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Top new plays to see in 2021

A selection of plays to watch next year!

The Da Vinci Code

We've picked out ten brand-new plays that are sure to be worth a watch when venues get back on their feet. Also see The Comeback when it... comes back! We're sure that a variety of new shows will be unveiled over the coming months as signs of hope begin to emerge – so be sure to sign up for our newsletters to stay in-the-know.


Lolita Chakrabarti and Adrian Lester
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Lolita Chakarabarti has produced some of the best plays of the century (including the all-out smash Life of Pi) so we're excited to see what she's been cooking up with director Blanche McIntyre and lead actor Adrian Lester (who also happens to be her husband) at the Almeida Theatre. 29 January to 27 February 2021.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Aaron Sorkin of The West Wing tackles the biggest courtroom drama of them all with To Kill a Mockingbird – which has just confirmed its new West End run dates at the Gielgud Theatre. Bartlett Sher (of The King and I) directs, with casting to be revealed. Huzzah! Performances begin 27 May 2021

Wonder Boy

Wonder Boy

Wonder Boy centres on 14 year-old Sonny, who is transformed by an encounter with a fictional comic book hero and getting cast in Shakespeare's Hamlet. Ross Willis' debut play Wolfie proved him to be a writer of real empathy and intelligence, so it will be fascinating to see where he and Olivier Award-winning director Sally Cookson take this moving teenage story. Bristol Old Vic 24 April to 15 May 2021. You should also keep an eye out for The Little Mermaid – directed by Olivier Award-winner Miranda Cromwell.

Mugabe, My Dad and Me

Born in Zimbabwe two years after the country gained official independence, Tonderai Munyevu's one-man play depicts the changing fortunes of his country and his family up until Robert Mugabe's eventual resignation after nearly 40 years in power. The intimacy of York Theatre Royal's Studio space should render this a powerful and emotionally charged performance. Dates tbc but set for early spring

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

Dan Brown's bestselling novel is being brought to the stage for the very first time, featuring a creative team led by & Juliet's Luke Sheppard. The globe-trotting tale featuring the descendants of Christ (!) is likely to be a big-budget rollercoaster – definitely worth a watch. If you like the sound of that, be sure to check out the touring production of Looking Good Dead. The Da Vinci Code opens on tour at Churchill Theatre, Bromley on Saturday 3 April 2021

Extinct / The Sun, The Moon and The Stars

We were overjoyed to see Theatre Royal Stratford East prepare to get back in action from February – Dipo Baruwa-Etti's new play The Sun, The Moon and The Stars follows one woman's push for justice, while April de Angelis is exploring the nuances of the climate crisis with Extinct. Season from 3 February 2021

The Band Plays On

Chris Bush
© Attic Theatre Company

Chris Bush returns to Sheffield Theatres after the barnstorming success of Standing at the Sky's Edge to present this new piece, a spiritual successor exploring contemporary themes in the city, told through modern music. Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, from 3 to 13 February

The Seven Pomegranate Seeds

Rose Theatre Kingston has unveiled its first post-pandemic new play, a monologue cycle penned by Colin Teevan. The piece unites the creative team behind My Brilliant Friend (National Theatre transfer, 2019) and Captain Corelli's Mandolin (West End transfer, 2019). 4 to 27 March 2021

A Christmas Carol

Mark Gatiss in A Christmas Carol
(© © Eleanor Lloyd Productions / Nottingham Playhouse)

Mark Gatiss, of Sherlock and Dracula fame, is tackling Dickens' spooky festive tale for a co-produced run at both Nottingham Playhouse and Alexandra Palace. Given Gatiss' previous work, expect spooks galore! Nottingham Playhouse from 29 October to 13 November 2021 and at the Alexandra Palace Theatre from 26 November 2021 to 9 January 2022.

Coventry City of Culture

Though preparations have been interrupted by the pandemic, Coventry's year in the cultural sun is coming and the line-up looks amazing – with companies such as the RSC and Paines Plough already involved, as well as major cross-country show The Walk. Keep eyes peeled for more.