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The Motive and the Cue photo on Stagedoor

The Motive and the Cue Tickets

Following a highly acclaimed, sold-out run at the National Theatre, the 5★ play transfers to the West End

The Motive and the Cue photo on Stagedoor
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Between 21 Dec - 4 Jan.

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Date & Time

Opening 09 Dec

Sat 9 Dec 2023 - Sat 23 Mar 2024 2pm & 7.30pm BSL: Sat 3 Feb, 2pm Captioned: Tue 20 Feb, 7.30pm Sat 9 Mar, 2pm Audio Described: Thu 29 Feb, 7.30pm Sat 16 Mar, 2pm

Runtime: 2h 40m

Recommended By

Those who complain that the West End is full of musicals and that Christmas is a time to stay away from the theatre in case you encounter a dame should rejoice because here’s a satisfying, knotty, meaty, and intelligent play. Written by Jack Thorne and directed by Sam Mendes—whose production of Jez Butterworth’s latest, The Hills of California, opens early next year—it stars Mark Gattis as John Gielgud, who in 1964 is directing Richard Burton (Johnny Flynn), newly married to Elizabeth Taylor (Tuppence Middleton), as Hamlet on Broadway. Things are not going well. The show is gossipy, witty, but also ultimately moving as it contemplates the act of making and experiencing theatre and how it is both thinking and feeling.

About The Motive and the Cue

Academy Award®, Tony Award® and Golden Globe winner Sam Mendes (The Lehman Trilogy, The Ferryman) directs this startling production based on the making of Richard Burton and John Gielgud’s Hamlet on Broadway. Celebrated as ‘a love letter to theatre’ (Evening Standard), the fierce and funny new play by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity. Why would the most famous movie star in the world choose to do a play which everyone already knows? And what lures us back to the same plays, year after year? Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new 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. Don’t miss original leads Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss and Tuppence Middleton who return to play the iconic roles of Richard Burton, John Gielgud and Elizabeth Taylor. A co-production with Neal Street Productions. Age recommendation: 12+ Content: This production contains strong language and adult themes, with some bright lighting. Please note: Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by and sat next to a ticketholder who is at least 18 years old.