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The Month in Theatre: Theatre Bee's Top Picks this Winter

As the Bee buzzes through London's theatre scene, it's time to share the most buzz-worthy plays and musicals on the horizon. These picks have caught the Bee's eye, each promising unique experiences, though, as with all theatre, the final applause is reserved until the curtain falls.


Now Playing



William Skinner and company. Photo by Marc Brenner. Sourced from the National Theatre website.
William Skinner and company. Photo by Marc Brenner. Sourced from the National Theatre website.

Pointy hats and broomsticks come alive in "The Witches." This adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved story buzzes with potential for a delightful sensory experience. The Bee eagerly anticipates its magical blend of whimsy and darkness, hoping it captures the essence of Dahl's imaginative world. This musical adaptation captures the whimsical and dark elements of Dahl's world with elaborate costumes, dynamic set design, and an original score. Cheapest tickets: National Theatre's Friday rush gets you £10 tickets.




Curtain Call, The House of Bernarda Alba at National Theatre
Curtain Call, The House of Bernarda Alba at National Theatre

Drama unfolds in "The House of Bernarda Alba." This drama, set against a historical backdrop, delves into the lives of five daughters under the tyrannical rule of matriarch Bernarda Alba. It's an emotionally charged narrative, showcasing the struggle against oppressive family dynamics. The Bee is curious to see how the play navigates complex family dynamics and women's issues, expecting a performance rich in depth and character. A must-watch for those who appreciate serious drama and stories focused on women's issues. Cheapest tickets: National Theatre's Friday rush gets you £10 tickets.




Christina Kirk and Marylouise Burke in Infinite Life at the Atlantic Theater Company. Photo by Ahron R Foster. Sourced from the National Theatre's website
Christina Kirk and Marylouise Burke in Infinite Life at the Atlantic Theater Company. Photo by Ahron R Foster. Sourced from the National Theatre's website

"Infinite Life" emerges as a contemplative gem at the National Theatre. Written by the acclaimed Annie Baker, known for "The Flick" and "The Antipodes," this play is a fascinating exploration of human fragility. It features five women in Northern California, lounging and philosophizing in a setting that's as serene as it is thought-provoking. Cheapest tickets: National Theatre's Friday rush gets you £10 tickets.


A man in a Mongolian costume standing next to a standee promoting the musical The Mongol Khan
Did I mention that there are costumed actors loitering about the bar and lobby areas?

Venture into the Hunnic Empire with "Mongol Khan." Although the Mongolian language with English surtitles poses a challenge (it's a neck workout looking from the action to the text on a rather tall stage), the Bee is intrigued by the vibrancy of this production. Not about Genghis Khan as one might guess, this play offers a peek into a lesser-known era, promising an opulent visual feast with an elaborate, rich set design and gaudy costumes. Cheapest tickets: Official Coliseum site has tickets starting at £19. If you're booking one of the top price-tier tickets, try discount code KHANEVES at checkout for £20 off, more details here.


Wishlist

(Shows for which the Bee doesn't yet know how to get cheap tickets and that it therefore cannot watch unless it pays full price)


Merging the worlds of Sherlock Holmes and "A Christmas Carol," this play is set in Victorian London, and combines mystery with the charm of Christmas, making it ideal for those who enjoy detective stories. Consistently receiving four-star reviews, it's a thought-provoking and visually appealing choice for mystery lovers. The Bee is all abuzz about "A Sherlock Carol," a fusion of detective mystery and festive spirit.


"The Enfield Haunting" promises to send shivers down the spine. Starring Catherine Tate and David Threlfall, the Bee is eager to see how this spine-tingling tale of poltergeists is brought to life on stage, expecting a gripping and perhaps unnerving theatrical experience. A perfect pick for those who love suspense and horror, it promises an immersive experience with its clever use of lighting and sound effects.


Featuring the enchanting voice of Nicole Scherzinger, "Sunset Boulevard" at Savoy Theatre is a glamorous journey into the world of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Its allure lies in the captivating performances and the classic tale it portrays. Ideal for those who seek a musical experience with a touch of Hollywood charm. Cheapest tickets: TodayTix runs a lottery for this show. If you win, you can get great seats for £30!


Coming Soon


Based on Franz Kafka's novel, this upcoming play offers a unique take on the story of Gregor Samsa. It's a compelling choice for fans of Kafka and those interested in transformative storytelling. Set to open in February, it's on the Bee's radar for its promise of a thought-provoking adaptation. Cheapest tickets: Preview tickets on the Lyric's official site are only £10, if you can make it during opening week (2-6 Feb 2023).


Opening in January, this classic musical remains a timeless favourite. A recommendation for those who appreciate the charm and elegance of classic musical theatre. A timeless tale of romance and cultural encounters, "The King and I" is always a regal affair. The Bee looks forward to this classic being retold with fresh energy and elegance, expecting a blend of nostalgic charm and new insights. Cheapest tickets: £20 tickets available in the OLT New Year Sale


Coming to the London Coliseum in February 2024, this opera is known for its humour and vibrant character portrayals. Opera lovers, take note. For others, there are absurd disguises, ridiculous deceptions, disastrously mistaken identities and the closest of shaves - what's not to like?! Cheapest tickets: £10 tickets available in the OLT New Year Sale


 

So, there you have it – a hive of possibilities this winter in London's theatres. The Bee's watchlist is full of potential hits and misses, and only time (and tickets) will tell which ones truly buzz with brilliance. What's on your theatrical radar? Any hidden gems the Bee should buzz about?


Note: National Theatre's Friday Rush sale happens every Friday at 1 pm. More instructions here. Clicking on the show title links on this page will take you to the official show page, which may or may not be the cheapest way to get tickets. For cheap tickets, see the note below each show. If a link is broken, it's likely that the show is no longer running.


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