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Britain’s best exhibition’s and theatre shows

From multi-sensory experiences and pioneering exhibitions to world-renowned theatrical performances, Britain’s cultural offering has plenty to capture the imagination. Whether you want to see what all the fuss is about at the world’s longest-running show, or take in something brand new, here’s the exhibitions and shows set to take centre stage in 2023.

Unmissable theatre shows in 2023

Miss Saigon

When? 8 July – 12 August 2023

Having originally premiered in the West End in 1989, Miss Saigon arrives for a limited summer run at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre. Set in the latter days of the Vietnam War, it’s a multi-award-winning musical from French lyricist Alain Boublil and musical theatre composer Claude-Michel Schönberg – the pair who also brought Les Misérables to the theatre scene.

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Sheffield Crucible Theatre

The Lehman Trilogy

When? 24 January – 20 May 2023

Winner of the 2022 Tony Award for Best Play, The Lehman Trilogy makes a return to London following stints in Los Angeles and New York. The play by Stefano Massini tells the story of three Bavarian brothers dreaming of an American life and financial success. Directed by Academy Award, Golden Globe and Tony Award winner Sam Mendes, the cast of three take on this tale of adventure, family and disaster at London’s Gillian Lynne Theatre.

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Gillian Lynne Theatre

Guys and Dolls

When? 3 March – 2 September 2023

It’s a musical classic – big city gamblers, glamourous show girls and complex love stories. Discover the immersive experience that’s like no other at London’s Bridge Theatre, in the shadow of Tower Bridge, and be transported to the Depression-era streets of Manhattan. With songs Luck Be a Lady, Sit Down, and You’re Rockin’ the Boat, experience the party and extravagance of 1930s New York City.

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Bridge Theatre

Oklahoma!

When? 16 February – 2 September 2023

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Tony Award-winning revival, Oklahoma! prances its way into the West End for 2023. Based on the 1931 play by Lynn Riggs, the musical production comes to London’s Wyndham’s Theatre re-imagined and re-orchestrated, ready to transport you to the early 1900s.

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Wyndham's Theatre

Cabaret

When? Running until December 2023

Transport yourself to 1930s Berlin at London’s The Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre for an electrifying tale of survival, love and war during political instability in Germany. This record-breaking seven-Olivier Award performance sees Callum Scott Howells and Madeline Brewer take on the roles of Emcee and Sally Bowles.

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Kit Kat Club at the Playhouse Theatre

Bonnie and Clyde

When? 4 March – 21 May

For a limited time at the West End’s Garrick Theatre comes the tale of two-small town kids and their thrilling adventure of love and fearlessness. After its spell in the West End, Bonnie and Clyde will complete a UK tour.

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Garrick Theatre

Mousetrap

When? Runs daily, Monday - Saturday

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap is an unmissable theatrical classic. First springing up on stage in Nottingham in 1952, and celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2022, see the iconic murder mystery at London’s St Martin’s Theatre. As word gets around that there’s been a murder in London, seven strangers must decipher which one of them is the killer – but will there be another victim?

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St Martin's Theatre

Les Misérables

When? Tickets available to book until October 2023

A musical favourite, Les Misérables tells the story of Jean Valjean, a convict pursuing a new life during the French Revolution. Renowned as the West End’s longest running musical, catch Cameron Mackintosh’s commended show at London’s Sondheim Theatre. Re-born and re-dreamed for the 21st century, listen out for the acclaimed songs, I Dreamed a Dream and On my Own.

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Sondheim Theatre

Britain’s touring shows

Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of)

When? Running until 20 May 2023

Immerse yourself in the re-imagined adaption of Jane Austen’s iconic story of love, men, reputation and wealth, Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of). Brought to the stage by writer Isobel McArthur, the all-female play will tour Britain throughout 2023, having scooped an Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2022.

My Fair Lady

When? Running until 1 April 2023

Following success during its residency at the West End’s London Coliseum, My Fair Lady hits the road on a UK Tour. Following the life of Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower seller, you’ll witness a story of love and transformation. Starting centre stage in Dublin, the musical will travel to Edinburgh’s Playhouse Theatre, as well as to cities including Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.

Jersey Boys

When? Running until 23 April 2023.

The boys are singing their way round the UK and Ireland for a musical tour filled with rock n’ roll, fame, friendship and betrayal. Follow the lives of the Jersey Boys, four blue-collar boys who find fame and success as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, a 60s swinging band. Winner of four Tony Awards, an Olivier Award for Best New Musical and a Grammy Award, see this acclaimed true-life musical in Bristol, Edinburgh and Cardiff, among other locations.

Must-see exhibitions

The Rossettis, Tate Britain

When? 6 April – 24 September 2023

Unlock the stories of the Rossetti generation, part of the secret society of painters, the Pre-Raphaelites. Believing that art should be created as it’s seen, the revolutionary artistic approach can be explored immersively through spoken poetry and paintings. View Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s iconic works in the largest exhibition of its kind in two decades, and for the first time in history, admire all of Elizabeth Siddal’s surviving paintings, drawings and watercolours together in one space.

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Tate Britain

Isaac Julien, Tate Britain

When? 26 April – 20 August 2023

A celebration of Turner prize-nominated artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien lands at Tate Britain. Displaying film and television works from his early days in the 1980s through to modern day creations, this is his first major exhibition in Britain.

