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October Preview: 40 Shows To Treat Yourself To This Month

We’re into October and as the nights get colder, there is always warmth to be found in the theatre with no shortage of great new shows opening all over the UK in October as well as some exciting one night only events. Here are 40 of my top picks for the month:


THESE DEMONS (Theatre 503)



Now – 14th October


This thrilling new comedy-horror is an intimate family-drama, tackling prescient themes of ‘otherness’, antisemitism, sisterhood and Jewish demonology. The cast includes Liv Andrusier who has most recently wowed audiences with her performance in Ride.


Tickets from www.theatre503.com


MEAN GALS (Lyric Theatre)



3rd October


What better way to celebrate Mean Girls Day than a full Drag show in what promises to be a camptastic parody of all your favourite high school movies.



GENTLEMEN (Arcola Theatre)



4th – 28th October


Class struggles combine with the erasure of bisexual identity as two young men struggle to fit in at one of England’s top universities.



BLUE MIST (Royal Court)



5th October – 18th November


Mohamed-Zain Dada’s debut play follows a journalist who sells out his own community in a candid riposte to the portrayal of South Asian Muslim men in the media.



THE EMPRESS (Lyric Hammersmith)



5th – 28th October


Transferring directly from the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, this story spans 13 years over the ‘Golden Era’ of Empire, this epic story reveals how socially diverse the Asian presence was in nineteenth Century Britain.


Tickets from www.lyric.co.uk


FAKING BAD (The Turbine Theatre)



5th – 28th October


This unauthorised tribute to the cult classic TV series Breaking Bad features actor-musicians condensing the epic story into a belly laugh musical comedy.



THE TIME TRAVELLER’S WIFE (Apollo Theatre)



From 7th October


After an acclaimed run in Chester last year, Lauren Gundersons adaptation of Audrey Niffeneggers novel hits the West End. Featuring music by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart, it has a cast including David Hunter, Jonna Woodward, Hiba Elchikhe and Tim Mahendran.



JOCK NIGHT (Seven Dials Playhouse)



9th October – 4th November


David Paisley leads the cast of this raw, hilarious and provocative comedy drama about contemporary gay life, love and relationships.



TREVOR ASHLEY (Lyric Theatre)



9th October


The star of TV show Queen of the Universe hits the West End for one night only with songs and stories from the show as well as his amazing tributes to Shirley Bassey and Liza Minelli.



DEAR ENGLAND (Prince Edward Theatre)



9th October – 13th January 2024


The rave reviewed National Theatre hit from earlier this year transfers to the West End. Written by James Graham, it tells the story of the England men’s football team under Gareth Southgate.



THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE (Noel Coward Theatre)



11th October – 25th November


Returning to the West End after a UK tour, this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s best-selling novel blends magic with memory with a cast including Charlie Brooks and Finty Williams.



THE FLEA (Yard Theatre)



11th October – 18th November


Class, crisis, cover-ups and the crown feature in this retelling of the Cleveland Sreet scandal which shook the country in 1889.



CLYDE’S (Donmar Warehouse)



13th October – 2nd December


The European premiere of Lynn Nottage’s hilarious and hopeful play sees a group of former incarcerated staff in a bustling kitchen strive to create the perfect sandwich as they dream of leaving their past mistakes behind for a better life.



THE INQUIRY (Chichester Festival Theatre Minerva)



13th October – 4th November


The world premiere of a gripping drama about the pernicious collision between politics, justice and ambition, it stars Deborah Findlay, John Hefferman and Malcolm Sinclair.


Tickets from www.cft.org.uk


COWBOIS (Swan Theatre)



14th October – 18th November


The Royal Shakespeare Company bring Charlie Josephine’s play to the stage with Vinnie Heaven and Sophie Melville starring.

Tickets from www.rsc.org.uk


ELEPHANT (Bush Theatre)



14th October – 4th November


Anoushka Lucas’ acclaimed debut play transfer to the Bush Theatre’s main stage in a brand new production, having sold out a run in their studio last year. Part gig, part musical love story, part journey through Empire.



BARRICADE BOYS WEST END PARTY (Adelphi Theatre)



17th October


Craig Mather, Kieran Brown, Scott Garnham and Simon Schofield bring their show home to the West End for one night celebrating the greatest musical theatre songs of all time.



LYONESSE (Harold Pinter Theatre)



17th October – 23rd December


The world premiere of Penelope Skinner’s play stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Lily James and asks who really controls the stories we tell and how we get to tell them.



PRETTY WOMAN (UK Tour)



From 17th October


Amber Davies, Oliver Savile, Ore Oduba and Natalie Paris star in the first UK tour of this big new musical. Huge! Following a sensational West End run, catch it all over the UK and Ireland, opening at Birmingham Alexandra Theatre on 17th October and touring all through 2024.


Full dates and tickets from www.prettywomanthemusical.com


BOY PARTS (Soho Theatre)



18th October – 25th November


Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Eliza Clark, this pitch-black psychological thriller is a sinister exploration of sexuality and gender roles in the 21st Century, presenting a chaotic, funny and threatening female protagonist and exploring the complexities of power and control in the art world.


