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Directed by Sam Mendes, The Motive and the Cue is coming to Noël Coward Theatre, London for a limited run from 9th December 2023 – 23rd March 2024.

The National Theatre and Neal Street Productions announced today the cast for its hugely celebrated show, The Motive and the Cue. Written by Jack Thorne, this ‘brilliant new play’ (Financial Times) is inspired by the making of Richard Burton and Sir John Gielgud’s landmark Broadway production of Hamlet in 1964. Offering a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.

As previously announced, following a sold-out run at the National Theatre, Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss and Tuppence Middleton will return to play the iconic roles of Richard Burton, John Gielgud and Elizabeth Taylor in this ‘thrilling rollercoaster of high drama’ (The Sunday Times).

Joining them in this ‘theatrical extravaganza’ (Evening Standard) is, Allan Corduner as Hume Cronyn, Sarah Woodward as Eileen Herlie, Rebecca Collingwood as Linda Marsh, Luke Norris as William Redfield, Laurence Ubong Williams as Hugh McHaffie, Elena Delia as Jessica Levy, Huw Parmenter as Clement Fowler, Aaron Anthony as Robert Milli, Adam Sina as Frederick Young, Ryan Ellsworth as George Voskovec, Daniel Krikler as Dillon Evans and Waiter, David Tarkenter as Alfred Drake, Kate Tydman as Christine Cooper, Mark Extance as Mick Burrows and Stephanie Siadatan as Susannah Mason.

1964: Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new Broadway production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel.

Mendes is joined by set designer, Es Devlin; costume designer, Katrina Lindsay; lighting designer, Jon Clark; composer, Benjamin Kwasi Burrell; sound designer, Paul Arditti with casting by Alastair Coomer CDG and Naomi Downham. West End director, Zoé Ford Burnett and associate director Yasmin Hafesji complete the creative team.

Originally commissioned by Neal Street Productions and developed and co-produced with the National Theatre, The Motive and the Cue played to sold-out audiences in spring 2023. It is inspired by Letters from an Actor by William Redfield and John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Sterne.

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