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The best UK theatre to see in April 2024

From Ian McKellen in Player Kings to F**king Men's final London fling , Simon Button rounds up this month’s must-sees

By Simon Button

The cast of Long Day's Journey Into Night in a promos shot
The cast of Long Day's Journey Into Night (Image: )

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Talk about a cast to die for! Succession legend Brian Cox, the always-brilliant Patricia Clarkson and fast-rising star Daryl McCormack star in Jeremy Herrin’s take on Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize winner. It’s about a summer’s day in the life of the dysfunctional Tyrone family and, with such distinguished performers at the helm, you can expect sparks to fly.

Long Day’s Journey Into Night is at the Wyndham’s Theatre, London, until 8 June. Get tickets here.

The cast of Player Kings

Player Kings

It’s a marathon not a sprint for Sir Ian McKellen as he takes on both parts of Shakespeare’s Henry IV across four gruelling hours. Now well into his 80s, the acting titan continues to challenge himself with a performance critics have hailed as among his very best. The production plays London until June, then heads to Bristol, Birmingham, Norwich and Newcastle. 

Player Kings is at the Noël Coward Theatre, London, until 22 June before a short UK tour. Get tickets here.

The cast of Unfortunate
(Image: Paloma Raith)


Praised here by Attitude’s Dale Fox as 2.5 hours of hilariously camp fun, musical comedy Unfortunate is sashaying its way around the country after slaying audiences at Southwark Playhouse Elephant. It stars Shawna Hamic as Disney diva Ursula revealing what really happened all those years ago under the sea. Expect spectacle, puppetry and lots of adult humour.

Unfortunate is touring the UK until 14 July. Get tickets here.

The Glass Menagerie

First seen at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 2022, Atri Banerjee’s acclaimed production of the Tennessee Williams’ classic is making its way around the UK. The hard-hitting drama stars Geraldine Somerville, Kasper Hilton-Hille, Zacchaeus Kayode and Natalie Kimmerling. It’s at London’s Rose Theatre from 17 April until 4 May, then calls at Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Royal Bath and Alexandra Palace.

The Glass Menagerie is touring the UK until 1 June. Check local press for details.

F**king Men

Joe DiPietro’s unapologetically frank and ferociously funny play is back for what is sadly billed as its final London season. Premiering in 2009 as a riff on La Ronde, it follows 10 queer men of various ages through erotic encounters. And as an exploration of sexuality, it resonates now as much as it ever did. Joe Bishop, Rory Connolly, Jason Eddy and David Michaels play all the roles.

F**king Men is at Waterloo East Theatre, London, from 13 April to 26 May. Get tickets here.