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Two major productions of Oedipus are coming to London

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Sophocles’ classic is being staged twice in the space of four months

There’s lots of great theatre to look forward to in London over the coming year, from movie-to-stage adaptations like The Hunger Games, The Devil Wears Prada, and Dr Strangelove, to starry leading turns from Imelda Staunton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Whishaw and Ian McKellen. But fans of Greek tragedy are in for an extra special treat as two versions of Oedipus are also on the way.

Sophocles’ original play is an exploration of fate and free will through the figure of King Oedipus. In trying to save Thebes from a plague by discovering who murdered the previous king Laius, Oedipus discovers that he has unwittingly fulfilled a prophecy that predicted he would murder his father and marry his mother, queen Jocasta. It’s not short on drama and the two forthcoming productions of the play both sound very promising indeed.

The first one to open is from Robert Icke, who is bringing his adaptation to London following stints at Internationaal Theater Amsterdam and the Edinburgh Festival. Running from October at the Wyndham’s Theatre, this Oedipus will have Mark Strong taking on the title role and Lesley Manville playing Jocasta.

The second Oedipus comes from Ella Hickson and will be co-directed by Matthew Warchus and Hofesh Shechter at The Old Vic. This one is beginning in January 2025 and also boasts another starry cast with Oscar winner Rami Malek and Oliver Award winner Indira Varma in the leading roles. With the opening dates over four months apart, you’ll have plenty of time to go to both productions and compare. And if you want more theatre updates like this, sign up to our theatre newsletter here.

Oedipus at Wyndham’s, from Fri 4th October 2024 | Oedipus at The Old Vic, Thurs 21st January – Sat 29th Mar 2025

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