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Weekend Extra: Matt Lucas in Les Mis, Julie Hesmondhalgh in a microplay — here’s the best drama live and online

Star studded: Les Mis features the talents of Matt Lucas (above), Alfie Boe and Michael Ball

Les Misérables

Booking is now open for Christmas 2020’s hottest ticket: a special concert version of the classic revolutionary musical, starring Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Carrie Hope Fletcher and Matt Lucas. Sondheim Theatre, London, December 5 to January 31, 2021

Nine Lives

Playwright Zodwa Nyoni’s powerful one-man show tells the story of Ishmael, a gay Zimbabwean asylum seeker fleeing persecution, and living in limbo in Leeds. October 22-31, Bridge Theatre, London,; Leeds Playhouse, November 4-5,


Featuring former Corrie star Julie Hesmondhalgh (above), among others, these five minute-long digital plays from new writing company Open Sky are as thought-provoking as they are concise. All five are available now online,

Pantoland at The Palladium

Panto fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the capital’s biggest annual production is going ahead for socially distanced audiences — with a cast including Julian Clary, Nigel Havers (above), Ashley Banjo and Beverley Knight. London Palladium, December 12 to January 3,

The Last Five Years

This acclaimed production of the heartrending American musical about the end of a relationship is now back at South London’s Southwark Playhouse, where it originally opened in March. Until November 14,

Private Peaceful

Having premiered at Gloucestershire’s Barn Theatre over the summer, this adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s moving World War One tale is heading first to Bristol, then to the West End. October 21-24, Bristol Old Vic; November 7-22, Garrick Theatre, London;

Windsor On Air season

The Theatre Royal Windsor has announced a series of four shows presented in the stripped-back style of vintage radio broadcasts. Highlights include Jenny Seagrove in Alan Bennett’s The Lady In The Van and Felicity Kendal and Tom Conti in black comedy Lloyd George Knew My Father. October 20 to November 14,

Lone Flyer: The Last Flight Of Amy Johnson

Newbury’s Watermill Theatre is bringing back an old hit: this stirring bio-play about one of Britain’s great aviators, which premiered at the venue almost 20 years ago. October 22 to November 21,