Now Reading
Black Theatre Guide: Full list of must see shows on stage starting Jan/Feb across UK

Black Theatre Guide: Full list of must see shows on stage starting Jan/Feb across UK

ALT’s guide to some of the best shows in town….

& Juliet (main image)

Now – 25 June 2022

@ Shaftesbury Theatre, London

Written by David West Read

Directed by Luke Sheppard

What if Juliet’s famous ending was really just her beginning? What if she decided to choose her own fate?

With her bags packed and ready to escape Verona, Juliet recovers from heartbreak in the best way possible… by dancing the night away with her best friends by her side! But when the sparkle fades, the confetti falls and reality catches up, it’s clear that Juliet needs to face her past in order to find her future. Can she reclaim a story that has been written in the stars? Is there really life after Romeo… or could he be worth one more try?

Join Juliet on this sensational journey of self-discovery and second chances, told through some of the most glittering pop anthems of the last three decades from legendary songwriter Max Martin, including …Baby One More Time, Since U Been Gone, Roar, Everybody (Backstreet’s Back), Love Me Like You Do and Can’t Feel My Face.

& Juliet is the hilariously irreverent new musical that proves when it comes to love, there’s always life after Romeo…

For tickets and more information on & Juliet click here.

& Juliet in performance. (Photo: & Juliet)

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

11 January – 27 May 2022

@ The Piccadilly Theatre, London

Written by John Logan

Directed by Alex Timbers

Set in Paris, 1899, a world of indulgent beauty and unparalleled extravagance, of bohemians and aristocrats, of boulevardiers and reprobates, Moulin Rouge! The Musical is the story of a lovesick American writer, Christian, and Satine, the dazzling star of the Moulin Rouge nightclub. When their lives collide, they fall hopelessly in love – only to be thwarted by the nightclub’s host and impresario, Harold Zidler, and The Duke of Monroth, the wealthy and entitled patron of the club who thinks he can buy anything he wants, including Satine. Together with his Bohemian friends (the brilliant and starving artist Toulouse-Lautrec, and the greatest tango dancer in all of Paris, Santiago) Christian stages a musical spectacular to save the Moulin Rouge and finally win the heart of Satine.


Liisi LaFontaine | Satine

Jason Pennycooke | Toulouse-Lautrec

Zoe Birkett | Arabia

Sophie Carmen Jones | Nini

Johnny Bishop | Baby Doll

Timmika Ramsay | La Chocolat

For tickets and more information on Moulin Rouge! click here.

Moulin Rouge at Piccadilly Theatre. (Photo: Picadilly Theatre)

The Glow

21 January – 5 March 2022

@ Royal Court, London

Written by Alistair McDowall

Directed by Vicky Featherstone

“People find me. In the dark.”


An asylum.

A woman locked in a windowless cell, with no memory as to who she is, or how she arrived there.

When spiritualist medium Mrs Lyall requires a new assistant, this nameless woman seems the perfect candidate.

But as the woman’s past begins to reveal itself, so do new powers neither are prepared for. “Matter may decay, but the spirit persists. The energy we exude remains.”


FisayoAkinade |

Rakie Ayola |

Tadhg Murphy |

Ria Zmitrowicz |

For tickets and more information on The Glow, click here.

The Glow cast. (Photo: Royal Court)

A Number

24 January – 19 March 2022

@ Old Vic, London

Written by Caryl Churchill

Directed by Lyndsey Turner

Every parent makes mistakes.

Salter makes a number of them.

Now 35 years later, his only child realises he’s not alone.

The play follows conflict between a father (Lennie James) and his sons; Paapa Essiedu plays all 3. Caryl Churchill’s gripping drama about what it costs to start again unpacks reason and ethics surrounding human cloning as two of the sons are clones of the first one.


Paapa Essiedu | Michael Black/ Bernard

Lennie James | Salter

David Carr | Michael Black/ Bernard (Understudy)

Phillip Olagoke | Salter (Understudy)

For tickets and more information on A Number, click here.

Lennie James and Aki Omoshaybi in rehearsals for A Number. (Photo: Manuel Harlan)

Wuthering Heights

3 February – 19 March 2022

@ Lyttleton Theatre, National Theatre, London

Written by Emily Brontë

Adapted and directed by Emma Rice

The epic story of love, revenge, and redemption.

