Best Theatre for 2023: Best of the Best Critics’ Top Shows to see in 2023

A round-up of the Top Theatre To See lists for 2023 from London theatre critics.

This “Best of the Best” brings together 2023 Theatre Highlights lists from major UK theatre critics, including The Times, The Guardian, The Stage, TimeOut, i News, the Evening Standard and The Independent, revealing their Top Picks for theatre to see in 2023.

Top “Best of the Best” shows include James Norton starring in A Little Life at the Harold Pinter Theatre; the stage adaptation of Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet by the RSC; Tracy-Ann Oberman starring in The Merchant of Venice (1936) at the Watford Palace; Aidan Turner and Jenna Coleman in Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, also at the Harold Pinter Theatre; Charlie Stemp in the London transfer of Crazy For You directed by Susan Stroman at the Gillian Lynne Theatre; Nicholas Hytner’s new production of Guys & Dolls at the Bridge Theatre; Sophie Okonedo in Medea at @sohoplace Theatre; and Sam Mendes directing Jack Thorne’s new play The Motive and the Cue at the National Theatre.

Also check out our Best Musicals to see in 2023, and Best Plays to see in 2023.

More Best of 2023 lists to follow.

Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

The best theatre, dance and comedy tickets to book for 2023

  • Blaccine: First Dose, Pitlochry Festival Theatre (Sound Stage audio)
  • Romeo and Julie, National Theatre London / Sherman Theatre Cardiff
  • Beginning, Royal Exchange Manchester
  • Macbeth, Cast Doncaster
  • The Good Person of Szechwan, Crucible Theatre Sheffield / Lyric Hammersmith Theatre London
  • A Little Life, Harold Pinter Theatre London
  • The Lost Spells, Watford Palace Theatre
  • Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre London
  • Hamnet, Swan Theatre Stratford-upon-Avon
  • The Secret Life of Bees, Almeida Theatre London
  • A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction, Barbican Theatre London
  • Metamorphosis, Theatre Royal Plymouth
  • Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning, Her Majesty’s Theatre Aberdeen
  • The Score, Theatre Royal Bath

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More reviews from Arifa Akbar

A Little Life
The cast of A Little Life at the Harold Pinter Theatre. Photo by Charlie Gray

Georgia Snow, The Stage

Theatre in 2023: what are the must-see shows to see across the UK?

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More The Stage reviews

Charlie Stemp in Crazy For You. Photo by Johan Persson

The Telegraph

2023’s hot 100: the essential shows, exhibitions, books and theatre to see in the New Year

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More The Telegraph reviews

Actors Aidan Turner and Jenna Coleman
Aidan Turner and Jenna Coleman. Photograph: Jason Bell

The Independent

The best theatre to see in 2023, from A Little Life to The Pillowman. By Jessie Thompson and Isobel Lewis

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More reviews from The Independent

The Great British Bake Off Musical
The Great British Bake Off Musical. Photo by Manuel Harlan

Clive Davis, The Times

60 best events to book in 2023: theatre, music, comedy, dance and more

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More reviews by Clive Davis

Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations

Andrzej Lukowski, TimeOut

The best new London theatre for 2023 – shows not to miss: Our pick of the best new plays, shows and musicals to book for in London’s theatres in 2023.

  1. A Streetcar Named Desire, Almeida Theatre London
  2. how did we get here?, Sadler’s Wells Theatre London
  3. The Unfriend, Criterion Theatre London
  4. Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Harold Pinter Theatre London
  5. Sound of the Underground, Royal Court Theatre London
  6. Titus Andronicus, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe London
  7. The Lehman Trilogy, Gillian Lynne Theatre London
  8. Phaedra, National Theatre London
  9. Standing at the Sky’s Edge, National Theatre London
  10. Medea, @sohoplace London
  11. Oklahoma!, Wyndham’s Theatre London
  12. The Great British Bake Off Musical, Noel Coward Theatre London
  13. Guys & Dolls, Bridge Theatre London
  14. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Barbican London / Bristol Old Vic / Tour
  15. Operation Mincemeat, Fortune Theatre London
  16. The Pillowman, Duke of York’s Theatre London
  17. Crazy For You, Gillian Lynne Theatre London

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More reviews by Andrzej Lukowski

Amanda Abbington & Reece Shearsmith
Amanda Abbington & Reece Shearsmith in The Unfriend. Photo Manuel-Harlan

Fiona Mountford, i News

Guys and Dolls, A Little Life and Hamnet: The biggest new theatre shows of 2023: Our critic’s look ahead includes Maggie O’Farrell’s award-winning novel coming to the stage and Sophie Okonedo taking on Medea

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More reviews from i News

Medea starring Sophie Okonedo
Medea starring Sophie Okonedo

Nick Clark, The Evening Standard

Curtain up: the top London theatre shows to book in 2023 from Groundhog Day to Cheryl in 2:22 – The pick of productions coming to London this year

Editor’s Note: This is only the first 20 entries in their list… it’s a long list…

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More reviews from the Evening Standard

Sylvia - The Old Vic
Sylvia – The Old Vic. Photo by Chantel King

Neil Norman, Daily Express

The top theatre plays and musicals to watch in 2023

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More reviews from Neil Norman

Mrs Doubtfire The Musical
Mrs Doubtfire The Musical

Shows to book in 2023

📷 Main photo: 2023 Highlights

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