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Top shows to see in October

Find the best plays, musicals and comedy shows in London this month.
Take your pick from a top line-up of London theatre this October, from toe-tapping musicals to cutting-edge new plays, gripping dramas and classic tales.

The Importance of Being Earnest at the Vaudeville Theatre

Fehinti Balogun as Algernon and Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as Jack sit either side of a table, dressed in suits.
The Importance of Being Earnest at Vaudeville Theatre. Fehinti Balogun as Algernon and Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as Jack © Marc Brenner. Image courtesy of Draper Conway

Laugh your way through Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest. Sophie Thompson plays Lady Bracknell in this tale of high society, manners and double lives. Until 20 Oct. Book now

King Lear at the Duke of York's Theatre

Sir Ian McKellen stars in King Lear
King Lear at the Duke of York’s Theatre. Photo: Manuel Harlan. Image courtesy of The Cornershop PR.

Catch Sir Ian McKellen in Shakespeare’s tragedy, King Lear. When an ageing monarch divides his kingdom between his daughters, it sets him on the road to madness and ruin. Until 3 Nov

Taj Express at the Peacock Theatre

A group of 7 dancers hold their hands in the air during a performance of Taj Express.
Taj Express at Sadler's Wells. Image courtesy of Sadler's Wells.

Journey into the heart of Bollywood with Taj Express. Blending spectacular design with classic Indian and contemporary dance, this show celebrates the world’s largest film industry. 2-20 Oct. Book now

The Height of the Storm at Wyndham's Theatre

The Height of the Storm poster featuring the name of the play.
The Height of the Storm at the Wyndham’s Theatre. Image courtesy of Target Live.

See Jonathan Pryce and Dame Eileen Atkins in The Height of the Storm, the new drama by French playwright Florian Zeller. An unexpected delivery of flowers throws a 50-year relationship into turmoil. 2 Oct-1 Dec. Book now

The Wider Earth at the Natural History Museum

Bradley Foster poses on the steps of the Natural History Museum beside a small dinosaur model.
Bradley Foster (Charles Darwin) - The Wider Earth at the Natural History Museum. Image courtesy of The Trustees of the Natural History Museum.

Follow a young Charles Darwin on a journey of discovery in The Wider Earth. This adventurous story uses 30 handmade puppets and is staged in the first performance theatre ever created at the Natural History Museum. 2 Oct-30 Dec. Book now

I'm Not Running at the National Theatre

A poster for I'm Not Running, showing a female and the wording "I'm Not Running: A new play by David Hare".
I'm Not Running. Image courtesy of National Theatre.

Catch I’m Not Running, the latest drama from acclaimed writer David Hare. When a leading doctor comes across a former boyfriend, she has a life-changing decision to make. 2 Oct-31 Jan

A Very Very Very Dark Matter at the Bridge Theatre

Discover a dark and unusual tale about Hans Christian Andersen in Martin McDonagh’s A Very Very Very Dark Matter. Jim Broadbent plays Andersen, the famous storyteller who has a secret locked up in his attic. 12 Oct-6 Jan

Royal Shakespeare Company season at the Barbican

Romeo and Juliet embrace in front of a doorway.
Romeo and Juliet production photos, directed by Erica Whyman, Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Taken 21 May 2018. Photo by Topher McGrillis © RSC. Image courtesy of RSC.

Discover 3 of Shakespeare’s timeless plays as the Royal Shakespeare Company brings a selection of shows to London. Pick from bloody tragedy Macbeth, doomed romance Romeo and Juliet, or comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor. 15 Oct-19 Jan

A Guide for The Homesick at Trafalgar Studios

A post for A Guide for The Homesick featuring head shots of Clifford Samuel and Douglas Booth.
A Guide for The Homesick at Trafalgar Studios. Image courtesy of Maidwell Marketing.

See Douglas Booth return to the London stage in the European premiere of thriller A Guide for The Homesick. Watch what happens when two very different strangers find themselves thrown together in an Amsterdam hotel room. 16 Oct-24 Nov. Book now

Guys and Dolls at the Royal Albert Hall

A profile picture of comedian Jason Manford.
Jason Manford. Image courtesy of Royal Albert Hall.

Join Adrian Lester, Jason Manford and Meow Meow in an iconic location for Guys and Dolls. Featuring songs including Luck Be a Lady and Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat, this classic musical tells the story of a gambler forced to change his ways when he falls in love. 19-20 Oct. Book now

Don Quixote at the Garrick Theatre

Dressed in armour, David Threlfall sits on a wooden horse as Rufus Hound stands below, leaning against the horse.
David Threlfall and Rufus Hound in Don Quixote from the original 2016 production at the Swan Theatre. Photo by Helen Maybanks © RSC. Image courtesy of The Corner Shop PR.

Enjoy the antics of Don Quixote and his sidekick Sancho Panza in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s swashbuckling show. The music-filled production follows the hilarious adventures of Cervantes’ comic characters. 27 Oct-2 Feb. Book now