Wyndham's Theatre

32-36 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA GB

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill Tickets

based on 19 reviews

Wyndham's Theatre

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Starring: Audra McDonald

Booking until: Saturday, 9 September 2017

Tickets from £15.00
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Performance Times
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
14:45 14:45 14:45
19:45 19:45 19:45 19:45 19:45

Show Closed
This show is now closed.

Booking from:
Saturday, 17 June 2017

Booking until:
Saturday, 9 September 2017

Love Billie Holiday's beautiful, mournful music? You'll adore Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, an exceptional play-with-music written by Lanie Robertson which examines events in the life of the tragic songstress. The show premièred in 1986 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. After a best-selling stint Off Broadway it made the grade and caused a stir on Broadway itself... and the rest is history. Now it's due in the West End.

Roll back time to 1959. The scene is an intimate bar in Philadelphia, where Billie Holiday is putting on one of the last ever performances of her career. The play takes you on a poignant journey through her life and times, supported by a host of moving songs, as one of the greatest jazz and soul singers of all time shares her tragedies and triumphs, loves and losses.

Entertainment Weekly calls it, “One of the most exquisite & haunting performances of the year!”, a fitting complement bearing in mind Billie herself is played to perfection by the awesome six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, making her West End début in the role. You can expect a deliciously intimate evening filled with famously inspiring and moving songs, blended beautifully with stories from the singer's extraordinary life. And the score is unforgettable in its own right, featuring huge hits like God Bless the Child, What a Little Moonlight Can Do, Strange Fruit, and Taint Nobody's Biz-ness.

The playwright Lanie Robertson also wrote The Insanity of Mary Girard, which recently toured Ireland. He's no stranger to the world of theatre, a respected writer whose portfolio includes Back County Crimes, Nasty Little Secrets, Bringing Mother Down and Cannibal's Waltz. In 1987, he won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Lady Day, starring Lonette McKee as Billie Holiday, later played by the marvellous Eartha Kitt, S. Epatha Merkerson, Loretta Divine, Jackee Harry and – for this production - Audra McDonald.

This is going to be something special. Don't miss out – we recommend you grab tickets as soon as they come out!

Press Reviews

Audra McDonald is spellbinding as Billie Holiday. It’s the real deal. Get a ticket. The Times

A powerhouse performance Evening Standard

Utterly intoxicating The Telegraph

Absolutely astonishing The I Newspaper

The most daring and accomplished performance of the year Sunday Express

Customer Reviews

What to expect:






Recommended for:


based on 19 reviews

Sheer Brilliance

This is one of the best shows I have ever seen. The acting was amazing and the singing sublime. It was harrowing but utterly compelling and has lived with me ever since I saw it. I cried all the way home.

London Box Office customer


I love the music of Billie Holliday it brought back memories of the film Lady Sings the Blues everything was so griping and found myself crying at the end

London Box Office customer

Lady Day made my day.

A fantastic and moving performance. Audra takes us on an emotional roller coaster of this tragic stars life. The dark moments are quickly forgotten by the superb singing. The stage atmosphere was recreated brilliantly. The show flies by and you leave the theatre touched as much by the story as the music. Great show.

London Box Office customer


London Box Office customer

Story telling

Great story telling, great music.

London Box Office customer

Mesmerizing. Riveting.

London Box Office customer

An emotional tribute.

An excellent portrayal of the unforgettable lady day. The 3piece jazz musicians were fabulous and accompanied audra McDonald perfectly. The play stirs up your emotions and when it comes to an end it leaves you with a wow.

London Box Office customer

An amazing measured performance

Adult material and language so not suitable for families. Ideal for jazz fans generally but definitely for anyone who wants and insight into the late, great Billie Holiday. Audra McDonald is just outstanding in her depiction of a great talent ruined by drink and drugs. She captured the voice and mannerisms so well and the onstage Holiday, clearly under the influence of drinks and drugs, was just perfectly measured. Really felt the pain of Billie Holiday's sad life through the narrative. Loved the music. All credit to the supporting jazz musicians but the accolades are all for Ms McDonald, who carried the show on her very able shoulders. What a performer!

London Box Office customer


This is a no holds barred look at a musical legend. Holliday was a genius and her re-creator is little less. You will never hear a strange Fruit better sung by a living performer. No wonder that Audra McDoald won those six Tony awards.

London Box Office customer

Very moving

A tragic story magnificently portrayed by Audra McDonald with excellent musical backing by the trio of musicians. Not an easy show to watch, but absolutely memorable.

London Box Office customer

Terrific evening

London Box Office customer

Painfully Moving

Audra McDonald gives a flawless performance as Billy Holiday. We have seen her before in NYC and I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't seeing Billy Holiday for real. It was achingly painful at times, wonderfully moving and a real treat. All ages should see this performance, not just Billy Holiday fans. Miss McDonald is able to adapt her voice to truly reflect the qualities that Billy Holiday possessed. We were blown away. Her bands supports her well. A great event all round.

London Box Office customer

Emotional journey

I had goosebumps when i first head the voice of Audra McDonald and then throughout the evening. It was like Billie Holiday was singing and talking in front of us. If you want to relive a unique chance to experience an evening with the legendary singer and her band then dont miss this opportunity. Was one of the most memorable theater nights I have been to.

London Box Office customer


Audra McDonald is doing the best job I've ever seen! Incredible acting, incredible singing. Billie Holiday is not easy to imitate or portray but Audra masters it 100%

London Box Office customer

Preview Report: LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL at The Wyndhams Theatre

03 Jul 2017 in Reviews

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill West End shows don’t come much more anticipated than Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. A tribute to the late, great Billie Holiday, Lady Day was originally meant to transfer from Broadway to London in June of 2016. But when the star of the show Audra McDonald discovered she was pregnant the production was postponed. Now one year on she finally brings her Tony Award winning performance as Holiday to the Wyndham’s Theatre on Charing Cross Road.

Read more
Review: Audra McDonald in Concert at the Leicester Square Theatre

25 Jan 2016 in Reviews

Audra McDonald - Lady Day It’s been a momentous week for Audra McDonald’s UK fans. Just prior to her first solo concert in the UK for 16years it was announced that McDonald would be reprising her Tony Award winning performance as Billie Holiday in ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’ at the Wyndham’s Theatre this summer. Audra as Billie is a performance that I urge you not to miss. But I will go into more detail about that later.

Read more

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Theatre Address

Wyndham's Theatre
32-36 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA GB

Wyndham's Theatre - Theatre Address

travel info


  • Air conditioned
  • Bar
  • Disabled toilets
  • Infrared hearing loop
  • Member of Q-Park scheme
  • Toilets
  • Wheelchair/scooter access

Theatre Info

  • Capacity: 970
  • Year built: 1899