Oscar winning director Sam Mendes and playwright Jack Thorne will premiere a new play – The Motive and the Cue – at the National Theatre in London next year. Tipped to be a landmark production, The Motive and the Cue explores the staging of the 1964 Broadway production of Hamlet in which Sir John Gielgud directed iconic film star Richard Burton.
Tickets for The Motive and The Cue will go on sale later this year.
The drama is the result of two years of writing and workshops with the source material coming from two out of print books (Richard Sterne’s John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet and William Redfield’s Letters From an Actor). The play is based on Gielgud’s 1964 pared down production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet which played at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater with Burton starring as the Danish prince. The piece is set just before Burton and Elizabeth Taylor – the hottest film stars in the world – tied the knot for the first time.
The high profile play is a joint production between the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions, who previously collaborated on the Tony winning The Lehman Trilogy. Rehearsals for The Motive and the Cue will reportedly begin in late January or early February. Casting for The Motive and the Cue is to be announced.
Joining Thorne and Mendes in the creative team will be Es Devlin(set design), Katrina Lindsay (costume), Jon Clark (lighting), Paul Arditti (sound) and Kwasi Burrel (composer).
Full production dates to be announced.