November, November …shows to remember

Looking around for thirty shows you might want to check out in London this November …

Treason the Musical (Alexandra Palace) – 8-18 Nov

Treason is the new musical drama about the notorious gunpowder plot of 1605, set to completely blow you away with stunning original folk and pop songs, audiences will be engrossed by one of the most intriguing tales in Britain’s history as it’s never been seen before.”

Passing (Park Theatre) – 1-25 Nov

“Desperate to maintain her connection to her heritage, Rachel organises the family’s very first celebration of Diwali –  determined to bring Indian culture into their lives before it’s too late. As the Singh family are pushed to their limits, family lines are drawn, British politeness begins to slip, and they are forced to confront what they are at risk of losing. With music, food, and even board games, this moving, family comedy-drama shines a light on the modern biracial experience.”

The Elephant in the Room (Tabard Theatre) – 8 Nov-2 Dec

“After a vision of his own mortality Ashley Davenport, a wealthy young Englishman seeks to give up everything and embrace a life of poverty and devotion. But not just yet. Checking himself into an expensive retirement home, he is surrounded by a cast of unique characters all with their own dreams and aspirations.”

La Clique (Spiegeltent) – 8 Nov-6 Jan

“Created by David Bates, La Clique was Born at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2004. It has subsequently gained international acclaim. This is the original and trailblazing Spiegeltent cabaret show and has been the torchbearer for nearly 20 years.”

Albion (Questors Theatre) – 3-11 Nov

“Grieving a tragic loss, Audrey, a successful businesswoman, uproots her family and moves to rural Oxfordshire. Her aim, to resurrect its once-famous gardens as a memorial to those who have sacrificed their lives for their country. But at what cost to the living – to her family, her community, and herself?”

Backstairs Billy (West End) – to 27 Jan

“Set in 1979, when strikes are bringing the country to its knees and Britain is about to seismically change under Margaret Thatcher, it is business as usual for the Queen Mother and Billy inside Clarence House. Receptions are in full swing and the champagne is flowing as the two worlds start to collide with dizzying consequences.”

Lizzie the Musical (Southwark Playhouse Elephant) – to 2 Dec

Lizzie The Musical explores the life of Lizzie Borden, who was accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe in the late summer of 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts. The musical delves into her complex psyche and speculates on the motivations she may have had: loss of inheritance, history of sexual abuse, oppression, and madness. Lizzie, along with her older sister Emma, maid Bridget, and neighbour Alice, bring to life the infamous story supported on stage by an all-female band.”

Kin a New Musical (Theatro Technis) – to 5 Nov

“When a controversial cult leader moves into an old ranch in a small town, tensions with the locals reaches boiling point! As the conflict escalates, the shocking depths of their clash are exposed, with a startling revelation: Noah, the mayor’s son, has found himself entangled within the cult’s grip.

Inspired by real life events that took place in 80’s America. Featuring an original new wave, 80s-pop-inspired score.”

Brenda’s Got a Baby (New Diorama) – to 2 Dec

“After an unexpected break-up and beaten down by comparison to her married little sister, Ama embarks on a frenzied journey to become a mother.. Rollercoastering from a Black sperm donor shortage to a racialised healthcare system – and an overbearing family of her own – Ama’s charging head-first into embarrassing conversations, awkward encounters and defiant decisions.”

Tiger (Omnibus Theatre) – 7 Nov-3 Dec

“Struggling to make rent, Alice and Oli advertise for a flatmate and a mysterious stranger called Tiger arrives: they’re the strangest person you could meet, but to Alice, Tiger makes perfect sense. Blurring the lines between comedy and tragedy, the real and the imaginary, this moving new play explores the mysteries of grief: how we befriend it, get lost in it, and find a way to live with it.”

Within Touching Distance (Stephen Lawrence Gallery) – 11 Nov-17 Dec

“Exploring the importance of touch, Within Touching Distance takes one audience member at a time through a journey from childhood to adulthood and old age through the medium of a bedtime routine. Within Touching Distance combines an immersive VR and spatialized binaural audio-world with a live, intimate one-on-one performance, in which a caring choreography of touch is received from the performer and synchronised with the VR experience.”

