June 7, 2023

Hot summer theater is among the best of London’s attractions

Summer in London is perfect for outdoor performances of Shakespeare at the Globe or Regent’s Park Open-Air Theater.
The summer theater season in London is heating up – many favorites are returning to the city’s largest stages, while lesser-known works are preparing to debut at local theaters. In addition, many performances will be aided by some first-class star power, including appearances by Kathleen Turner, Kristin Davis, and Angela Lansbery.

While large-scale productions of popular shows such as Les Miserables are always popular, the following represents a collection of smaller-scale plays to suit a variety of interests.

Bakersfield Mist: Based on a true story, an out-of-work bartender buys a painting from a thrift store, and is later convinced that it is a Jackson Pollock worth millions. Starring Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid, Bakersfield Mist will play at the Duchess Theatre from now until August 30.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: For an offbeat experience, the Reduced Shakespeare Company is performing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – in just 97 minutes. The show will hit the Orchard Theatre June 26.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime: Adapted from Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel, this play follows the efforts of autistic teenager Christopher Boone as he investigates the murder of his neighbor’s dog and uncovers truths about his own life. Playing at the Gielgud Theatre from June 24 to February 2015.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Originally a hit 1980s film, this story was adapted to musical form on Broadway in 2005, and is now a West End production starring Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound, and Katherine Kingsley in a fresh take on the tale of two con artists. Playing at the Savoy Theatre from now through November.

Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense: Robert Webb and Michael Heap star in this theatrical adaptation of the beloved British TV series “Jeeves and Wooster.” The ridiculous romp takes place now through October at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

Mr. Burns: Having made an acclaimed debut in New York in 2013, the play depicts a post-apocalyptic America struggling to survive without electricity. Playing at the Almeida Theatre from June 5 to July 19.

My Perfect Mind: Acclaimed classical actor Edward Petheridge was rehearsing King Lear when he suffered two strokes that left him paralyzed – yet his mind retained the entire role intact. Starring Edward Petheridge as himself, this darkly comic play will be shown at the Young Vic from September 3-27.

Inspired to take a luxury London vacation? Start planning your Insider holiday here.

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