The fall season is heating up in London, with November highlights that include a three-time Tony winner testing his classical chops, two plays better known as films, Sondheim in concert and much more. Read on to find out what's generating excitement on and off the West End in the month ahead.
Blow Winds: Shakespeare’s maddest but mightiest monarch lives anew when Broadway titan Frank Langella heads up director Angus Jackson’s staging of King Lear, opening November 8 at the Chichester Festival Theatre south of London. (New York audiences can see Langella’s performance at BAM’s Harvey Theatre in January.)
ALSO: A testosterone-charged cast headed by Harry Potter alum Rupert Grint, Ben Whishaw and Downton Abbey favorite Brendan Coyle star in a revival of Jez Butterworth’s Mojo at the Harold Pinter Theatre; the BBC Concert Orchestra pays tribute to Stephen Sondheim on November 10 with a concert starring Kim Criswell, Maria Friedman and Laura Michelle Kelly.
Legal Eagles: Reginald Rose’s trial drama Twelve Angry Men resurfaces in a star-laden West End revival that opens November 11 at the Garrick Theatre. Martin Shaw, Jeff Fahey, and Nick Moran head the cast, though attention must be paid to company member Robert Vaughn—The Man From U.N.C.L.E. himself—who turns 81 this month.
ALSO: Critic-turned-playwright Carl Miller’s adaptation of Emil and the Detectives starts performances at the National Theatre’s Olivier auditorium on November 16; Broadway composer Andrew Lippa (Big Fish, The Wild Party) appears in concert at the St. James Theatre on November 17, the same night the Evening Standard hands out its annual theater awards.
On Track: Before Strangers on a Train became a 1951 Hitchcock thriller, it was a novel by Patricia Highsmith—which has spawned a new play by TV writer Craig Warner. Boardwalk Empire star Jack Huston and Laurence Fox play Highsmith’s would-be murderers alongside Imogen Stubbs and Christian McKay. American director Robert Allen Ackerman helms a production set to open on November 19 at the Gielgud Theatre.
ALSO: Sarah Ruhl’s 2010 Tony-nominated In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) opens on November 21 at the St. James Theatre, starring Natalie Casey and Jason Hughes; last chance (through November 23) to see Richard Eyre’s justly acclaimed Almeida Theatre production of Ibsen’s Ghosts, adapted by the director and starring Lesley Manville and Jack Lowden.
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After Midnight: We’re talking not the new Broadway musical, but a rare sighting of Georg Kaiser’s 1912 German Expressionist classic From Morning To Midnight, which opens November 26 at the National Theatre’s Lyttelton auditorium. Dennis Kelly, who won this year’s Tony for his Matilda book, pens a new version; Tony nominee Adam Godley (Anything Goes) heads the cast of a play set during the course of a single crazy, defining day.
ALSO: R C Sherriff, whose World War I masterpiece Journey’s End won the 2007 Best Revival Tony, gets an off-West End production of his 1953 drama The White Carnation beginning November 26 at the Finborough Theatre, starring Aden Gillett and Benjamin Whitrow; James Macdonald’s acclaimed revival of Arnold Wesker’s 1959 Roots closes November 30 at the Donmar Warehouse.