The Words Are There (Hope Theatre) – 14-25 Nov

“Mick awaits Trish in his seaside bedsit in dreamy Bettystown, Ireland. They’ve agreed to start over again, so it’s party time! Will it be bubbles for a happy ever after or will sparks fly? Life has left Mick speechless, but in his silence lies a story. Amidst childhood falsehoods, Mick sifts through fragmented memories as he struggles to find the words for a very important day.”

Night Shift (Stanley Arts Centre) – 16-25 Nov

“Multi-award-winning theatre company ZOO CO tell the interconnected stories of 9 night workers, pulled together by a terrible event, one night in Croydon.”

The Bolds (Unicorn Theatre) – 11 Nov-31 Dec

“The Bolds are just like you and me. They live in an ordinary house on an ordinary street, and they love to laugh. But there’s one slight difference… they are hyenas!

How long can they keep their beastly secret under their hats? Join Mr and Mrs Bold and their twins Betty and Bobby as they navigate work, school and friends whilst trying to keep up their disguise.

Combining live music and songs by Julian Clary and Simon Wallace, The Bolds will have you laughing like a bunch of, well, hyenas, in a show which revels in the joy of being anything but ordinary.”

Cinderella (Brixton House) – 23 Nov-31 Dec

“Welcome to Brixton Lane! Forget the glass slipper or the pumpkin carriage this Christmas; join Sindi-Ella in this reimagined tale of Cinderella full of rap, poetry, vegetables, and vibes you can dance to!”

Little Gerda and the Queen of the Snow (Wilton’s Music Hall) – 17-18 Nov

“Adapted from the original classic Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, La Petite Gerda – Little Gerda and the Queen of the Snow is one girl’s quest to save her best friend, Kay, from the clutches of the Snow Queen. On Gerda’s epic journey, she meets a real princess, is attacked by robbers, rides on the back of a talking reindeer and a singing crow and discovers a courage she never knew she had. In a new English version, Footsbarn Theatre brings to life this children’s classic tale with its trademark style of masks, puppetry, music – and mayhem!”

Billie the Kid (West End) – 13, 20 & 27 Nov

“Seventeen-year-old Billie Belle is a girl used to having the odds stacked against her. Born in a Bible Belt town to a delinquent mother, Billie spent her childhood saving discount-store coupons and working night shifts to keep the lights on in her grandma’s tiny trailer. Through it all, Billie has had one person by her side: her childhood sweetheart, Brody Benson. Brody’s a redneck with a heart of gold and they have spent years planning their future together, all pinned on Billie’s hopes for a full-ride scholarship to Charleston City College. But their plans are thrown into chaos when Billie discovers Brody has been trading dirty DMs with David Francis – the school queer punk rocker.”

Semi-staged production of a new British musical.

Mates in Chelsea (Royal Court) – 3 Nov-16 Dec

“Things aren’t looking good for Theodore “Tug” Bungay. His mother, Lady Agrippina, has a plan to cut off his funds. His fed-up fiancée wants to drag him up the aisle. An oligarch is eyeing up his beloved Northumberland castle. Is Tug’s dissolute life about to change completely? Or will he get to carry on doing exactly as he pleases without ever facing any consequences?”

Snow Queen (Polka Theatre) – 11-21 Nov

“Gerda is on the magical quest of a lifetime. Her best friend Kai has disappeared with the mysterious Snow Queen, and if Gerda doesn’t rescue him soon, he’ll be trapped in an endless winter forever. Come on an unforgettable and thrilling adventure where the strength of friendship is tested to its limits, and nothing is quite what it seems in the fantastical, frosty world of The Snow Queen.”

My Plan for Tomorrow (Pen Theatre) – 1-4 Nov

“In equal parts wincing as it is hilarious, My Plan For Tomorrow is an exhibition of unsound ambition and unbridled narcissism. With their novel form of interactive theatre, spare the rod invites you to a strange world of performance and spectatorship.

What exactly happens to our hopes and dreams? Maybe subsumed into apathy, eaten by addiction, twisted into half-scribbled lines. Perhaps they come true in letter and name only, leaving a hollowness unfilled. Either way, it could be a laugh to watch it all unfold.”

A Sherlock Carol (Marylebone Theatre) – 24 Nov-7 Jan

“Three Christmases since the Reichenbach Falls, Sherlock Holmes has little appetite for mince pies or for solving crime. Wandering through Victorian London, he meets a grown-up and not-so-Tiny Tim Cratchit who implores him to investigate the mysterious death of his reformed benefactor, one Ebenezer Scrooge.

A Christmas Carol (Old Vic) – 11 Nov-6 Jan

A Christmas Carol  fills the auditorium to the brim with mince pies, music and merriment. A unique staging immerses the audience in London’s longest running adaptation of this beloved festive favourite.”

Venom (Golden Goose Theatre) – 14-18 Nov

“Medusa used to be a star. From girlhood stage and screen appearances, she grew up to write the ultimate break-up album. She has been castigated, diminished and demonised for it ever since. Percy wants to be a hero. But abandoned by his girlfriend, his life turns inwards in reality and outwards to an internet community ready to encourage his rage into hatred and violent anger.

Venom brings them together in the familiar shape of the Medusa myth but turns the narrative on its head – questioning the monstrousness of the Gorgon and how heroic an act her murder truly is.”

One Whole Night (White Bear Theatre) – 21 Nov-2 Dec

“Marisa is spiralling fast: she’s furious and humiliated after being dumped for a younger actress. Now she’s having panic attacks and contemplating drinking herself to a dramatic end. When the doctor, Victor, arrives, he pulls Marisa up from the depths of despair, with a calming nature and good humour. Despite him being in his own complicated relationship, Marisa soon becomes convinced the kind doctor will be her saviour in more ways than one.”

The Enfield Poltergeist (Canal Cafe Theatre, part of Tsitsit Fringe) – 13-15 Nov

“After the tragic death of his daughter, Maurice Grosse joins the Society for Psychical Research in London. But while investigating the Enfield Poltergeist in 1977, he is haunted by coincidences surrounding paranormal activity that appears to be centred around one particular girl. Based on the true events of the infamous Enfield Poltergeist case, this is a journey of redemption, and the chance to lay old ghosts to rest.”

Havisham (Upstairs at the Gatehouse) – 16-19 Nov

“1825. A young woman, arrives in London. She is full of hope and ready to embrace a fresh start. However, she soon finds herself as ‘the leading lady in drama she can’t comprehend.’ The gaslighting is subtle, the manipulation slick. Can Miss Havisham discern her fate? Or is she destined to relive the devastation of her trauma?”

Knocking on the Wall (Finborough Theatre) – to 25 Nov

“Three women on the edge of society; three chance encounters; three tales of isolation, reconciliation and hope from Ena Lamont Stewart, one of Scotland’s greatest playwrights.”

Beyond Ourselves (Union Theatre) – 7-12 Nov

Beyond Ourselves is a new play created for the Ardent8 Ensemble and written by Andrew Muir which aims a spotlight on the current state of our creative industry for those young graduates wishing to make a career out of it. The obstacles they face and the drive and determination to overcome them. A dream turned sour and then turned sweet again with the help of a song, a prop and a touch of rouge, this story aims to ignite the flame that is so often blown out.”

Odyssey: a Heroic Pantomime (Jermyn Street Theatre) – 23 Nov-31 Dec

“After his monumental victory at the Trojan War, Odysseus begins the epic journey home to Ithaca and his wife, Penelope. But Poseidon has other plans… So begins this madcap retelling of the greatest story ever told. Join a host of fantastical characters on a mythical, musical (and downright ridiculous) journey as they battle through sirens and a cyclops. Prepare yourself for a boatload of riotous humour – with apologies to Homer!”

Newbie (The Space, part of Good COP, Bad COP28 Festival) – 7-18 Nov

“It’s Jackson’s first day as a drone pilot, protecting the sparse farmland of Kent, when he loses his entire unit over France. Aided by his irritated colleagues, Air Traffic Control, and an Eagle, he sets out on a search mission that could change the landscape forever. He should be a hero! But not everyone wants him to succeed. Newbie is a fast-paced climate change comedy, that sets environmental challenges against cooperation and hope.”

What do you think?

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