Rescued from the Liverpool docks as a child, Heathcliff (Ash Hunter) is adopted by the Earnshaws and taken to live at Wuthering Heights.

In their daughter Catherine (Lucy McCormick), Heathcliff finds a kindred spirit and a fierce love ignites. But, when forced apart, a brutal chain of events is unleashed.

Shot through with music and dance, Emma Rice (Bagdad Cafe, Wise Children, Brief Encounter) transforms Emily Brontë’s masterpiece into a passionate, powerful, and uniquely theatrical experience.


Nandi Bhebhe | The Moor

Ash Hunter | Heathcliff

Jordan Laviniere | John

Nadine Lee |

Kandaka Moore | Zillah

Renell Shaw |

Witney White | Frances Earnshaw/ Young Cathy

For tickets and more information on Wuthering Heights, click here.

Wuthering Heights promo image. (Photo: The National)

Two Billion Beats

5 February – March 2022

@ Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, Surrey

Written by Sonali Bhattacharyya

Directed by Nimmo Ismail

Seventeen-year-old Asha is an emphatic rebel, unafraid of pointing out the hypocrisy around her but less sure how to actually dismantle it. Her younger sister, Bettina, wide-eyed and naïve, is just trying to get through the school day without getting her pocket money nicked. Between essays, homework, and bus journeys home the two sisters meet outside the school gates each afternoon, smarting at the injustice of the world around them.

Bouncing with wit, Sonali Bhattacharyya’s mesmerising new play is an insightful, moving and tremendously funny coming-of-age story about the unfairness of growing up in a world where you don’t make the rules. Originally presented as a short play as part of the OT’s Inside/Outside livestreams in 2021.


Safiyya Ingar | Asha

Anoushka Chadha | Bettina

For tickets and more information on Two Billion Beats, click here.

Two Billion Beats. (Photo: British Theatre Guide.)

Queens Of Sheba

7 February – 26 February 2022

@ Soho Theatre

Written by Jessica Hagan

Adapted By Ryan Calais Cameron

Directed by Jessica Kaliisa

Turned away from a nightclub for being “too black”, four women take to the stage with their own explosive true stories: the music and the misogyny, the dancing and the drinking, the women and, of course, the (white) men.

Loosely based on the DSTRKT nightspot incident of 2015, Queens of Sheba tells the hilarious, moving and uplifting stories of four passionate Black Women battling every-day misogynoir; where sexism meets racism.


Elisha Robin |

Eshe Asante |

Kokoma Kwaku |

Tosin Alabi |

For tickets or more information on Queens of Sheba, click here.


Queens of Sheba. (Photo: Soho Theatre)

Running With Lions

10 February – 12 March 2022

@ Lyric Hammersmith

Written by Sian Carter

Directed by Michael Buffong

Joshy is gone. No badda bawl an disappear, yuhcyaan bring him back.’

A family drama of love, loss and hope.

Following the death of a loved one, a British-Caribbean family struggles to come to terms with their grief. Isolated by their generational beliefs and challenges to their faith and mental health, they live between the things they do and do not say.

Running With Lions explores the journey of one family’s reconciliation after loss and the rediscovery of love and joy.


Velile Tshabalala | Gloria

Ruby Barker | Imani

Wil Johnson | Maxwell

Suzette Llewellyn | Shirley

Nickcolia King-N’da | Joshua

For tickets and information on Running With Lions, click here.


Running With Lions. (Photo: Lyric Hammersmith)

An Unfinished Man

12 February – 12 March 2022

@ The Yard Theatre, London

Written by DipoBaruwa-Etti

Directed by Taio Lawson

Kayode hasn’t had a job in seven years.

                        (Can’t we juss name it? – Ur depressed.)

He needs to get help –

(Therapy won’t undo the spell, Kayode.)

His marriage is suffering –

(I need ya help ta stage an intervention.)

His mother knows what to do.

(The Lord told me and I went to Pastor Matanmi.)

Can Kayode be cured?

Centring witchcraft alongside the clash between West African and Western attitudes to mental health, An Unfinished Man explores the interplay of racism, patriarchy & capitalism. Juju exists, spirits battle, and the witches and wizards of Lagos chant loudly in East London in this performance written by Channel 4 playwright bursary winner DipoBaruwa-Etti and directed by Taio Lawson.


