Theatre Roundup: Summer 2023

All the biggest and best shows heading to the West End this summer

It’s going to be a huge season of theatre this summer. Joining all the West End’s beloved long-running shows in London are bold new musicals, wickedly funny comedies and dramas that will stay with you long after the curtain falls. And from Milly Alcock in The Crucible to Lily Allen in The Pillowman, you’ll be able to spot a bunch of famous faces treading the boards all season long too.

Here’s our roundup of all the unmissable summer theatre heading your way over the next few months.

42nd Street

42nd Street

When: Until 2 Jul

Where: Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Director Jonathon Church brings a loving ode to Broadway to life this summer. Get ready for tap-dancing, chorus lines, theatre romances and razzle-dazzle, with a cast that includes Adam Garcia, Les Dennis and Ruthie Henshall. Anything Goes’ Nicole-Lily Baisden will also join them as starry-eyed ingenue Peggy Sawyer.

We Will Rock You

We Will Rock You

When: Until 27 Aug

Where: London Coliseum

Ben Elton’s dystopian rock epic gets a triumphant homecoming this summer when it returns to London for an exclusive 12-week season. Featuring all your favourite songs from Queen – seriously, you’ll be shocked at how many they’ve managed to squeeze in – and a stellar cast including Elton himself, this one’s guaranteed to blow your mind.

Grease The Musical

Grease The Musical

When: Until 28 Oct

Where: Dominion Theatre

Back by popular demand – Grease The Musical returns to the Dominion Theatre this summer for more hip-thrusting, heart-breaking high-school drama. Peter Andre and Jason Donovan will reprise their appearances as Vince Fontaine and Teen Angel, with Louise Redknapp also set to star as Teen Angel for select performances. Also returning are Dan Patridge, Olivia Moore and Jocasta Almgill, who stole hearts as Danny, Sandy and Rizzo respectively. If you missed this one last summer, don’t hesitate.

The Crucible

When: Until 2Sept

Where: Gielgud Theatre

Arthur Miller’s gripping tale of power, hysteria and blame transfers from the National Theatre this summer, with House Of The Dragon’s Milly Alcock as Abigail and Bad Sisters’ Brian Gleeson as John Proctor. Olivier award-winner Lyndsey Turner directs what is set to be a stunning and startling reimagining of one of the 20th century’s most important works.

The Third Man

When: Until 9 Sept

Where: Menier Chocolate Factory

Fancy a musical thriller? The Third Man, an adaptation of Graham Green’s 1949 film noir, transports the Menier Chocolate Factory back to post-war Vienna. Follow hero Holly Martins as he unravels the threads around his late friend, Harry Lime, and finds himself drawn into a murky underground world.

The Pillowman

When: 12 Jun – 2 Sept

Where: Duke Of York’s Theatre

Martin McDonagh’s celebrated examination of the relationship between art and life gets its dues on the West End this summer with its first major revival. Considered one of the greatest plays of the last twenty-five years, The Pillowman explores a string of murders in a totalitarian state, and the writer who may or may not have inspired them. The all-star cast includes Lily Allen and Steve Pemberton.

The Accidental Death Of An Anarchist

When: 12 Jun – 9 Sept

Where: Theatre Royal Haymarket

Dario Fo’s classic farce is revitalised for modern audiences in this wickedly funny new production. When an Anarchist falls to his death from a police station window, the most important question is this – was it an accident? Tom Basden’s adaptation promises wit, wisdom and sharp satire.

A Strange Loop

When: 17 June – 9 Sept

Where: Barbican Theatre

Michael R. Jackson’s spectacular new musical arrives fresh from Broadway this summer for a 12-week season, and it’s got credentials. Winner of Outstanding Musical at the 2020 Drama Desk awards, Best Musical at the 2022 Tony awards and the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, A Strange Loop tells the story of a young, queer, Black writer writing a musical about a young, queer, Black writer, who’s writing a musical about… well, we’re sure you can take it from here.

The Wizard Of Oz

When: 23 Jun – 3 Sept

Where: The London Palladium

The Wiz is back! The stage version of the Oscar-winning film returns to London this summer in a brand-new production from the producer of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. With a cast that includes Jason Manford as the Cowardly Lion, Diversity’s Ashley Banjo as the Tin Man and star of the stage Gary Wilmot as the Wizard, this is going to be a magical summer event.

Crazy For You

When: From 24 June

Where: Gillian Lynne Theatre

Ira & George Gershwin’s 1992 musical returns to the West End in a big way this summer, with a cast of over 30 performers. Follow theatre-mad Bobby Child as he juggles family commitments with dreams of the stage and attempts to win the heart of the girl he loves. The original show won both the Tony and Olivier awards for Best Musical, and with direction and choreography from veteran Susan Stroman, this new production is set to be just as dazzling.

A Little Life

When: 4 Jul – 5 Aug

Where: Savoy Theatre

Hanya Yanagihara’s million-copy bestseller hits the British stage for the first time ever, with James Norton starring as Jude. As his college friendship group grow up and head out into the world, Jude struggles to keep his friends close and starts wrestling with the mysteries of his past. This mesmerising and devastating production will stay with you long after this summer passes.

The Crown Jewels

When: 7 Jul – 16 Sept

Where: Garrick Theatre

The likes of Al Murray, Mel Giedroyc and Carrie Hope Fletcher join this starry cast to tell the story of a wild royal caper. Colonel Blood is planning history’s most ambitious heist – he wants to steal the crown jewels in plain sight. But King Charles II might put up some objection… BAFTA award-winning writer Simon Nye and Olivier award-winning director Sean Fowley are at the helm of this new comedy.

The Spongebob Musical

When: 26 Jul – 27 Aug

Where: Queen Elizabeth Hall

Set to make a splash (sorry) is this colourful tale straight from Bikini Bottom – and Broadway. After a successful run over in the US, Spongebob and friends are heading to Queen Elizabeth Hall for a limited season of adventure, friendship and great music. The score features songs from the likes of The Flaming Lips, Sara Bareilles and Panic! At The Disco, amongst many, many others.

Find more inspiration on the best theatre seats in town, visit out handy West End guide.