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New Year Theatre Highlights

December 5th, 2019 | by Tom Harrow-Smith

New Year Theatre Highlights

Take a look at the amazingly diverse, thought provoking and entertaining performances arriving in South Bank for 2020. The first few months of the new decade bring a host of world famous names to South Bank, including Daniel Radcliffe, Timothee Chalomet, Eileen Atkins, Maxine Peake and Raif Spall.

  • The Welkin

    Maxine Peake returns to the National Theatre to star in Lucy Kirkwood's new play about the trial of one young woman in 18th century, rural England.

    When Sally Poppy is sentenced to hang for a heinous murder, things change when she claims to be pregnant. Now a jury of twelve matrons must decide whether her claim is true or if she's just trying to escape the noose. With only Lizzy Luke (Peake) prepared to defend her, the matrons must wrestle with their new authority, a mob baying for blood outside and a devil in their midst.

    Running from 15 January to 24 May

    Book Tickets

    National Theatre
  • Endgame

    Samuel Beckett's classic macabre comedy gets another outing at The Old Vic this Janaury, with Daniel Radcliffe the most eye catching of this stellar four character cast, which also includes Jane Horrocks, Alan Cumming and Karl Johnson. 

    Endgame is one of Beckett's most iconic plays and its staging directions are famously strict, Beckett infamously once took legal action against one US theatre who attempted to use their own creative license in a 1984 adaptation. Set in one bare room, the characters are made up of the old and blind Hamm, who is locked in a stalemate with his servant Clov. Then there are Hamm's dustbin-dwelling parents, who interrupt nostalgic musings; a bleakly funny double act cling stubbornly to their routine of casual savagery and mutual dependence. In Endgame, hope and cruelty are the last things to die. 

    Running from 27 January to 28 March

    Book Tickets

    The Old Vic
  • The Visit

    Lesley Manville and Hugo Weaving star as former lovers Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s visionary revenge play. Manville plays Claire Zachanassian, both improbably beautiful and impenetrably terrifying. She returns to her hometown of Slurry, New York, as postwar recession starts to bite.

    Claire Zachanassian is now the world's richest woman and locals hope her arrival signals a change in their fortunes, but they soon realise that prosperity will only come at a terrible price...

    Running from 31 January to 13 May

    Book Tickets

     

    National Theatre
  • Death of England

    A powerful one man show sees Rafe Spall give a fearless performance, which asks explosive and enduring questions about identity, race and class in Britain. The play begins at the funeral of Michael's (Spall) father, where he decides the time is right to speak, unannounced and unprepared, about the difficult truths surrounding his fathers legacy and the country that shaped him.   

    The play was written for Spall by Roy Williams (Sucker PunchSing Yer Heart Out for the Lads) and Clint Dyer (The Happy Tragedy of Being Woke), who subsequently becomes the first Black British artist to have performed, written and directed a full-scale production at the National Theatre.

    Running from 31 January to 7 March

    Book Tickets

    National Theatre
  • Imagine Children's Festival

    Southbank Centre presents the 19th Imagine Children’s Festival in February 2020, featuring Michael Rosen, Dermot O’Leary, Cressida Cowell and Konnie Huq. Two weeks of festivities and shows see an array of wonderful performances and productions where you can feed and interact with dinosaurs, celebrate the Harry Potter books, go on adventures with Pippi Longstocking and much more!

    Shows to look out for include a colourful puppetry adaptation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the chance to meet a dinosaur in Erth's Dinosaur Zoo and a re-imagining of the classic Man in the Moon tale in Stella.

    Running from 12 to 23 February

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    Southbank Centre
  • Hamlet

    Join the National Theatre for this energetic and engaging retelling of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedy especially for primary school audiences.

    We all know the story, Hamlet’s dad is dead. His uncle has taken over the kingdom and married Hamlet’s mum. The whole world feels like it’s turned upside down. Then, a ghostly encounter reveals a dreadful deed has been done. Should Hamlet take revenge?

    Taking place over the Easter holidays with two performances a day in the Dorfman Theatre, this is a fantastic opportunity to introduce Shakespeare to the youngest generation. The answer to the question; "to go or not to go?" is obvious.

    Running from 30 March to 9 April

    Book Tickets

    National Theatre
  • The Seven Streams of the River Ota

    Strap yourself in. Robert Lepage's masterpiece returns to London and South Bank for just nine performances for what promises to be an eye opening and emotional experience. First performed at the National Theatre in 1996, Seven Streams is made up of seven acts, each covering one decade since the bombing of Hiroshima.

    It is part of a new world tour of the production to mark the 75th anniversary of that fateful day. Tracing survivors and their descendants across five decades, this giant theatrical journey through time and space explores the way in which a few kilograms of uranium falling on Japan changed the course of human history. The performance is seven hours, so whilst not for the fainthearted, it will certainly be one of the most in demand National Theatre productions of 2020. 

    Running from 6 to 22 March

    Book Tickets

    National Theatre
  • 4000 Miles

    This new play from The Old Vic may start until April, but you'll need to book now if you want to catch Timothee Chalomet in his London theatre debut. A two character play, Chalomet stars opposite an institution of British theatre, Eileen Atkins, who has been a phenomenal presence on stage, small and big screen alike over a career that spans several decades. 

    Set in New York, the play begins when 21 year old Leo calls on his 91 year-old grandmother Vera in the middle of the night, appearing on her doorstep after a disastrous cross country cycle ride from America's West Coast with his best friend. His life just starting, hers nearly ended, in a faded Greenwich Village apartment their griefs collide. 

    Come and see why Amy Herzog received a nomination for the Pullitzer Prize for Drama with this original and poignant new play, which sees a rising talent of the acting world star alongside one of its greats.

    Running from 6 April to 22 May

    Book Tickets

    The Old Vic
  • Vault Festival 2020

    VAULT Festival is London’s biggest and boldest annual arts and entertainment festival, hosting hundreds of events each year; reaching across theatre, comedy, cabaret, immersive experiences, late night parties, and more!

    Now in its eighth year, VAULT Festival returns in 2020 from 28th January until 22nd March with a broad and diverse programme, committed to being one of the fairest platforms in London for presenting innovative and daring work. Performances will take place in 18 spaces across Waterloo and the South Bank with the central hub underground in The Vaults on Leake Street.

    Tickets have now gone on sale with the full programme released on 3 December. With so many shows and venues to choose from, you're bound to find something that tickles your fancy!

    Running from 28 January to 22 March

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    Leake Street Arches

Find The Venues

  • 1 - National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    London
    SE1 9PX 

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  • 2 - The Old Vic

    The Old Vic
    The Cut
    London
    SE1 8NB 

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  • 3 - National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    London
    SE1 9PX 

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  • 4 - National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    London
    SE1 9PX 

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  • 5 - Southbank Centre

    Belvedere Road
    London
    SE1 8XX 

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  • 6 - National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    London
    SE1 9PX 

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  • 7 - National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    London
    SE1 9PX 

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  • 8 - The Old Vic

    The Old Vic
    The Cut
    London
    SE1 8NB 

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  • 9 - Leake Street Arches

    Leake St, Lambeth, London SE1 7NN

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