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Where to See Stars on Stage in London in 2023

Nothing generates a buzz quite as much as a celebrity appearing in a play or musical. Some of our very best screen actors began their careers treading the boards, and their return to London theatre is an exciting opportunity to see them in their element, live on stage. When the Olivier Awards come along in April, you might even be able to brag about seeing an award-winner in a sold-out show.

Below, we’ve put together our pick of the biggest stars in the West End this year. Book quickly if you spot an actor you’d love to see perform live because tickets will sell fast!

1. James Norton in A Little Life

A Little Life London
A Little Life London
James Norton's name has been on everyone's lips since the exhilarating final series of Happy Valley aired this year, and his latest project is just as daring. Taking on the lead role of troubled and enigmatic lawyer Jude, he heads up director Ivo van Hove's star-studded adaptation of unflinching Booker Prize winner A Little Life. This is another performance everyone will be talking about, so book early to avoid missing out.
from £172.60
Opens July 2023

2. Lily Allen in The Pillowman

The Pillowman London
The Pillowman London
Chart-topping singer Lily Allen’s West End debut in 2:22: A Ghost Story earned her an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress, and she now follows up her “superb” (The Independent) performance with a starring role in Martin McDonagh’s black comedy. Allen plays Katurian, a writer whose work begins to morbidly resemble a spate of child killings. This is intriguing, exciting casting for the play’s first West End revival, and not to be missed.
from £24.00
Opens June 2023

3. Sheridan Smith in Shirley Valentine

Shirley Valentine London
Shirley Valentine London
Best known for her TV work in The Royle Family and Gavin & Stacey, and transformative performances on stage including Funny Girl and Cilla, BAFTA Award winner Smith stars in a hotly-anticipated revival of Willy Russell’s famous play. Shirley is a housewife who cuts free from the apron strings of daily life and heads to Greece for sun and self-discovery - the perfect role for Smith, who oozes charm, spirit, and fun in all of her performances.
200 seat views

4. Eddie Izzard in Great Expectations

Eddie Izzard - Great Expectations London
Eddie Izzard - Great Expectations London
She is best known for her surreal, whimsical and witty stand-up comedy including Dress to Kill and Wunderbar, but Eddie Izzard is also an acclaimed stage actor. After entertaining Broadway audiences with this adventurous one-woman take on Charles Dickens' classic novel, Izzard brings it to the West End for a strictly limited six-week season. Not one to miss for any fans!
from £29.80
15 seat views

5. Peter Andre in Grease

save £24.50
Grease London
Grease London
Perhaps best-remembered for hit song "Mysterious Girl", Peter Andre has more recently been lighting up theatres across the UK in Grease. The electrifyin' musical tells the familiar story of good girl Sandy and leather-clad Danny with a fresh, dynamic new energy. Andre stars on selected dates as charming radio announcer and dance-off host Vince Fontaine, and Teen Angel - the perfect roles to show off his charisma and vocal talents.

Peter Andre performs on selected dates only. Please check production page for more details.
from £17.50
1008 seat views

6. Michael Ball in Aspects of Love

save £24.50
Aspects of Love London
Aspects of Love London
Michael Ball is one of the biggest musical theatre stars whose name has transcended the stage. His ubiquity in documentaries, variety shows, and Christmas albums makes every Michael Ball musical a must-see event even if you have never attended a West End show before. In 2023, he makes an exciting return to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that kick-started his career (and features chart hit “Love Changes Everything”) for a limited season.

Michael Ball will not perform on certain dates. Please check production page for more details.
from £23.80
88 seat views

7. Aimee Lou Wood in Cabaret

Cabaret London
Cabaret London
Sex Education breakout star Aimee Lou Wood is currently starring as Sally Bowles. She brings a BAFTA Award-winning affinity for comic timing and skilled dramatic acting - previously seen on stage in Uncle Vanya - to this dazzling, immersive show. Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club has seen an astonishing array of stars take to the stage as Sally and the Emcee, who welcome us into the world of 1930s Berlin.

