One of my courses while studying abroad is an Introduction to Theatre in London. The best part about it? Every Thursday our class attends a show and we see a different production, in a different theatre, in a different part of London.
It has been so great to see such a wide range of theatre and has also been a fantastic way to get out and explore London. Since I have been here I have seen a total of 13, but after seeing such a variety of plays, I have narrowed it down to five absolute must sees while visiting London. (In no particular order)
1) JUNGLE - THE PLAYHOUSE THEATRE
This play has closed, but it’s still worth a mention. After all, rumour has it, it will soon be going on tour and moving to Broadway. If it does, I highly recommend buying your tickets ASAP.
This show follows the lives of those living in a refugee camp in Calais France. The writers of the play had visited this camp, and the show is a depiction of their experiences. The theatre itself has been completely transformed to model the camp itself, giving the audience a fully immersive theatre experience. It is brilliant!
2) WISE CHILDREN - THE OLD VIC THEATRE
To explain the plot would take pages, but I can promise you it is one you won’t want to miss. It follows two twin sisters on their 75th birthday, reminiscing on their wild childhood.
The show is cast race and gender blind, and uses dance to express the outlandish lives of its characters. The show is whimsical, dark, hilarious, and a great way to escape the outside world for a few hours. A definite must see!
3) CHICAGO - THE PHOENIX THEATRE
If I’m being honest, I am definitely biased about this show because I have wanted to see it ever since I was five years old. I would have loved anything they put on that stage, BUT, it really was fantastic!
This (amazing) musical follows a woman in the 1920’s who murders the man she’s having an affair with, and finds herself in jail, ready to do whatever it takes to walk free. It is a show about murder, love, lust, and jazz. What more could you ask for in a musical?
Like they say…it would be criminal to miss it.
4) WHITE TEETH - KILN THEATRE
If you are a fan of Mama Mia and looking for a great laugh, then this is the show for you.
This theatre is small, offering a very intimate experience as you watch the stories of these characters unfold. The plot, similar to Mama Mia, follows a young girl in a coma discovering the truth of her mother’s past.
After finding out that she is pregnant, without knowing who the father is, she falls into a coma and learns that her mother’s past is not too different from her current situation. The show is full of drama, laughter, and great music. It is a great way to spend your night and a show you should definitely see!
5) COMPANY - GIELGUD THEATRE
This show has been around since the 1970’s but was recently re-adapted with a gender swapped cast! The lead character is now a female in her thirties, facing pressures to settle down from her friends, and society.
The show is a more contemporary version of the original production, and brings to light the role of a woman in society, and the challenges of being single…and married.
The music is quite fun, and the show is certain to make you laugh and cry. Along Rosalie Craig, it stars Patti LuPone. You definitely don't want to miss it.