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15 shows to see this Halloween

Want a dose of spooky theatre this October?

Clockwise from top left: Woman in Black, Wicked, Frankenstein and Othellomacbeth
© Clockwise from top left: Mark Douet, Matt Crockett, John Wilson and Helen Murray

Happy Halloween theatregoers! We've picked a raft of shows to put the chills down your spine as the dark nights draw in and the carved pumpkins come out.

The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black has become a firm fixture in the West End, delighting and haunting audiences since 1989 at the Fortune Theatre. For the uninitiated, the show sees the audience haunted by a floating, malevolent presence, in what is a bit of a brilliant experience. Plus the show is about to celebrate its 30th birthday! Fortune Theatre, West End


Tea Break Theatre company present something equally spooky with their immersive adaptation, returning to the National Trust site Sutton House, a Tudor house in Homerton. As is to be expected from Tea Break (given last year's production of Dracula), this will be a show that takes you way back in time, among the creaky floorboards and cobwebbed beams of an ageing house. Sutton House, 16 October to 3 November

Clear White Light

Clear White Light

Edgar Allen Poe's chilling play The Fall of the House of Usher is adapted into a modern gothic story by Paul Sirett at Live Theatre. With a pretty stellar cast including Charlie Hardwick and Bryony Corrigan, the show has a series bent by looking at the impact of cuts to NHS funding. Live Threatre, 18 October to 10 November

Witness for the Prosecution

Witness for the Prosecution
© Sheila Burnett

There's been a murder, and now it's up to the audience to work out who the culprit is...Agatha Christie's classic novella-turned-play is a tense thriller based on a grisly death, here set inside the grand site-specific venue of London's County Hall. Audiences sit inside a genuine courtroom, hearing accounts of the death and pleas for the defence, all to determine whether or not the accused is sentenced to hang...London County Hall

A Very Very Very Dark Matter

We've heard very very very dark things about A Very Very Very Dark Matter, so we're very very very excited to see how it turns out when the show officially opens. But using the twisted tales of Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Dickens as its inspiration, Martin McDonagh may make for the perfect Halloween treat. Bridge Theatre, until 6 January 2019

Horror Festival at the Old Red Lion

Old Red Lion

Why have one horror show when you can have a whole festival of them? That's what the Old Red Lion in Islington has been doing yet again this month with their horror festival. Highlights include a zombie diva in Frances Farmer: Zombie Movie Star, a female-led retelling of Frankenstein and horror-fuelled romantic getaway On Your Head Be It. Old Red Lion, until 3 November


It wouldn't be Halloween without a revival of Bram Stoker's ageless tale about that monochrome-dressing bloodsucker and Jack Studio Theatre have provided this year's serving. Ross McGregor's new adaptation is produced by Arrows and Traps, who got in on the Halloween action last year with Frankenstein. The production is said to contain "blood, gore, horror and violence, loud noise, strobe lighting, drug use and scenes of a sexual nature". Jack Studio Theatre, until 27 October

The Exorcism

Ross Sutherland has quite a novel approach to the idea of an exorcism: "The Vatican believes that the best way to understand a haunting is to approach it like a work of art. A haunted house, therefore, is basically a temporary gallery, full of terrible demonic art installations." We can't wait to see what he cooks up in his spooky solo show. Battersea Arts Centre, 30 October to 3 November


Christopher Eccleston in Macbeth
© RSC, Richard Davenport

Just like the three sisters, there are three Macbeths on this list, with the RSC's blood-soaked production by Polly Findlay having just kicked off its run at the London Barbican. Theatre heavyweights Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack play the titular plotting couple, in a show set in the modern day, featuring a slowly ticking clock counting down to their demise. An opportunity to add some star power to a Halloween celebration! Barbican Theatre, until 18 January


Alice Fearns in Wicked
© Matt Crockett

There's only one Wicked witch ruling the roost in the West End, and she's down in the magical land of Oz. With a stellar cast and one of the most iconic soundtracks in recent memory, Wicked would certainly make for a fun Halloween treat. The cast includes Sophie Evans and Alice Fearn (assuming the mantle of the woman in green). Apollo Victoria Theatre

Thriller Live

Thriller Live
© Betty Zapata

OK, it might only have one explicitly scary, spooky song, but we thought we'd include it anyway! It has just announced that it's booking in the West End until September 2019, and Michael Jackson tribute musical bonanza Thriller Live is still an alternative yet exciting choice for a Halloween experience. Lyric Theatre and UK tour

The Mousetrap

The oldest running show in theatre history is still causing shocks and stirs in the West End and features a plot concocted by the master of suspense thriller Agatha Christie. This Halloween may be the perfect reason to give it a punt. St Martin's Theatre

Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera
© Johan Persson

The oldest phantom in musical theatre history is still haunting the residents at Her Majesty's Theatre on Haymarket, and Halloween may be the perfect time to revisit the show – especially now new Phantom Tim Howar has settled into the role. Her Majesty's Theatre


Caroline Faber (Lady Macbeth) and Sandy Grierson (Macbeth) in OthelloMacbeth
© Helen Murray 2018

The second Macbeth on our list is something a bit different over at Lyric Hammersmith. Jude Christian (who also part-masterminds the venue's pantomime each Christmas) has spliced together two of Shakespeare's plays, Macbeth and Othello to create a complex exploration of power and gender in the Bard's texts. Oh, and there'll invariably be a lot of blood involved. Lyric Hammersmith, until 3 November


The UK tour of Macbeth
© Brinkhoff Mogenburg

A third Macbeth, in case you needed more options! The National Theatre's production is currently out on a major UK and Ireland tour, with an end-on staging adapting what was seen in the vast Olivier Theatre. Rufus Norris directs the piece, which stars Michael Nardone and Kirsty Besterman. Norwich Theatre Royal, 30 October to 3 November and touring