Laura Donnelly (Caitlin Carney) and Paddy Considine (Quinn Carney) in The Ferryman
Laura Donnelly (Caitlin Carney) and Paddy Considine (Quinn Carney) in The Ferryman
(c) Johan Persson

5. The Ferryman

Gielgud Theatre, until 7 October

This West End transfer was announced three months before Jez Butterworth's play premiered at the Royal Court. Paddy Considine received all the plaudits for his professional stage debut, with WhatsOnStage's Sarah Crompton saying the actor "displayed extraordinary stillness and presence" as Quinn, father of an Northern Irish family amidst the Troubles in the '80s. Sam Mendes' production transfers to the Gielgud this week and you simply cannot miss it.

Click here to read our five-star review of The Ferryman


Rufus Hound as Toad
Rufus Hound as Toad
© Marc Brenner

4. The Wind in the Willows

London Palladium, until 9 September

Julian Fellowes has adapted Kenneth Grahame's classic children's novel with a little help from Stiles and Drewe, who have provided the music and lyrics. Rufus Hound leads the stellar cast which includes Denise Welch, Simon Lipkin, Craig Mather, Gary Wilmot and Neil McDermott. When the show opened in Plymouth last year, our critic said it was "well on the way to becoming a classic musical", so grab the kids and head to the Palladium to catch this vibrant production.

Click here to listen to an exclusive song form the original cast recording


David Haig
David Haig
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

3. Racing Demon

Theatre Royal, Bath, until 8 July

David Hare's play about the Church of England looks at gay ordination and evangelism in the Church of England. When it opened at the National, it won the Olivier Award for Best New play and went on to win the Tony Award for Best Play in 1996. This production in Bath, directed by Jonathan Church, stars David Haig as Reverend Lionel Espy, a cleric whose faith is wavering as his parishioners dwindle.


Bertie Carvel in rehearsals for Ink
Bertie Carvel in rehearsals for Ink
© Marc Brenner

2. Ink

Almeida Theatre, until 5 August

James Graham's new play is about the birth of The Sun and is set in 1969 when media mogul Rupert Murdoch was just a young man trying to make it on Fleet Street. Bertie Carvel plays Murdoch alongside Richard Coyle as Larry Lamb, the editor who introduced Page Three to the paper. Almeida AD Rupert Goold directs Graham's first play at the theatre.

Click here to read our casting announcement for Ink


Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
Audra McDonald in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill
© Marc Brenner

1. Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

Wyndham's Theatre, until 9 September

Audra McDonald makes her West End debut as Billie Holiday in this musical play which features songs from her legendary back-catalogue including "God Bless the Child", "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," "Strange Fruit" and "Taint Nobody's Biz-ness". When we spoke to McDonald in April, she said there's a "huge responsibility" in playing Holiday because she wants to "relay the truth" about the singer. We're sure she's going to do a great job and can't wait to see the play, which is set in a seedy Philadelphia club just months before Holiday passed away aged just 44.

Click here to watch our interview with Audra McDonald