Now updated for 2024.

Read our picks of upcoming cultural highlights in the UK across drama, pop culture, poetry and classical music.


By Lily Levinson

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Complicité

National tour, January–April 2023

Complicité’s adaptation of Olga Tokarczuk’s electrifying novel will almost certainly be a beautiful, violent, challenging and funny piece of theatre.

Linck & Mülhahn, Ruby Thomas

Hampstead Theatre, London, 27 January–4 March 2023

In eighteenth-century Prussia, the truth is placed on trial. Ruby Thomas’s third play is an epic, gleeful, swashbuckling queer love story.

Macbeth (an undoing), Zinnie Harris

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, 4–25 February 2023

The hags on the heath. The woman who went mad. The man who became a tyrant. You might know Shakespeare’s play, but Zinnie Harris, author of The Scent of Roses, brilliantly reimagines Lady Macbeth in her brutal and compelling new version of the tragedy.

Akedah, Michael John O’Neill

Hampstead Theatre, London, 10 February–18 March 2023

The powerful, haunting winner of the Bruntwood Original New Voice Award will be staged here for the first time. In a mega-church in a coastal town in Northern Ireland, two sisters’ grievances threaten to tear them apart.

Brilliant Jerks, Joseph Charlton

Southwark Playhouse, London, 1–25 March 2023

Catch this sleek, revelatory exploration of tech entrepreneurialism and a certain ride-hailing app before it hits the big-time: Joseph Charlton’s first play, Anna X, transferred from the underground fringe VAULT Festival to the West End.

Sap, Rafaella Marcus

National tour, March–May 2023

Described by The Guardian as ‘a glorious tapestry of a play’ and fresh from huge success at the Edinburgh Fringe, Rafaella Marcus’s debut is a contemporary thriller inspired by an ancient myth, about passion, power and photosynthesis.

The Good Person of Szechwan, Bertolt Brecht, adapted by Nina Segal

Crucible, Sheffield, 11 March–1 April, then Lyric Hammersmith, London, 15 April–13 May

Shen Te is forced to reckon with the consequences of her goodness, after three gods offer her a double-edged reward. Nina Segal is a delightfully strange, imaginative writer and this adaptation should highlight the continued relevance of Brecht’s eighty-year-old play.

Dancing at Lughnasa, Brian Friel

National Theatre, London, from 6 April 2023

Brian Friel was the greatest Irish playwright of his generation, and Dancing at Lughnasa is one of his best plays. Poetic, political and profound, it is a shining, heartbreaking portrait of five sisters in rural Donegal, 1936.

Patriots, Peter Morgan

Noel Coward Theatre, 26 May–19 August 2023

In Patriots, a prescient and fascinating play that ‘zings with wit’ (Daily Telegraph), the creator of The Crown charts the rise and fall of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky.

The Pillowman, Martin McDonagh

Duke of York’s Theatre, 10 June–2 September 2023

Martin McDonagh’s pitch-black, viciously funny comedy, The Pillowman, gets a major West End revival. In a totalitarian state where storytelling is a dangerous art, a writer is interrogated following a series of gruesome murders.

Popular Culture

By Hannah Knowles


Barbie. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, directed by Greta Gerwig. Need I say more?


The second series of Yellowjackets: a gloriously nuts thriller with an incredible cast (Juliette Lewis, Tawny Cypress, Christina Ricci etc.),who are clearly having a blast.


Coming up on the music and popular culture list at Faber in 2023, we have an exciting range of titles to appeal to a variety of tastes. Here are just a few to whet your appetite. . . Publishing 2nd February, Tony King‘s memoir, The Tastemaker, looks back at his extraordinary six decades as a key figure in the music industry. Emma Warren’s Dance Your Way Home, a personal study and celebration of dancefloors in the UK across the decades, publishes 16th March. And August sees the publication of Aniefiok Ekpoudom’s Where We Come From, a lyrical examination of the impact that grime and rap have had on communities across the UK – and on the artists behind the movement.


The Roots’s new album End Game: I’m hoping that the sneak preview of ‘Misunderstood’ with Erykah Badu and Tierra Whack in October means that the album will finally appear in 2023. It’s nearly 10 years since their last studio album, but it will be worth the wait.

