About The Pillowman

Duke of York's Theatre, London
Booking to 2 September 2023
No longer booking

★★★★ “Lily Allen is compulsively watchable in this wickedly funny work” – Evening Standard

Martin McDonagh’s Tony and Olivier Award-winning play The Pillowman gets its first major West End revival at the Duke of York’s Theatre.

Lily Allen (2:22 A Ghost Story) and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen, Inside Number 9) star in this electrifying dark comedy, directed by Matthew Dunster (Shirley Valentine).

Examining the role of the artist in society and the price of freedom of expression, The Pillowman is considered to be one of the greatest plays of the past 25 years.

The Pillowman is playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London until 2 September 2023.

Sign-up for booking alerts, offers & news about The Pillowman and other shows & offers:

Photos


Show Information

Performance dates
Booking to 2 September 2023
Age restrictions
14+
Running time
2 hours 25 minutes (including interval)
Performance days
Evenings: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Matinees: Wednesday, Saturday

Performance information is for guidance only. Check booking calendar for details.


Starring


What's the story of The Pillowman?

While living in a police state, a writer named Katurian is interrogated about a spate of murders that bear many similarities to their short stories. What has made Katurian write like she does? Is this simply life imitating art or something more sinister?

Who is in the cast of The Pillowman?

The cast of The Pillowman is led by Lily Allen (2:22 A Ghost Story) as Katurian and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen, Killing Eve, Inside Number 9) as Tupolski. 

Also starring are Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Afterlife) as Ariel, and Matthew Tennyson (Benediction, Pride) as Michal.

The cast is completed by Rebecca Lee (Mother and understudy Katurian), Daniel Millar (Father and understudy Ariel and Tupolski) Carlotta Di Gregori (understudy Mother) and David Angland (Blind Man and understudy Michal and Father). The role of Child 1 is shared by Ruby Siddle, Madelynne Mills and Sophia Cullingford, and the role of Child 2 is shared by Lexi Anna Scott, Darcy Crosby and Lillie Stocker.

Who are the creative team of The Pillowman?

The Pillowman is written by Martin McDonough and directed by Matthew Dunster.

The Production Designer is Anna Fleischle, with Lighting Designer Neil Austin, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Video Designer Dick Straker, Casting Director Amy Ball CDG, Fight Director RC Annie, Movement Director Chi-San Howard, Associate Director Isabel Marr, and Associate Designer Liam Bunster.


Reviews

★★★★ "An extraordinary play" - The Independent
★★★★ "Lily Allen is compulsively watchable in this wickedly funny work" - The Evening Standard

Read more reviews


Venue Information

Duke of York's Theatre, 45 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4BG
Nearest Tube or Train: Leicester Square (Northern line, Piccadilly line), Charing Cross (Northern line, Bakerloo line), Embankment (Northern line, Bakerloo line, District line, Circle line)
Nearest Buses: 14, 19, 22, 24, 29, 38, 40, 176
Maps:
Google
Apple
What3Words

