Hit Edinburgh Festival play A Little Life is coming to London.
Based on Hanya Yanagihara’s New York Times best-selling novel, the play will run at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London for a 12 week season from 25 March to 18 June 2023.
Directed by Ivo van Hove (All About Eve, A View From The Bridge, West Side Story), the show will star James Norton (McMafia, Happy Valley) as lawyer Jude, Omari Douglas (It’s A Sin, Cabaret) as artist JB, Luke Thompson (Bridgerton) as actor Willem, and Zach Wyatt (The Witcher) as architect Malcolm.
A stellar supporting cast includes Elliot Cowan (Foundation, The Crown) as Brother Luke/Doctor Traylor/Caleb, Zubin Varla (Tammy Faye, Jesus Christ Superstar) as Harold, Nathalie Armin (Home, The Doctor) as Ana and Emilio Doorgasingh (Game of Thrones) as Andy.
The story follows four college classmates in the US as they move to New York to pursue their careers, and is layered with complicated themes based around sexuality, friendship, race, abuse and addiction.
Ivo van Hove originally directed the play in Amsterdam, in Dutch, and it was presented in Edinburgh this Summer and New York in October in Dutch with surtitles. The Harold Pinter run will be the play’s English-speaking premiere, and will be shorter than the original production, coming in about 3 hours and 40 minutes.
A Little Life is adapted for the stage by Koen Tachelet, Ivo van Hove and Hanya Yanagihara, based on the novel by Hanya Yanagihara.
Set and lighting design for the show will be by Jan Versweyveld.
Hanya Yanagihara said in a press statement: “One of the greatest, most unexpected joys and honours in my life has been watching as more readers than I could ever have imagined have taken A Little Life and its characters into their hearts over the past seven years. One of those readers was the visionary Ivo van Hove, and I’m thrilled he’s bringing his interpretation of the book to London next spring, with the most extraordinary cast I could have hoped for. This is a singular production, unlike anything I’ve seen before on stage; I hope audiences will be as transported and astonished as I was.”
Ivo van Hove said: “It’s a joy to be returning to the London stage, to a community that has made us feel so welcome, and especially to be bringing Hanya’s incredible novel A Little Life to the stage in the English language for the first time – quite genuinely a dream come true. I’m looking forward to beginning rehearsals with this extraordinary and committed group of actors to reveal the work afresh for audiences from across the UK.”
The show’s producers, Wessex Grove’s Benjamin Lowy and Emily Vaughan-Barratt said: “To be able to bring this work of theatrical genius to the West End is an extreme privilege and a highlight of our careers. We have both been fans and huge admirers of Hanya’s A Little Life from our first reading of it seven years ago, and to be able to spend time with the iconic characters of Jude, Willem, JB, and Malcolm again has been remarkable. It will be incredible to see them come to life before our eyes on stage played by the finest actors of a generation. We can’t wait to share Ivo’s thrilling adaptation of this story about heroic acts of friendship to audiences, whether they are new to the story or longtime fans. Ivo van Hove and Hanya Yanagihara are both artistic titans and we can’t wait to share their collaboration with London audiences.”
Ahead of its West End run, the play will visit Richmond Theatre from 14 to 18 March 2023.
More about A Little Life tickets at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London