The multi-talented Lizzo, the star who makes everyone feel good about themselves, is touring in 2023: UK dates are in March. Snap up tickets now before it’s too late.


By Lavinia Singer

For Faber Poetry, the year starts brightly with a live performance of Poet Laureate Simon Armitage’s version of The Owl and the Nightingale, including avian-inspired music performed by City of London Sinfonia. In partnership with Faber Members: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, 14 January, 7.30 p.m.

Two of our poets – Victoria Adukwei Bulley and Zaffar Kunial (pictured) – will take part alongside eight others in the T. S. Eliot Prize Shortlist Readings. Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, 15 January, 7 p.m.

More widely, poetry festivals will bring together exciting current voices. Some examples to look out for in the first half of the year are:

VERVE Poetry Festival

15–19 February 2023

Taking place at the Birmingham Hippodrome, VERVE 2023 features Zaffar Kunial, Hannah Sullivan and Mary Jean Chan, who co-hosts the 100 Queer Poems event.

StAnza Poetry Festival

9–12 March 2023

Scotland’s international poetry festival, which takes place in St Andrews and online, runs under the banner of WILD! in 2023, celebrating ‘forms of resistance’. Festival artists announced so far include Helen Mort, Hollie McNish and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

European Poetry Festival

20 April–12 May 2023

The sixth edition of this festival celebrating avant-garde and literary poetry will include fifteen events featuring over 100 poets from twenty-five nations.

Cork International Poetry Festival
17–20 May 2023

A host of Irish and international poets gathers in Cork for a week of readings, workshops and prize presentations, run by the Munster Literature Centre.

Poetry International Festival

21–23 July 2023

Poetry International is the Southbank Centre’s long-running poetry festival, founded by Ted Hughes in 1967. Returning for the first time since 2019, this year’s iteration forms part of a season of events focused on the climate. Look out for the programme here.

Ledbury Poetry Festival

30 June–9 July 2023

The Ledbury Poetry Festival is an ‘inclusive, international and inspirational celebration of poetry and spoken word’ in Herefordshire, in the west of England; a beautiful setting for this summer gathering.

Classical Music

By Belinda Matthews


Royal Festival Hall, London, 4 March 2023

London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Edward Gardner

A wonderfully inviting programme including works by George Benjamin, Grieg and Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, written when he was in exile in America, grappling with the hosts of an old world amid the energy of the new. Look out for Goodbye Russia: Rachmaninoff in Exile by Fiona Maddocks, to be published by Faber in June 2023.

Steven Isserlis

Wigmore Hall, London, 27 March 2023

Steven Isserlis, one of the world’s finest cellists, champions the neglected 18th-century master Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) in the company of a star-studded ensemble. Boccherini moved from Lucca to Madrid where he composed a good deal of attractive music for solo cello as well as chamber music for strings. Steven is also the author of The Bach Cello Suites: A Companion, now available for pre-order in paperback.

Stephen Hough

Royal Festival Hall, London, 4 May 2023

Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Ryan Bancroft

Stephen Hough, the author of Enough: Scenes from Childhood (available for pre-order now), plays Beethoven’s moving Third Piano Concerto, ahead of Nielsen’s glorious evocation of ‘the spirit of life’.

Edward Dusinberre

Wigmore Hall, London, 15 and 17 May 2023

Takács Quartet

The legendary quartet are led by violinist Edward Dusinberre in a thought-provoking programme of quartets by Haydn, Fanny Mendelssohn and Schubert. Edward Dusinberre is the author of Beethoven for a Later Age: The Journey of a String Quartet and Distant Melodies: Music in Search of Home.


Garsington Opera, 18 June–21 July 2023

Mark Wigglesworth conducts Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos Strauss

The dream team of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal strikes at the heart of what music and drama mean with a lightness of touch and lustrously sumptuous music. Mark Wigglesworth is the author of The Silent Musician: Why Conducting Matters.

Longborough Festival Opera, 20 June–1 July 2023

Alice Farnham conducts Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love)

A travelling quack doctor offers a lovesick young man a cure for all his problems: the elixir of love. A hilarious satirical comedy – one of Donizetti’s most-loved works, and one of the most popular operas of all time. Alice Farnham is the author of In Good Hands: The Making of a Modern Conductor, available for pre-order now.