Jennifer Saunders and Grace Molony
Jennifer Saunders and Grace Molony
© Marc Brenner

5. Lady Windermere's Fan

Vaudeville Theatre until 7 April

Dominic Dromgoole's Oscar Wilde season rolls onwards with its second major production, Lady Windermere's Fan. Legendary director and performer Kathy Burke takes the wheel in this romantic farce, with a cast including Samantha Spiro, Kevin Bishop, Joseph Marcell and Grace Molony. Perhaps most excitingly, the production sees the long overdue stage return of Jennifer Saunders as the quickwitted comedic scene-stealer Duchess of Berwick.

Have a first look at photos from the production


Justine Mitchell and Sam Troughton in Beginning
Justine Mitchell and Sam Troughton in Beginning
© Manuel Harlan

4. Beginning

Ambassadors Theatre until 24 March

Beginning got a raft of rave reviews when it opened at the National Theatre last autumn, and the show now moves into the West End, filling the theatre that was formerly occupied by the recently departed Stomp. A romantic two-hander set in the dying hour and a half of a housewarming party, the piece sees a pair of 30-somethings awkwardly developing feelings for one another. Critic Sarah Crompton said the show was "incredibly funny but sometimes so truthful it's almost too painful to watch..." We can't wait to see its return.

Watch our interview with the cast and writer of Beginning


The cast of Black Men Walking
The cast of Black Men Walking
© Tristram Kenton

3. Black Men Walking

Royal Exchange Manchester until 3 February, then UK tour

Black Men Walking marks the first show in Eclipse Theatre's Revolution Mix movement, which aims to promote black British stories and their performance in UK theatres. In a co-production with the Royal Exchange in Manchester, the piece follows a walking group based in Sheffield. The brainchild of rapper Testament, this looks set to be a hot ticket while it tours over the next few months. And London audiences, fret not, the show is coming to the Royal Court in March.

Find out more about the Royal Exchange's plans for 2018


The cast of The Brothers Size
The cast of The Brothers Size
© Marc Brenner

2. The Brothers Size

Young Vic, until 14 February

Tarell Alvin McCraney was the toast of Hollywood when Moonlight (for which he wrote the screenplay) won Best Picture at the Academy Awards last year. He makes a return to the Young Vic with his play The Brothers Size which is now being revived after originally running in 2007. The show touts RSC star Sope Dirisu, returning cast member Anthony Welsh and new graduate Jonathan Ajayi, who we recently picked out as a face to watch in 2018.

Read more about the Young Vic's new artistic director designate


June Watson rehearsing for John
June Watson rehearsing for John
© Stephen Cummiskey

1. John

National Theatre, until 3 March

Annie Baker's John went down a storm when it opened stateside in 2015, and the play now makes its European premiere at the Dorfman Theatre, with James MacDonald directing. If Baker's previous show at the venue, The Flick, is an experience to go by, this is looking likely to be a solid start to the new year for the National's smallest and most versatile space.

Find out more about the National Theatre's 2018 season


Last chance to see: Mischief Movie Night (Arts Theatre), Six (Arts Theatre), Rita, Sue and Bob, Too (Royal Court), Matthew Bourne's Cinderella (Sadlers' Wells), The Twilight Zone (Almeida)