FodeSimbo | Kayode

Teri Ann Bobb-Baxter | Kikiope

Selina Jones | Itan

Mark Springer | Matanmi

Lucy Vandi|Layo

For tickets and more information on An Unfinished Man, click here.


An Unfinished Man, The Yard Theatre

Red Pitch

16 February – 26 March 2022

@ Bush Theatre, London

Written by Tyrell Williams

Directed by Daniel Bailey

The way they’re changing endz is nuts. Red Pitch. South London. Three lifelong friends Omz, Bilal and Joey are playing football. Like they always have. Living out dreams of football stardom. Beyond their football pitch, local shops are closing, old flats are being demolished as new flats shoot up, some residents struggle to stay while others rush to leave. When a small football pitch has been a home from home, a place you’ve laughed, fought, and forged friendships, what happens when it’s under threat?

A coming-of-age story about what it means to belong to a place. The fast-paced and sharp-edged new play tells a powerful story about gentrification or regeneration and the impact of this relentless change on London’s communities.

For tickets and more information on Red Pitch, click here.


Red Pitch (Photo: Karis Beaumont/ Art Direction: Studio Doug)

The Collaboration

16 February – 2 April 2022

@ Young Vic, London

Written by Anthony McCarten

Directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah

In 1984, an ageing Andy Warhol, long past the peak of his fame, persuaded rising star Jean-Michel Basquiat to collaborate with him. Playwright Anthony McCarten’s new play ‘The Collaboration’ imagines their New York workshops together, just a few years before both men’s deaths.


Jeremy Pope | Jean-Michel Basquiat

Paul Bettany |Andy Warhol

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol in New York in 1987. (Photo: Everett Collection Inc/Alamy)

For tickets and more information on The Collaboration, click here.

Small Island

24 February – 16 April 2022

@ Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, London

Written by Andrea Levy

Adapted by Helen Edmundson

Directed by Rufus Norris

Small Island embarks on a journey from Jamaica to Britain, through the Second World War to 1948 – the year the HMT Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury.

See Also

The play follows three intricately connected stories: Hortense yearns for a new life away from rural Jamaica, Gilbert dreams of becoming a lawyer, and Queenie longs to escape her Lincolnshire roots. Hope and humanity meet stubborn reality as the play traces the tangled history between Jamaica and the UK.

It’s an historic epic that explores the arrival of the Windrush generation from both the perspective of the Windrushers and the first white people they lived with. It is very much about historical racism (and not-so-historical racism, too). It is also about historical sexism: Queenie seems to fit well with the Jamaican characters because she too shares an optimistic outlook on the nature of the world that is not met by the reality of Britain in 1948. She must use men to survive, not least the unlovable but deeply damaged Bernard.


Elliot Barnes-Worrell |Michael

Chereen Buckley | Woman

Leonie Elliott | Hortense

Sandra James-Young | Miss Jewel

LeemoreMarrett Jr | Gilbert

Alicia McKenzie | Celia

David Webber | Dr Philip

Flo Wilson | Miss Ma

For tickets and more information on Small Island, click here.

Stiff-backed pride in the face of prejudice … Gershwyn Eustache Jr as Gilbert and Leah Harvey as Hortense in Small Island, 2019. (Photo: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian)

Shedding A Skin

2 March – 26 March 2022

@ Soho Theatre

Written by Amanda Wilkin

Directed by Elayce Ismail

Sometimes you crack.

Sometimes you didn’t mean to yell that.

Sometimes you have to lay low until you’ve figured it out

And sometimes, sometimes you have to hibernate until you’ve healed.

This is a new day.

Shedding a Skin is a story for our times. A play about finding kindness in unexpected places, connecting with what our elders can teach us – new skin honouring old skin, a play about joy, healing, protest, and having a good belly laugh.


Amanda Wilkin |

For tickets and more information on Shedding A Skin, click here.


Amanda Wilkin in her play, Shedding A Skin, 2021. (Photo: Helen Murray)


5 March – 4 June 2022

@ Ambassadors Theatre, London

Written by Mike Bartlett

Directed by Marianna Elliot

The award-winning play explores the impact of changing relationships and sexual fluidity. John is happy in himself, and with his boyfriend, until one day he meets the woman of his dreams. The play centres around John, a gay man who is in a loving relationship with his boyfriend, M. After seven years living together, the pair take a break, but little does John know it’ll change his identity forever. One morning, John meets a woman, named W, and begins seeing someone of the opposite sex. Torn between his long-term boyfriend and his new female lover, John’s love life is conflicted. Can he escape the entanglement? Or will the battle of the sexes be redefined?