Tickets from www.sohotheatre.com


TOXIC (Home Manchester)



18th – 28th October


A beautiful and semi-autobiographical show by Nathaniel J Hall, performed by him and Josh-Susan Enright blends storytelling, movement, stunning design, visual projections and an original pumping soundtrack.


Tickets from www.homemcr.org


1984 (Hackney Town Hall)



19th October – 26th November


An immersive production of George Orwell’s Dytsopian classic plays at the Grade II listed building in Hackney, placing the audience in the heart of the action.



MANIC STREET CREATURE (Southwark Playhouse Borough)



19th October – 11th November


A fresh and thrilling take on modern love from Maimuna Memon, love, lust and late nights collide in a musical rollercoaster taking the audience through the euphoria and distress dealing with their own and each other’s mental health.



TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (Hampstead Theatre)



20th October – 25th November


Richard Bean’s uproarious new comedy gets a world premiere. Tackling the prickly problem of dealing with ageing parents who just don’t want to be dealt with, it stars Alun Armstrong and Marlene Sidaway.



TO WONG FOO: THE MUSICAL (Hope Mill Theatre)



21st October – 17th December


The much loved 1995 movie gets a world premiere musical adaptation in Manchester with the original screenplay writer Douglas Carter Beane writing and directing it.



STICK MAN (Leicester Square Theatre)



21st October – 2nd January 2024


The family favourite returns to London for its 12th annual West End season. Based on the book by Julia Donaldson, the stage version is packed full of puppetry, songs, live music and funky moves.



KING LEAR (Wyndham’s Theatre)



21st October – 9th December


Kenneth Branagh stars in this new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic which will move to New York in Autumn 2024.



WEST END MUSICAL CON (ExCel)



21st & 22nd OCTOBER


After debuting last year, the UK’s official musical theatre fan convention returns for a second year with two days full of performances, workshops and opportunities to meet many of your favourite West End performers.



THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME (Lyric Theatre)



22nd October


13 year old anti-bullying campaigner Charlie Kristensen launches his foundation with a sensational evening of performances. Hosted by Jodie Prenger, it will feature performances from top West End stars.



ALADDIN (UK and Ireland Tour)


From 24th October


Disney’s hit Broadway and West End musical kicks off its first ever UK and Ireland tour at Edinburgh Playhouse before touring the country until January 2025.


Full dates and tickets from https://www.aladdinthemusical.co.uk/


THE GOOD ENOUGH MUMS CLUB (UK Tour)



25th October – 2nd December


This poignant and hilarious new musical based on women’s own stories of motherhood premieres at Birmingham Hippodrome before heading to Chester, Norwich, Lincoln, Southampton and Salford.


Dates and tickets from The Good Enough Mums Club


TREASON (UK Tour)



25th October – 25th November


After a West End concert last year, the new musical makes its fully staged debut with a mini tour taking in Edinburgh, Sheffield, London and Dartford. The cast including Nicole Raquel Dennis and Joe McFadden recount the famous Gunpowder plot.



LIZZIE (Southwark Playhouse Elephant)



26th October – 2nd December


After impressing audiences in Manchester, the musical on Lizzie Border heads to London with a cast including Lauren Drew, Maiya Quansah-Breed and Shekinah McFarlane.



SPUTNIK SWEETHEART (Arcola Theatre)



26th October – 25th November


Murakami’s much loved novel is brought to the stage by Tony Award nominee Bryony Lavery and Tony and Olivier Award nominee Melly Still. Partly a story of love and loneliness, partly a detective story, Sputnik Sweetheart is about Sumire, a young Japanese writer who can’t find the words to write, and her friend K’s search for her when she goes missing on a Greek Island.



THE INTERVIEW (Park Theatre)



27th October – 25th November


This powerful new play by Jonathan Maitland gives an insight into the story behind the famous interview between Martin Bashir and Princess Diana in 1995.



BACKSTAIRS BILLY (Duke of York’s Theatre)



27th October – 27th January


Marcelo Dos Santos’ new play looks at a pivotal moment in the 50 year relationship between the Queen Mother and her loyal servant William Tallon. It stars Penelope Wilton and Luke Evans.



STEPHANIE J BLOCK (Cadogan Hall)



29th October


The Tony award winning Broadway sensation heads to London for two concerts. The concert will be full of iconic moments from her career, filled with emotion, honesty and humour.

Tickets from www.fw-live.com


WEST END MUSICAL HALLOWEEN (Lyric Theatre)



29th October


The one night only spooktacular returns for a second year with a ghoulishly good line up including Joanna Ampil, Michael Ahomka-Lindsay, Jacob Fowler and Aimie Atkinson tackling some terrifyingly terrific numbers from the worlds of music and theatre.


BAT BOY (London Palladium)



31st October


The cult classic musical descends on the Palladium for a Halloween concert starring Jordan Luke Gage, Victoria Hamilton-Barritt, Trevor Dion Nicholas and Jodie Steele.


BRENDA’S GOT A BABY (New Diorama Theatre)



31st October – 2nd December


This major new comedy about black womanhood, sisterhood, motherhood and babyhood is from the makers of the acclaimed For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Hue Gets Too Heavy…


Tickets from www.newdiorama.com


Looks like another fantastic month for theatre! What are you most excited to see? Let me know in the comments or on all my socials - @ATDazzles on all of them.


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


See you in the theatre!

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