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April Preview: Top 40 Shows To Catch This Month




It’s no April fool that we are now a whole quarter of the way through to 2024. Quarter 2 kicks off with some more exciting shows opening in the West End and all over the UK not to mention some special one night only events. Here are 40 of this month’s theatre highlights:

 

PLAYER KINGS (Noel Coward Theatre)

 


1st April – 22nd June

 

Shakespeare’s Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 is adapted by Robert Icke, featuring Ian McKellen as Falstaff gets its West End run after previews in Manchester and WImbledon last month.

 

 

LIFE WITH OSCAR (Arcola Theatre)



2nd – 20th April

 

Filmmaker and actor Nick Cohen’s hit Edinburgh show is an autobiographical tragi-comedy odyssey with Nick playing 31 different characters in a timely reminder about the price that can be paid in the pursuit of success including addiction and mental health.

 

 

CASSIE AND THE LIGHTS (Southwark Playhouse Borough)



3rd – 20th April

 

Following critically acclaimed runs in New York and Edinburgh, this enchanting play features live music and is based on real-life events and interviews with children in care.

 

 

TWO STRANGERS (CARRY A CAKE ACROSS NEW YORK) (Criterion Theatre)



4th April – 14th July

 

Following an acclaimed run at Kiln Theatre last year, Sam Tutty and Dujonna Gift return in the West End transfer of this heartwarming new British musical.

 

 

THE COMEUPPANCE (Almeida Theatre)



6th April – 18th May


The UK premiere of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ play sees a group of friends gather hours before their high school reunion but scars from their school days return after 20 years

 

Tickets from www.almeida.co.uk

 

BARE: IN CONCERT (London Palladium)



7th April

 

The iconic coming-of-age musical comes to the Palladium in an unmissable one-night-concert with a cast led by Jordan Luke Gage, Laurie Kynaston, Cassidy Janson and Frances Mayli McCann.

 

 

YOUR LIE IN APRIL (Theatre Royal Drury Lane)



8th & 9th April

 

The European premiere of the manga stage musical features music by Frank Wildhorn and has a cast including Joanna Ampil and Dean John-Wilson.

 

 

ARTIFICIALLY YOURS (Riverside Studios)

 


9th – 21st April

 

Leslie Ash and Tyger Drew-Honey star in the world premiere of this gripping dark-comedy that explores the hilarious and disturbing consequences of our society’s increasing trust in Artificial Intelligence.

 

 

WITH ALL OUR HEARTS (Adelphi Theatre)

 


9th April


An exciting West End Gala that will celebrate over 75 years of the NHS, it features Aimie Atkinson, Jo Foster, Marisha Wallace, Tom Francis and Kerry Ellis.

 

 

LONDON TIDE (Lyttlelton Theatre)

 


10th April – 22nd June

 

Ben Power’s adaptation of Dickens Our Mutual Friend features original songs by PJ Harvey and stars Brandon Grace, Scott Karim and Bella Maclean.

 

 

USHERS: THE FRONT OF HOUSE MUSICAL (The Other Palace)



10th April – 19th May

 

The 10th year anniversary production has a cast including Luke Bayer and Cleve September. Set in a West End theatre, it follows a working shift in the lives of the front of house staff.

 

 

THE SYNDICATE (UK Tour)

 


11th April – 20th July

 

Gaynor Faye and Olive Anthony star in the world premiere stage adaptation of Kay Mellor’s well-loved TV drama. The tour kicks off in Richmond before touring the UK for 14 weeks.

 

Dates and tickets from www.atgtickets.com

 

CALENDAR GIRLS (The Mill at Sonning)

 


11th April – 1st June

 

The true story of 11 WI members who posed nude for a calendar, this play heads to the gorgeous venue just outside of London with a cast including Debbie Arnold and Stevem Pinder.

 

 

LOVE’S LABOURS LOST (The Swan)



11th April – 18th May

 

Luke Thompson makes his RSC debut in Emily Burns’ contemporary staging of Shakespeare’s classic marking the first production programmed by new co-artistic directors Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey.

 

Tickets from www.rsc.org.uk

 

MACHINAL (Old Vic)



11th April – 1st June

 

The London premiere of the critically acclaimed play by Sophie Treadwell is based on the true story of Ruth Snyder and stars Rosie Sheehy.

 

 

THE BALLAD OF HATTIE & JAMES (Kiln Theatre)

 


11th April – 18th May

 

The world premiere of Samuel Adamson’s play is an epic, life-spanning tale of friendship, music and the moments that change you forever.

 

Tickets from www.kilntheatre.com

 

SOPHIE’S SURPRISE 29 (Underbelly Boulevard)



From 11th April

 

Following a smash hit debut at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the thrill-seeking party transfers to London. Attend the craziest surprise party where the guests are some of the UK’s most inspiring and dynamic performers in the international circus circuit.

 

 

GREASE (UK & Ireland Tour)



12th April – 16th November

 

After two successful seasons in the West End, Grease is hitting the road with a cast led by Marley Fenton and Hope Dawe. The tour kicks off in Bronley before heading to Dublin this month.

 

Dates and tickets at www.greasemusical.co.uk

 

THE CORD (Bush Theatre)



12th April – 25th May

 

An intensely frank and relatable insight into the challenges of being a parent and a child, no matter how old you are.

 

 

F**KING MEN (Waterloo East Theatre)



13th April – 26th May

 

The hit play by Tony award-winning JoeDiPietro returns to London for a final 6 week season in this fascinating, funny and provocative story of sex, love and connection.

