It’s been a brilliant month for new theatre shows, with the announcement of The Devil Wears Prada and Cruel Intentions getting theatre adaptations and Dear Evan Hansen going on a UK tour, and it’s about to get even better with the news that none other than Sir Ian McKellen will be taking on the role of John Falstaff in Player Kings.


Player Kings will be adapted by Robert Icke — the theatre director who is best known for his play The Doctor and adaptations of The Oresteia and 1984 — from William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2.

If you’re a theatre fan, you’ll probably recall that McKellen has previously turned down opportunities to play Falstaff, but for Icke, The Lord of the Rings actor simply couldn’t say no: "I decided to become a professional actor at Cambridge in 1959, when I was in John Barton’s undergraduate production of Henry IV.

"Derek Jacobi played Prince Hal and I was the ancient Justice Shallow. Ever since, the plays have been among my favourite of Shakespeare's, although through the years I’ve resisted offers to play John Falstaff. Robert Icke’s ingenious adaptation was irresistible."

This isn’t the first time McKellen has played a Shakespearean role; his credits include parts in Richard II, Coriolanus, Iago, Richard III, King Lear and Macbeth.

Also speaking about Player Kings, Icke said: "It’s a genuine honour to work with one of our greatest Shakespearean actors, Ian McKellen, especially as he tackles one of the most iconic Shakespearean roles — and one he's previously never turned his hand to.

"It’s an exciting challenge to bring together two of Shakespeare’s plays into one production, and I’m so excited to share Player Kings with audiences in the West End and across the country."

That’s right, Player Kings won’t just be performing in the West End, but in London’s New Wimbledon Theatre and Manchester’s Opera House. Let’s find out how you can secure tickets today.

Speaking of brand new theatre productions, you can also get Long Day's Journey Into Night tickets starring Brian Cox and Burlesque tickets.

Player Kings UK date and venue: When and where are the Manchester and London performances?

Often, when a new theatre production of this calibre opens, it’s exclusively shown in the West End.

However, Player Kings will preview at London’s New Wimbledon Theatre from Friday 1st March until Saturday 9th March 2024 and at Manchester’s Opera House from Thursday 14th March until Saturday 23rd March 2024.

More like this

After these performances, Icke’s Player Kings will have a 12-week run at the Noël Coward Theatre in London’s West End from April until June 2024.

Black Friday isn't just for great tech deals, there are also Black Friday theatre ticket offers to grab! Plus, for more news on all things Going Out, stay up to date with our free newsletter.

How much do Player Kings tickets cost?

Player Kings ticket prices start at just £13 for both the Manchester and London Wimbledon venues.

However, if you do want to treat yourself, some seats in Wimbledon cost up to £165. For that price, you get an 'Ambassador Diamond Lounge Experience' which includes entry to the lounge, three glasses of champagne, nibbles and an ice cream. Manchester offers a similar experience for £170, which includes a programme.

Tickets for the West End performance will set you back a bit more, with prices beginning at £32.70 and going up to £236.70 for premium seats.

There will also be 8,000 tickets at £30 or under exclusively for theatregoers aged under 30.

These tickets will be available across all three venues at all levels of the auditorium, and there will be at least 60 tickets available for every performance.

How to get Player Kings tickets to see Ian McKellen on stage

Tickets for the New Wimbledon Theatre and Manchester Opera House performances went on sale Thursday 16th November at 10am.

Tickets for the West End’s Noël Coward Theatre performances went on sale on Tuesday 21st November, also at 10am in the Lovetheatre pre-sale.


For more guides on all things theatre, take a look at the best London theatre shows and best Manchester theatre shows, and here's how to get cheap theatre tickets.