Help with London theatre NEXT WEEK!
April 7, 2016 8:17 AM   Subscribe

I've procrastinated, and am just now getting to look into shows to take a theatre-mad friend to who is visiting London NEXT WEEK. Help?

This friend has seen most of the major West End shows. Nothing too experimental. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at the National Theatre would be perfect, but is sold out. Also enjoys the ballet (but mostly the traditional ones) -- but Giselle also looks to be sold out. I've tried the usual Time Out, etc. but am not turning up anything interesting. I KNOW there must be something on next week that would be good, esp. at a smaller theater, perhaps, but I'm stuck and not sure where to look.

So TLDR: Does anyone have any ideas for great shows in London next week to take a friend to who has seen most of the major West End shows already? Opera or ballet suggestions also welcome!
posted by EtTuHealy to Travel & Transportation around London, England (8 answers total)
You can look at most of the fringe stuff that's playing on LondonTheatre - there are quite a few interesting-looking things on but nothing I can personally recommend (because I haven't seen any of them).
posted by theseldomseenkid at 8:29 AM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

Assuming you want something fairly traditional ballet and opera-wise, A Winter's Tale is lovely (saw it last year, same production), and Lucia di Lammermoor should hopefully be good (we're going next week). Both have tickets available.

If you want something more contemporary and low-key, this looks interesting. Sadlers Wells would be the other place to check.
posted by tinkletown at 8:49 AM on April 7, 2016

Depending on quite how long they're staying for, the English National Ballet at Sadlers Wells on Friday or Saturday afternoon? - the evenings are sold out but thought you might have time, and I'm not sure how highly Sadlers Wells ranks in listings so you might have missed this one...
posted by DancingYear at 8:51 AM on April 7, 2016

My tastes are more new writing/fringey than it sounds like hers are, but then if she's seen most of what's in the West End, that's what you're probably going to be looking for anyway. So, FWIW, the things that are getting the biggest buzz at the moment*:

People, Places and Things at the Wyndhams has to be top of the list. I've not seen or heard a single person who didn't think Denise Gough's performance wasn't one of the best they'd ever seen. It's new writing, and about addiction/recovery, so may or may not be up your friend's street. Also, she's just won an Olivier Award, so if it wasn't already sold out for this weekend it probably is now. Worth looking out for day tickets/last minute booths though.

X at the Royal Court has had a lot of buzz about it - the press night was only last night and I've not caught up with the reviews yet, but the tweets I've seen have all been really positive.

Right Now at the Bush seems to have been causing some interest, though I don't know how mainstream it is, I think there's a bit of weird unexplainedness to it all.

If she's seen everything in the West End, she's probably seen Curious Incident at the Gielgud but if she hasn't, that's your answer right there.

Other fringey theatres that might be worth a look - Red Lion in Islington, Arcola in Dalston, Theatre N16 in Balham, Orange Tree in Richmond. All doing interesting stuff generally at the moment but don't know what they've got on just now.

*Sadly I've not seen most of these myself as I don't live in London, but keep an obsessive watch on London theatre Twitter so that I can make sure to see the best shows possible during my crazy theatre-cramming weekends every two or three months.
posted by penguin pie at 9:39 AM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

TKTS Leister Square will have same-day shows at a discount. When I was younger and broker, my sister and I bought our theater tickets there. Saw some great shows.

This is a great place to find weird little options as well as bargains on big shows at the last minute.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:17 PM on April 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

(Right Now at the Bush is sold out in case that one looked interesting to you.)
posted by theseldomseenkid at 1:51 PM on April 7, 2016

Day tickets. The website is a pretty good resource for theatre info in London too.
posted by kjs4 at 4:52 PM on April 7, 2016

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