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Top plays to see in 2021

We are keeping every finger crossed for these shows going ahead!

Samuel Blenkin and Marli Siu in the National's production
© Manuel Harlan

With the vaccine roll-out continuing apace, it's basically a question of "when" rather than "if" shows return. So here are some theatre gems to look forward to when that happens.

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 Dates tbc. You should also keep an eye out for The Little Mermaid – directed by Olivier Award-winner Miranda Cromwell.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Aaron Sorkin, who adapts the novel for the stage
(© TheaterMania)

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! Gielgud Theatre

The Band Plays On

Chris Bush
© Attic Theatre Company

A new play from Chris Bush will be streamed from the Sheffield Theatres stage! An absolute treat, given the calibre of Bush's previous work. Dates to be confirmed.


David Tennant
© Georgia Tennant

David Tennant will lead the cast of this charged play, interrogating the ways in which ideals and history can collide with bloody consequences. Likely to be one of the highlights of the year. Harold Pinter Theatre, dates tbc.

The Sun, The Moon and The Stars / Extinct

Theatre Royal Stratford East
© Richard Davenport

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. Dates to be confirmed.

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. Touring across 2021

Looking Good Dead

Adam Woodyatt

EastEnders star Adam Woodyatt will be appearing in this touring thriller, which is based on the best-seller novel by Peter James. Part of the "Roy Grace" series, this is one tailor-made for the suspense fans eager for a stage outing. Touring across 2021.

Life of Pi

The company of The Life of Pi
© Johan Persson

Set to open in the autumn, the five-star version of the iconic novel dazzled Sheffield audiences and won a WhatsOnStage Award last spring. So it comes with the highest credentials possible! Wyndham's Theatre.


The Leopoldstadt cast
© Marc Brenner

It's not often that theatregoers get another opportunity to watch a new play's original run after it wins the Olivier Award for Best New Play – but Tom Stoppard's historical epic is set to return to the Wyndham's Theatre in the West End. Put this on your must-see list! Wyndham's Theatre.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Samuel Blenkin and Marli Siu in the National's production
© Manuel Harlan

The Neil Gaiman novel will have an autumn 2021 run after its sell-out initial production at the National Theatre. Having seen it with our own eyes, this is truly magisterial stuff – as whimsical and as fantastical as theatre can be. Duke of York Theatre, from 26 October 2021