 

 

THE OLIVIER AWARDS (Royal Albert Hall)



14th April

 

The highlight in the theatre calendar takes place in a particularly impressive and competitive year for theatre. If you haven’t got tickets to be there in person, highlights will be shown on ITV1 that evening.

 

COOL RIDER (London Palladium)



14th April

 

The 10th anniversary concert production of the cult musical sequel which is a loving, unofficial parody and tribute to Grease 2 stars Aaron Sidwell, Ashleigh Gray, Kitty Scott-Claus and Grease 2 star Maxwell Caulfield.

 

Tickets from www.lwtheatres.com 

 

JONATHAN PIE: HEROES & VILLAINS (Duke of York’s Theatre)

 


16th – 27th April

 

Tour-de-force motor mouth news reporter Jonathan Pie comes to the West End for a two week run as he takes the stage for weapons grade takedowns of the people in charge and the state of the nation.

 

Tickets from www.atgtickes.com

 

CHEEKY LITTLE BROWN (Theatre Royal Stratford East)



16th – 20th April


The London premiere of this profound, surreal and comic exploration of friendship, queer love and heartbreak with original music,

 

 

DIANA: THE UNTOLD AND UNTRUE STORY (King’s Head Theatre)



17th April – 5th May


Awkward Productions cult favourite tribute to Princess Diana returns to London for a limited season. Get ready for the most absurd but hilarious show you will see this year (unless you’re seeing their Gwyneth show)

 

 

AGATHE (Playground Theatre)

 


17th April – 4th May


A new play exploring the true story of the extraordinary woman who became Rwanda’s head of state for less than a day

 

 

1884 (Shoreditch Town Hall)



17th – 27th April

 

An immersive, anti-colonoal playable theatre show inspired by the legacy of the 1884 Berlin Conference has been co-created by artists, historians and activists.

 

 

WHY I STUCK A FLARE UP MY ARSE FOR ENGLAND (Southwark Playhouse Borough)



17th April – 4th May

 

A blisteringly funny new play that comes to London directly from a sell-out run at Edinburgh festival. Written and performed by Alex Hill, it asks what it means to belong to a club that you live for.

 

 

42 BALLOONS (The Lowry)

 


18th April – 19th May

 

The uplifting new musical by Jack Godfrey flies into the Lowry for its fully staged premiere. Based on  the improbable true story of Larry who flew over Los Angeles using only a lawn chair and 42 balloons, it stars Charlie McCullagh and Evelyn Hoskins.

 

Tickets from www.42balloons.com

 

THE BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA (Swan Theatre)

 


18th April – 1st June

 

The world premiere of Hanif Kureishi’s debut novel, adapted by Emma Rice, is a messy, joyful and angry love letter to family, theatre and music.

 

Tickets from www.rsc.org.uk

 

THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL (Chichester Festival Theatre)

 


19th April – 11th May

 

A tale of treachery set in Henry VIII’s court and based pm Philippa Gregory’s best-selling novel, this is a racy and riveting drama of events that changed the course of English history.

 

Tickets from www.cft.org.uk

 

THIS IS MEMORIAL DEVICE (Riverside Studios)



23rd April – 11th May

 

Adapted from David Keenan’s cult novel about the greatest band to never exist. The Fringe-First winning show is an ode to life, youth and a love letter to those bands that made us feel alive.

 

 

BLOWING WHISTLES (Turbine Theatre)

 


25th April – 25th May

 

A searingly topical drama about love, sex and gay pride, this is a blisteringly funny and honest account of a modern gay lifestyle.

 

 

LAUGHING BOY (Jermyn Street Theatre)



25th April – 25th May

 

Janie Dee, Forbes Masson and Alfie Friedman star in the world premiere of this true story of an 18 year old autistic boy who dies an entirely preventable death in NHS care, beginning an extraordinary campaign demanding the truth and uncovering a scandal of neglect and indifference.

 

 

THE CHERRY ORCHARD (Donmar Warehouse)



 

26th April – 22nd June

 

Benedict Andrews adapts and directs Chekhov’s classic in a new version starring Nina Hoss and Adeel Akhtar.

 

 

PIPPIN 50TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT (Theatre Royal Drury Lane)



29th & 30th April

 

Stephen Schwartz’s classic celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special concert starring Jac Yarrow as Pippin alongside Alex Newell, Patricia Hodge, Lucie Jones, Cedric Neal and Zizi Strallen.

 

 

EUROVISION: YOUR DECISION (King’s Head Theatre)



29th April – 11th May

 

The amazingly hilarious interactive Eurovision favourite is back for a fourth year running in this big, bold and massively camp fun night out where you get to vote for your favourite act.

 

 

SPIRITED AWAY (London Coliseum)



30th April – 24th August

 

The European premiere of the stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s Oscar-winning classic features the original Japanese cast returning to bring us more magic on stage

 


CHRISHELL STAUSE: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL (London Palladium)



30th April


The Selling Sunset stars takes to the iconic Palladium to tell her inspirational story for one-night-only.


 

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (UK Tour



30th April – 20th October

 

The most fantasmagorical musical of all time returns for a brand new UK tour starring Adam Garcia as Caractacus Potts, Liam Fox as Grandpa Potts and Ellie Nunn as Truly Scrumptious. The tour kicks off at the Mayflower in Southampton.

 

Dates and tickets at www.chittyontour.com

 

 What are you most excited to see? Let me know in the comments or on all my socials - @ATDazzles on all of them, and look out for reviews of many of them on the website over the next month.


To have your show included in the May 2024 preview or any other monthly post, send me an email with details of your show and I’ll include as many as possible.


See you in the theatre!

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