Garrick Theatre, London, 27th October to 2nd February
James Fenton’s colourful version of Cervantes’s baggy classic was an RSC hit in Stratford-upon-Avon two years ago. An overdue London transfer should warm up winter: David Threlfall’s decrepit and melancholic Don Quixote and Rufus Hound’s clownish, audience-baiting Sancho Panza are beautifully counter-balanced in Angus Jackson’s production. Watch out for the sci-fi space journey and listen up to composer Grant Olding’s Hispanic songs. The adventurers set forth on a pair of knackered, improvised horses devised by War Horse puppet maestro Toby Olié.
Caroline, or Change
Playhouse Theatre, 20th November to 9th February
This five-star musical by Tony Kushner (Angels in America) and Jeanine Tesori (Shrek the Musical), set in Louisiana in 1963, was first seen at the National in 2006 and, in this superb revival by Michael Longhurst, at Chichester last year. Olivier award-winner Sharon D Clarke storms it as the disappointed, exhausted housemaid in the basement of a Jewish household.
Minerva Theatre, Chichester, 3rd November to 1st December
A long-simmering project of Posh playwright Laura Wade “looks under the bonnet of Jane Austen” to study the plight of the characters abandoned in an early and unfinished novel of around 18,000 words. There have been several attempts to complete the novel, but this is the first stage version to ponder what happens when a writer loses the plot. Actor Samuel West, Laura Wade’s partner, is the director.