In a world full of endless possibilities why must we still limit ourselves with labels?

This razor-sharp play about love and identity redefines the battle of the sexes as we know it.


Taron Egerton | M

Jonathon Bailey | John

Jade Anouka | W

Phil Daniels | F

For tickets and more information on Cock, click here.

Cast of Cock. (Photo: ATG)

To Kill a Mockingbird

10 March – 13 August 2022

@ Gieglud Theatre, London

Written by Aaron Sorkin

Directed by Bartlett Sher

Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s civil rights classic ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ took Broadway by storm – and caused a fair amount of controversy after now-disgraced producer Scott Rudin aggressively tried to shut down productions of other adaptations of Lee’s 1960 masterpiece.

Bartlett Sher’s production was due on the West End in 2020, but finally arrives two years later under the auspices of Sonia Friedman Productions.

Rafe Spall will star as principled white Southern attorney Atticus Finch, who defends black man Tom Robinson in a rape trial in deeply prejudiced Alabama.

For the past six decades and for every generation, this story, its characters and portrait of small-town America have helped to, and continue to, inspire conversation and change.


Rafe Spall |Atticus Finch

Harry Attwell | Mr Cunningham/ Boo Radley

Pamela Nomvete | Calpurnia

Jude Owusu | Tom Robinson

Natasha Williams | Mrs Dubose’s Maid

For tickets and more information on To Kill a Mockingbird, click here.

To Kill a Mockingbird cast. (Photo by The Other Richard)


26 March – 16 April 2022

@ 180 Studios The Strand

Written and directed by Ivan Michael Blackstock

Award-winning dance artist and cultural innovator Ivan Michael Blackstock’s TRAPLORD Is an immersive dance performance meditating on life, death and rebirth.Wandering between dreams and reality, TRAPLORD takes us on a new heroic journey to self-actualisation.

Using dance, theatre and spoken word to explore raw and confrontational themes of mental health and masculinity, TRAPLORD is an invitation to question the stereotyping of Black men in contemporary western society; an attempt to escape from the mental state of being condemned before having lived.

Blackstock is the rising star of the dance world, using movement and hip hop to unpack the lives of socially disenfranchised young Black men for theatre audiences

For tickets and more information on TRAPLORD, click here.


TRAPLORD (Photo: GlodiMiessi)


26 April – 25 June 2022

@ Young Vic, London

Written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein (1943)

Directed by Daniel Fish

Oklahoma! tells a story of a community banding together against an outsider, and the frontier life that shaped America. Seventy-five years after Rodgers and Hammerstein reinvented the American musical, this visionary production is funny and sexy, provocative, and probing, without changing a word of the text.

This is Oklahoma! as you’ve never seen it before, re-orchestrated and reimagined for the 21st century.Oklahoma! follows a love triangle between farm girl Laurey, cowboy Curly and farmhand Jud. The play features songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, including “Oh What A Beautiful Mornin’” and “I Cain’t Say No.” Winner of the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, Daniel Fish’s bold interpretation transfers to the Young Vic, direct from an acclaimed run on Broadway and a U.S. tour.

For tickets and more information on Oklahoma! click here.

Hyoie O’Grady, Amara Okereke and Josie Lawrence in Oklahoma! at Chichester Festival theatre. (Photo: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian)

The Fellowship

17 June – 23 July 2022

@ Hampstead Theatre

Written by Roy Williams

Directed by Paulette Randall

Children of the Windrush generation, sisters Dawn and Marcia Adams grew up in 1980s London and were activists on the front line against the multiple injustices of that time. Decades on, they find they have little in common beyond family… Dawn struggles to care for their dying mother, whilst her one surviving son is drifting away from her. Meanwhile, high-flying lawyer Marcia’s affair with a married politician might be about to explode and destroy her career. Can the Adams sisters navigate the turmoil that lies ahead, leave the past behind, and seize the future with the bond between them still intact?

For tickets and more information on The Fellowship, click here.


The Fellowship. (Photo: Hampstead Theatre)