5. Wilde Creatures
Vaudeville Theatre, then UK tour
Though best known for his more satirical work, Oscar Wilde was also an avid writer of children's literature. Three of his tales are the inspiration for Tall Stories' new play Wilde Creatures, which opens at the Vaudeville as part of Classic Spring's Wilde season.
Expect whimsy and ensemble magic as the group come together to retell The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose and The Birthday of the Infanta. After the company's Olivier Award-nominated production of The Gruffalo, this looks set to be a festive experience perfect for the family.
4. Apocalypse Meow
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until 31 December
Meow Meow opened Emma Rice's spell as artistic director at the Globe with her performance as Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream back in early 2016 (remember early 2016?), so it's fitting that she has a spell during Rice's final season at the venue.
A cabaret performance in an antiquated playhouse with festive themes is not something you experience very often, so an exciting prospect for London punters.
Birmingham Hippodrome until 28 January
Beverley Knight (making her panto debut no less), Suzanne Shaw and Danny Mac lead an all-star pantomime at the second city's biggest venue, in what is sure to be a celebration of all-things Brummie mingled with fairytale magic.
Expect a whole bunch of fun and sequins as the company reimagine the classic story of the run-down young woman turned belle of the ball. Though opening later in December, the show also runs right the way through January, so even more time to catch the show before the coach turns back into a pumpkin.
2. The Grinning Man
Trafalgar Studios, booking until 17 February
Tom Morris' production of The Grinning Man was a hit when it opened at the Bristol Old Vic last year, and its West End transfer promises to maintain the surreal whimsy of the original production. With puppetry, an original score and a fantastic turn from lead Louis Maskell, this promises to be a theatrical experience like no other.
Find out more by watching our video in rehearsals with the West End cast, with a sneak peek at two of the show's haunting numbers.
Victoria Palace Theatre
It's been years in the making, we've had to spend a bit longer waiting for it, but Hamilton is ready to cause a hurricane in the West End. Lin-Manuel Miranda's founding fathers hip-hop musical has torn up the theatrical rulebook in the States, and promises to have a similar impact in the UK if the reaction to preview performances is anything to go by.
Jamael Westman, Giles Terera, Rachelle Ann Go and Rachel John lead the cast, which re-opens the newly refurbished Victoria Palace Theatre.
- Vaudeville Theatre
- Birmingham Hippodrome
- Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
- Tall Stories
- Louis Maskell
- Danny Mac
- Wilde Creatures
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