© Manuel Harlan

Love's Labour's Lost &
Love's Labour's Won

Until 18 March, Theatre Royal Haymarket


Christopher Luscombe's lush, lovely productions of two of Shakespeare's funniest, most heart-wrenching plays are an excellent way to spend a smoochy evening. Having run at Chichester Festival Theatre and the RSC ahead of this West End transfer, we know these two productions are sumptuous delights. Luscombe has played with the name of Much Ado About Nothing, here calling it Love's Labour's Won, as he sees the play as a companion piece to the first. Take them as a double or individually, they are guaranteed to make your heart melt.



Twelfth Night

From 15 February to 13 May, National Theatre


Productions of Twelfth Night are ten-a-penny this year, but none sound quite as interesting as this production, staged in the Olivier and directed by Simon Godwin. Here we have the hilarious and foolish character of Malvolio played by Tamsin Greig. There's more gender-swapping in the show (as there is, of course, in the play) and an all-round excellent cast should make this a thoroughly enjoyable version of one of Shakespeare's best love-romps.



The Girls

Until 22 April, Phoenix Theatre


Gary Barlow does love well. Anyone needing proof should just listen to his '90s Take That hits such as "A Million Love Songs". This means that his new musical - The Girls - which is inspired by the story of Calendar Girls, is going to be a warming-of-your-cockles affair. We had a sneak preview in rehearsals and it's shaping up to be a musical with huge heart.



Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps in Half a Sixpence
Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps in Half a Sixpence
© Manuel Harlan

Half a Sixpence

Until 2 September, Noel Coward Theatre


Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes reunites with songwriting duo Stiles and Drewe for this quintessentially British musical. Man-of-the-moment Charlie Stemp plays Arthur Kipps who is caught in a will-the-won't-they love triangle with childhood sweetheart Ann and woodwork teacher Helen. There's romance, a wedding and plenty of banjo playing. Perfect for Valentine's Day.



The Wild Party

Until 1 April, The Other Palace


If you're after a little less romance and a lot more sass, then Drew McOnie's raucous revival of Michael John LaChiusa's musical is right up your street. Sex, drugs and vaudeville clowns combine to make this one of the naughtiest shows in London this year. Why not pair your tickets with a trip to the recently reopened venue's new restaurant, The Naughty Piglet?



Death Takes A Holiday

Until 4 March, Charing Cross Theatre


What better way to convince a girl/boy to be your Valentine than showing them that even death himself can fall in love. Thom Southerland continues to impress in his new venue just off Trafalgar Square with this European premiere of Maury Yeston's chamber musical. Stunning performances from Chris Peluso and Zoe Doano will leave you in the mood for dancing through London afterwards.




© Manuel Harlan

Sex With Strangers

Until 4 March, Hampstead Theatre


As the title suggests, this play is about two strangers who are caught up in a blizzard with nothing to do except each other. The strangers in this case? Divergent heartthrob Theo James and Silent Witness' Emilia Fox. Fox's character starts off cold, but James manages to charm her (we're sure it's got nothing to do with his Hollywood-bod). WhatsOnStage critic Holly Williams didn't think the pair had much chemistry, but she did say "the sex scenes end almost every scene". So, it's got that going for it...



Mark Gatiss and Jack Derges in The Boys In The Band
Mark Gatiss and Jack Derges in The Boys In The Band
© Darren Bell

The Boys in the Band

Until 18 February, Vaudeville Theatre


Mart Crowley's play takes place at a behind-closed-doors party for a group of gay men. It premiered in 1968, a time when homosexuality was still illegal in many parts of America. There's a stripper, and a Russian Roulette-style game where each man has to ring the person they love the most, and confess. It stars real-life couple Ian Hallard and Sherlock's Mark Gatiss.



Gabriel Vick as Chuck & Daisy Maywood as Fran
Gabriel Vick as Chuck & Daisy Maywood as Fran
© Claire Bilyard

Promises, Promises

Until 18 February, Southwark Playhouse


Burt Bacharach's musical is based on the 1960 film The Apartment. It sees Gabriel Vick play Chuck Baxter, a junior exec who is promised a promotion if he lets his bosses use his flat to "entertain" clients. Things get complicated, though, when Chuck's secret crush Fran is invited round by his manager. Bacharach's score includes the songs "Knowing When To Leave", "Promises, Promises" and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", which WhatsOnStage described as 'tender' and 'beautiful'.