Emily Benjamin will appear as Sally Bowles at certain performances.
from £35.70
418 seat views

8. Tom Hollander in Patriots

No fees
Patriots London
Patriots London
BAFTA Award winner Tom Hollander has lit up the screen with roles in The Night Manager, The White Lotus and Baptiste, and his skills as an actor are just as astonishing on stage. In Peter Morgan’s play, set during the fall of the Soviet Union, Hollander delivers a chameleon-like performance as Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who suffers a dramatic fall from grace.
from £20.00
14 seat views

9. Helen George in The King and I

The King and I London
The King and I London
Helen George is best known as the hugely popular and glamorous Trixie in Call the Midwife, and her talents in musical theatre are just as scene-stealing. George has been on UK tour, starring in this acclaimed Broadway production of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, and now transfers with it to the West End for a limited season early next year. This is a great opportunity to see a familiar face in a much-loved Golden Age show.
from £26.80
Opens January 2024

10. Al Murray in The Crown Jewels

save £20.00
The Crown Jewels London
The Crown Jewels London
Pub Landlord comedian Al Murray has long been loved for his laid-back stand-up and TV routines, and he now lends his charms to new royal heist comedy The Crown Jewels. He stars as King Charles II, who's up against a misfit group who are plotting to steal his Crown Jewels! Based on a true story and completely hilarious, this is a fantastic opportunity to see Murray perform outside of his comedy character.
from £23.80
Opens July 2023

Can you meet West End stars at the stage door?

Stagedooring is a very popular tradition for London theatregoers and many actors are more than happy to meet fans after the show. It is a great way to get an autograph or photo with your favourite actor, and let them know how much you enjoyed their performance.

Some theatres may have restrictions on stage door meet and greets, and this is often communicated on their social channels or with a note pinned to the stage door. If you are unsure, ask the box office team and they will be happy to provide more information.

Actors are more likely to meet fans at the stage door after evening performances than matinees, because they will need to change, rest and eat between shows in the afternoon.

How do I meet actors at the stage door?

People usually stage door after they have attended a performance, and at very popular shows you may be asked to present your ticket to prove you attended that day. If you are planning to head to the stage door after a show:

Come prepared. Bring a pen (ideally a felt tip), something you would like signed such as a theatre programme, and have your phone camera ready.

Be prepared to wait for a while. Actors will be getting changed backstage, and sometimes hosting guests after a performance.

Listen to and follow directions from the theatre staff. Their priority is to ensure the stage door is well-managed and safe for everyone involved.

Be respectful of the people around you and do not try to skip the line, interrupt conversations or push others out of the way. Everyone is excited to meet their favourite actor but if the stage door gets rowdy or out of hand, it may end early.

Be respectful of the actor’s time and always say thank you! Meeting fans at the stage door is not part of an actor’s job, but many enjoy being able to meet fans and thank them for attending the show.

Be polite if the actor is unable to meet and greet. Sometimes actors simply aren’t able to come to the stage door and this will be communicated to anyone waiting as soon as possible.

Can you send cards or gifts to actors at the theatre?

Theatres have different policies for accepting gifts from fans. You may also be able to hand over a small card or letter at the stage door. If you would like to give an actor a gift, email the box office to ask before your visit and see what is allowed. Food items are less likely to be allowed for safety reasons.

What happens if an actor does not appear at a performance?

The appearance of any actor in a West End show is always subject to scheduling, illness, injury, holiday entitlement, or other unforeseen circumstances. When you book your tickets, you are doing so for the production rather than a specific actor, and therefore are not usually entitled to a refund or exchange unless the performance is cancelled.

Most shows have very talented understudies who will deliver amazing performances. You may even be able to brag in a few years' time that you saw a hot new rising star before they became popular!

Some shows advertise holiday dates for leading actors ahead of time, so always check these before booking. We have listed any holiday dates, or other dates that celebrities are not performing, on the production page.
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