News about The Pillowman

The Pillowman Reviews
The Pillowman Reviews
Reviews are coming in for Martin McDonagh's play The Pillowman at the Duke of York's Theatre, starring Lily Allen and Steve Pemberton. Directed by Matthew Dunster (2:22 A Ghost Story) this electrifyingly revival stars Lily Allen (2:22 A Ghost Story) as Katurian, with Steve Pemberton (Inside No. 9) as Tupolski, Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones) as Ariel and Matthew Tennyson (Benediction) as Michal. Other cast include Rebecca Lee (Mother and understudy Katurian), Daniel Millar (Father and understudy Ariel and Tupolski) Carlotta Di Gregori (understudy Mother) and David Angland (Blind Man and understudy Michal and Father). The role of Child 1 is shared by Ruby Siddle, Madelynne Mills and Sophia Cullingford, and the role of Child 2 is shared by Lexi Anna Scott, Darcy Crosby and Lillie Stocker. [ngg src="galleries" ids="1215" display="basic_slideshow"] Joining Dunster in the creative team are Production Designer Anna Fleischle, Lighting Designer Neil Austin, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Video Designer Dick Straker, Casting Director Amy Ball CDG, Fight Director RC Annie, Movement Director Chi-San Howard, Associate Director Isabel Marr, and Associate Designer Liam Bunster. The story centres on Katurian, a writer in a police state who is interrogated about the content of her short stories and their similarities to several murders occurring in the town. The Pillowman is running at the Duke of York's Theatre until 2 September. Read reviews from the Independent, TimeOut, Stage and more, with further reviews to be added. Book tickets to The Pillowman tickets at the Duke of York's Theatre in London
Photos: The Pillowman starring Lily Allen & Steve Pemberton – in pictures
Photos: The Pillowman starring Lily Allen & Steve Pemberton – in pictures
Photos are in of The Pillowman starring Lily Allen and Steve Pemberton. Matthew Dunster (Shirley Valentine; 2:22 A Ghost Story) directs this major revival of Martin McDonagh’s savage and electrifyingly funny play. Lily Allen (2:22 A Ghost Story) star as Katurian, a writer in a police state who is interrogated about the content of her short stories and their similarities to several murders occurring in the town. Steve Pemberton (Benidorm, The League of Gentlemen, Inside No. 9) plays Tupolski, with Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Matilda The Musical) as Ariel and Matthew Tennyson (Benediction) as Michal. The cast also includes Rebecca Lee (Mother and understudy Katurian), Daniel Millar (Father and understudy Ariel and Tupolski) Carlotta Di Gregori (understudy Mother) and David Angland (Blind Man and understudy Michal and Father). The role of Child 1 is shared by Ruby Siddle, Madelynne Mills and Sophia Cullingford, and the role of Child 2 is shared by Lexi Anna Scott, Darcy Crosby and Lillie Stocker. The creative team also includes Production Designer Anna Fleischle, Lighting Designer Neil Austin, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Video Designer Dick Straker, Casting Director Amy Ball CDG, Fight Director RC Annie, Movement Director Chi-San Howard, Associate Director Isabel Marr, and Associate Designer Liam Bunster. The Pillowman is at the Duke of York's Theatre until 2 September. Book tickets to The Pillowman tickets at the Duke of York's Theatre in London The Pillowman - production photos [ngg src="galleries" ids="1215" display="pro_tile"] Photos by Johan Persson
Photos: The Pillowman starring Lily Allen & Steve Pemberton – in rehearsals
Photos: The Pillowman starring Lily Allen & Steve Pemberton – in rehearsals
Rehearsal images have dropped of Lily Allen, Steve Pemberton and the cast of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman. Directed by Matthew Dunster (Shirley Valentine; 2:22 A Ghost Story), the revival starts at the Duke of York's Theatre from 10 June 2023, and is booking to 2 September. McDonagh’s savage and electrifying funny Olivier Award-winning play sees Lily Allen (2:22 A Ghost Story) star as Katurian, a writer in a police state who is interrogated about the content of her short stories and their similarities to several murders occurring in the town. Steve Pemberton (Benidorm, The League of Gentlemen, Inside No. 9) plays Tupolski, with Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Matilda The Musical) as Ariel and Matthew Tennyson (Benediction) as Michal. The cast also includes Rebecca Lee (Mother and understudy Katurian), Daniel Millar (Father and understudy Ariel and Tupolski) Carlotta Di Gregori (understudy Mother) and David Angland (Blind Man and understudy Michal and Father). The role of Child 1 is shared by Ruby Siddle, Madelynne Mills and Sophia Cullingford, and the role of Child 2 is shared by Lexi Anna Scott, Darcy Crosby and Lillie Stocker. The creative team also includes Production Designer Anna Fleischle, Lighting Designer Neil Austin, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Video Designer Dick Straker, Casting Director Amy Ball CDG, Fight Director RC Annie, Movement Director Chi-San Howard, Associate Director Isabel Marr, and Associate Designer Liam Bunster. Book tickets to The Pillowman tickets at the Duke of York's Theatre in London The Pillowman - rehearsal photos [ngg src="galleries" ids="1183" display="pro_tile"]
Now on Sale: The Pillowman starring Lily Allen & Steve Pemberton
Now on Sale: The Pillowman starring Lily Allen & Steve Pemberton
The West End revival of Martin McDonagh’s acclaimed play The Pillowman at the Duke of York's Theatre is now on sale. McDonagh’s savage and electrifying funny Olivier Award-winning play starts performances at the Duke of York's Theatre on 10 June 2023, and is booking to 2 September 2023. Lily Allen (2:22 A Ghost Story) stars in the play as Katurian, a writer in a police state who is interrogated about the content of her short stories and their similarities to several murders occurring in the town. Steve Pemberton (Benidorm, The League of Gentlemen, Inside No. 9) plays Tupolski, with Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Matilda The Musical) as Ariel and Matthew Tennyson (Benediction) as Michal. The cast is completed by Rebecca Lee (Mother and understudy Katurian), Daniel Millar (Father and understudy Ariel and Tupolski) