Young Vic

Young Vic,  –

BAFTA Award-winning film director Joe Wright (Atonement) returns to the Young Vic to direct Life of Galileo. Written by Bertolt Brecht, the play follows Gailieo’s struggles to make his scientific discoveries accessible to the masses in the face of persecution and torture from the Roman Catholic Church.

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Photo Credit: Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
Photo Credit: Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour

Duke of York’s Theatre, 9 May – 2 September

The Olivier Award-winning comedy, Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, sees six Catholic choir girls from Oban running wild in Edinburgh for a day. Directed by Vicky Featherstone and set to the songs of ELO, brace yourself for singing, Sambuca and strong language.

Love In Idleness

Photo Credit: Love In Idleness
Photo Credit: Love In Idleness

Apollo Theatre, 9 May –  1 July

Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and Eve Best (Nurse Jackie) star in Terence Rattigan’s Love In Idleness. After a four-year trip to Canada, Michael (Edward Bluemel) returns home after WWII to find his widowed mother is now in a relationship with rich cabinet minister, John. Michael’s leftist leanings and youthful optimism clashes with John’s old-guard attitude, can they put their differences aside for the sake of the woman they both love?


Photo Credit: Old Vic
Photo Credit: Old Vic

John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) returns to his theatre roots with the classic play Woyzeck. Directed by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), the play follows a soldier and his love as they try to make a life for themselves during the Cold War. On the border between East and West Germany, life is hard for the pair as they fall between the cracks of society.

Adventures In Wonderland

Photo Credit: The Vaults
Photo Credit: The Vaults

The Vaults, 13 May – 3 September

A fantastic treat for the kids, Adventures In Wonderland gives the little ones the chance to enjoy the children’s version of the immersive show, Alice’s Adventures Underground. Wander around the incredible world of the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat, just beware the Queen of Hearts!

Twelfth Night

Photo Credit: Shakespeare's Globe
Photo Credit: Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe, 18 May – 5 August

Emma Rice directs Twelfth Night, the story of Viola and Sebastian, twins separated by a shipwreck. In order to survive without each other, their lives are turned upside down by mistaken identities, gender-swapping and mischievous servants. Can the pair find their way back to each other?

On The Town

Photo Credit: On The Town/DrewMcOnie

Regents Park Theatre, 19 May – 01 July

The award winning-Choreographer Drew McOnie directs the classic Bernstein musical, On The Town, playing at the Regents Park Theatre. Starring Lizzy Connolly (The Wild Party), Danny Mac (Hollyoaks) and Naoko Mori (Avenue Q), this high-energy show follows three sailors searching for one beautiful girl in New York during their shore leave.


Photo Credit: Annie

Piccadilly Theatre, 23 May – 6 January

Miranda Hart (Call The Midwife) stars in a new revival of the iconic musical, Annie. If you don’t know the story (!?), Annie is a brave young orphan who is plucked from her tough New York life to living in the lap of luxury with richest man in America, Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks. Catch classic songs like “Tomorrow”, “Easy Street” and “Hard Knock Life”!

Ruby Wax: Frazzled

Photo Credit: Ruby Wax

Leicester Square Theatre, 30 May – 24 June

The hilarious Ruby Wax brings her standup to the Leicester Square Theatre, and this time it’s all in her head. And yours. Ruby tackles mental health, wellbeing and how we often sabotage our own sanity. As Ruby says, “This event is your passport to saner living. I might not be sane myself but I do a pretty good imitation!”

La Strada

Photo Credit: La Strada

The Other Palace, 30 May – 8 July

Based on Federico Fellini’s film of the same name, La Strada follows Gelsomina who is sold to a sideshow strongman by her destitute mother. On their journey through Italy, they run into a ragtag travelling circus where they meet Matto the tightrope walker. Over time, with Matto’s help, Gelsomina enjoys a new found confidence and discovers her purpose.

Want more? See the Britain’s Got Talent singer who sang Dreamgirls!