Hilma af Klint and Piet Mondrian, Tate Modern

When? 20 April – 3 September 2023

A fusion of abstract art and the natural world, two modern artists are brought together for this exhibition filled with shapes and complex designs. Despite never meeting, Swedish painter Hilma af Klint and Dutch artist Piet Mondarin shared an interest in the earth and its natural beauty. 2023 sees the Tate Modern bring both artists’ works together to show an abstract exhibition of natural proportions.

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Tate Modern

Capturing the moment, Tate Modern

When? 14 June 2023 – 28 January 2024

Celebrating paintings and photography through the past 80 years, Tate Modern presents Capturing the moment. Featuring artistic icons Lucian Freud and Andy Warhol, through to modern day painters Michael Armitage and Nijdeka Akunyili Crosby, and photographers such as Jeff Wall and Hiroshi Sugimoto, this exhibition focuses on specific moments in time and the influence of modern painting on photography.

JMW Tuner with Lamin Fofana: Dark Waters, Tate Liverpool

When? Until 4 June 2023

Immerse yourself into the sounds and scenes of Dark Waters, as JMW Turner’s seascape works come together with an environmental soundscape created by Lamin Fofana. The exhibition includes some of Turner’s most renowned works including Snow Storm: Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth and A Disaster at Sea, alongside Fofana’s atmospheric composition.

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Tate Liverpool

Turner Prize 2023, Towner Eastbourne

When? 28 September 2023 – 14 January 2024

Eastbourne’s bold and bright Towner Gallery will host the presentation of the Turner Prize 2023. The exhibition showcases four shortlisted artists, with the winner set to be announced on 5 December 2023. The Turner Prize 2023 is the centrepiece of Towner Eastbourne’s year-long centenary celebrations, known as Towner 100.

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Towner Eastbourne

Tartan, V&A Dundee

When? From 1 April 2023

Uncover the story behind the unique design of iconic Scottish fabric Tartan at Dundee’s V&A. From tradition to diversity, tartan has been a staple in Scotland’s history – discover its impact at the exhibition curated by V&A Dundee and Jonathan Faiers, one of several exhibitions marking V&A Dundee’s fifth anniversary.

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V&A Dundee

The Rules of Art?, National Museum Cardiff

When? Until 4 June 2023

Step into 500 years of art, photography, ceramics and film at Rules of Art? part of Cardiff’s National Museums Extra Time openings, open late until 9pm on the first Thursday of each month. Bringing together creators work that challenge the concept of art and rules, expect works featured from Pablo Picasso, John Akomfrah and Caroline Walker.

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National Museum Cardiff

DIVA, V&A London

When? 24 June 2023 – 7 April 2024

A homage to the power of creativity, the V&A presents a celebration of performers and megastars through to classic opera singers. Exploring what it means to be a DIVA, the exhibition takes in the worlds of fashion, film, photography, costume design, music and more. Witness how the diva-era has intersected society on your way to uncovering what it takes to be a diva.

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Victoria and Albert Museum

Inspiring People, National Portrait Gallery

When? From 2023

As part of an expansive project, Inspiring People is transforming London’s National Portrait Gallery, supporting the development of new spaces and fresh ways to present its Collection. Set to open in 2023, the programme includes a new public entrance, learning centre and the redisplaying of the gallery’s entire collection.

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National Portrait Gallery

Artists making books: poetry to politics, The British Museum

When? Until 17 September 2023

Look beyond the cover, and you’ll uncover a wealth of literary genius at the British Museum. Exploring the history of expression, the exhibition is set to display pieces that represent the relationship between an artist and their influences. Shown via the medium of books, expect pieces from Lebanese artist Abed Al Kadiri, and Iraqi artist Kareem Risan, among many others.

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The British Museum

The Lost Rhino, Natural History Museum

When? From 16 December 2022

The Lost Rhino uses technology to explore the themes around conservation and extinction. Come face-to-face with The Substitute, a digital recreation of a life-sized northern white rhino from artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg. With only two northern white rhinos left on earth, the exhibition explores the idea of allowing the species to survive digitally forever. Expect a hyper-realistic recreation, with accompanying sounds, rhino behaviours and movements.  

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Natural History Museum

Injecting Hope: The Race for a COVID-19 Vaccine, Science Museum

When? 30 November 2022 – 7 January 2024

Look back to the global COVID-19 pandemic and the race to create a vaccine at London’s Science Museum. Showcasing the race to tackle the pandemic, the exhibition uses artworks, interactives and objects to examine the virus and the vaccine.

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Science Museum

Ones to watch for 2023

hellofuture, Manchester Museum

When? From February 2023

Manchester Museum is being transformed in 2023, with the addition of a cultural South Asian Gallery and new Exhibition Hall. First up in the Exhibition Hall is Golden Mummies of Egypt, created in partnership with Nomad Exhibitions and filled with more than 100 pieces from various Egyptology collections.

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Manchester Museum

Photography Centre, V&A London

When? From 2023

See four new gallery spaces open in the V&A’s Photography Centre, in South Kensington, including an interactive gallery set to immerse you in the world of cameras. Look to the photography reading room for a unique look into rare photobooks, while other rooms focus on contemporary photography development and modern commissions.

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Victoria and Albert Museum

Liverpool Biennial, venues across Liverpool

When? 10 June – 17 September 2023

The UK’s largest international festival of modern visual art is ready to takeover Liverpool once again in 2023. Occurring every two years, the 12th edition of the festival, titled ‘uMoya: The Sacred Return of Lost Things’ sees 30 international artists and creatives come together for 14 weeks, including Charmaine Watkiss, Ranti Bam, Nicolas Galanin and more. Find Liverpool Biennial at locations around the city.

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Liverpool
11 Nov 2022(last updated)