With Christmas just round the corner and this weekend set to be the busiest shopping day of the year, you can beat the crowds and gift the joy of theatre to those you love this Christmas, there really is a show for everyone. So swap those socks for Shaw, the scarf for High Society and for the boys who never grow up there’s J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.
Here’s my round up of the top tickets to snap up ready for an exciting 2015.
1. The Ruling Class, Trafalgar Studios – 14th January to 11th April
After the brilliant Richard III, Jamie Lloyd returns to Trafalgar Studios to direct Peter Barnes’ The Ruling Class starring James McAvoy as Jack. Jack is a paranoid schizophrenic with a Messiah complex and after his father dies in a curious accident, he inherits the title of Earl. Unaccustomed to his new role, he finds himself at the centre of a family power struggle as they attempt to uphold their families reputation.
The Ruling Class tickets on sale now!
2. Taken At Midnight, Theatre Royal Haymarket – 15th January to 14th March
Following a sell-out run at the Chichester Festival, Penelope Wilton (Mrs Crawley for Downton lovers) reprises her role in Mark Hayhurst’s gripping wartime story. She plays Irmgard, the mother of celebrated lawyer Hans Litten who puts Hitler on the witness stand in 1930s Germany with devastating consequences.
Taken At Midnight tickets on sale now.
3. Closer, The Donmar Warehouse – 12th Feb to 4th April
Patrick Marber’s classic drama set in London is to be revived for the Donmar Warehouse and directed by David Leveaux. It centres around 2 couples whose relationships become entangled, Alice- a young American stripper, Dan - a writer, Larry - a doctor and Anna - a photographer. Their lives collide and change in an instant. Leveaux’s production sees a stellar cast from Rufus Sewell, Nancy Carroll, Oliver Chris, Rachel Redford.
Tickets not yet on sale.
4. Man and Superman, The National Theatre – 17th February to 17th May
Ralph Fiennes takes on the role of Jack Turner in Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman. This romantic comedy come fairytale come philosophical debate asks the fundamental questions about how we live, in Simon Goodwin’s reinvention of this exhilarating, witty classic. Cast includes Ralph Fiennes, Elliot Barnes-Worrell, Tim McMullan, Indira Varma.
Tickets on sale now.
5. Sweeney Todd, London Coliseum, English National Opera – 30th March to 12th April
Stephen Sondheim’s infamous musical needs little introduction, the story of the demon barber of Fleet Street, cutting throats above Mrs Lovett’s failing pie shop. Following critically-acclaimed performances at New York’s Lincoln Center earlier this year, Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel reprise their roles for what I’m sure will be a fantastic production.
Sweeney Todd tickets on sale now
6. The Audience, Apollo Theatre – 21st April to 25th July
If you missed Helen Mirren in Peter Morgan’s The Audience, now is your chance to catch the sensational Kristin Scott Thomas. Kristin Scott Thomas has been INCREDIBLE in Electra, so don't miss your chance to see her in this critically acclaimed play as she stars in the role of The Queen. Stephen Daldry directs this new play that was a sell-out at the Gielgud last year, it imagines what might have been said in private conversations between the monarch and her Prime Ministers at Buckingham Palace and perhaps we see a hidden side to the Queen that we can only envisage.
The Audience tickets on sale now
7. High Society, The Old Vic – 30th April to 22nd August
..And what swell party it will be. Maria Friedman directs Cole Porter’s musical romp about a Long Island socialite planning an extravagant summer wedding when her ex-husband surfaces and tries to get her back. When a tabloid reporter shows up to cover the wedding, he also takes a fancy to the soon bride-to-be but who will she choose?
Tickets go on sale 4th December
8. Peter Pan, Open Air Theatre – 15th May – 14th June
J. M. Barrie’s wonderful story of Neverland is to be reimagined in the surroundings of Regents Park. Directed by Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel, Peter Pan opens the season with a darkly comic tale of dreams, adventure and mischief, and yet in an ever changing world and without a mother’s love, what place is there for the boy who wouldn’t grow up?
Cast - TBC
Tickets go on sale 9th December
9. Hamlet, Barbican – 5th August to 31st October
Sonia Friedman productions presents Shakepeare’s tragedy Hamlet, directed by Lyndsey Turner. The big pull here is no doubt the handsome Benedict Cumberbatch as tickets sold out in minutes, but don’t let that stop you, 100 tickets will be available for each performance on the day. More details available in the New Year.
10. Gypsy – TBC
Jonathan Kent reunited with Imelda Staunton at the Chichester Festival for the most truly fabulous show of the year. Everyone is now eagerly anticipating the West End transfer of this music-tastic, heart-warming, big brassy band spectacular. Mamma Rose will stop at nothing to get her daughters on the Vaudeville circuit in American, her big ambition and determination verges on obsession and almost pushes away all who are close to her.
This is definitely one to watch out for, I promise you won’t regret it.