20 April 2023 - 1 July 2023
Oscar winner Sam Mendes directs a hot new play
Sam Mendes and Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) present The Motive and the Cue – a landmark new play about the 1964 Broadway staging of Hamlet by legendary actors Richard Burton and Sir John Gielgud.
The Motive and the Cue will star Johnny Flynn (Emma, Hangmen) as Richard Burton, Tuppence Middleton (Downton Abbey) as Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) as John Gielgud.
This fierce and funny new play offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.
The play is based on the books “John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet” by Richard Sterne, and “Letters From an Actor” by William Redfield.
The Motive and the Cue will begin performances on 20 April 2023 on the Lyttelton stage at the National Theatre in London.
What's the story of The Motive and the Cue?
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.
Who is in the cast of The Motive and the Cue?
The The Motive and the Cue is led by Johnny Flynn (Emma, Hangmen) as Richard Burton, Tuppence Middleton (Downton Abbey) as Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) as John Gielgud.
The cast will also feature Allan Corduner, Ryan Ellsworth, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Michael Walters and Laurence Ubong Williams.
Who are the creative team of The Motive and the Cue?
Directed by Sam Mendes with set design by Es Devlin, costume by Katrina Lindsay, lighting by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti and music composed by Kwasi Burrell. Inspired by Richard Sterne’s John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet and William Redfield’s Letters From an Actor; written by Jack Thorne.
Venue InformationNational Theatre - Lyttelton Theatre, Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PX
Nearest Tube or Train: Waterloo (Jubilee line, Northern line, Bakerloo line)
Nearest Buses: 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 76, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 243, 341, 521, X68, RV1