Man and woman walking down steps together

Theatre highlights

Romeo & Juliet, The Painkiller & Nell Gwynn

London’s West End has been inextricably linked to the theatre for hundreds of years. With 40 theatres nearby, there is something for everyone. Here are some new shows coming up over the next few months.

Romeo & Juliet

To mark the quarter-centenary this year of Shakespeare’s death, The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season continues at the Garrick Theatre with a performance of the playwright’s most enduring love story and tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.

The star-studded cast includes Lily James (Juliet) and Richard Madden (Romeo), known to many for their roles in Downtown Abbey and Game of Thrones, as well as veteran Derek Jacobi as Mercutio and Meera Syal as the Nurse.

Romeo and Juliet will play at the Garrick Theatre from 12 May until 13 August.

 Lily James and Richard Madden star in Romeo and Juliet at London Theatre

The Painkiller

The Painkiller is the third production to feature in the year-long Branagh Theatre Company season at the Garrick Theatre. It is a dark and hilarious adaptation of Francis Veberʼs classic French farce of two men – one a killer, the other wanting to die – in two lonely hotel rooms with an adjoining door.

Director Sean Foley’s hilarious adaption has a number of uproarious moments served up by Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon at a furious pace. Reprising the roles that they played to great acclaim at the Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, Branagh and Brydon provide a comic tour de force that is not to be missed. The production opens on 5th March and runs until 30th April.

 Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon star in The Painkiller at Garrick Theatre

Nell Gwynn

Following a sell-out run at Shakespeare’s Globe, playwright Jessica Swale’s wonderfully entertaining comedy, Nell Gwynn, opens at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue on 4th February.

Nell Gwynn lived in the C17th and her life was colourful, outrageous, and as interesting as anything fiction could invent. In this bawdy and playful production, audiences follow her climb up the social ladder from brothel dweller, hawker of oranges, mistress to a king and one of the first actresses to walk the English stage.

Award-winning actress, Gemma Arterton, stars as the cheeky, clever and charming Gwynn in this loveable, funny and hugely entertaining rags-to-riches story.

 Gemma Arterton as Nell Gwynn at the West End
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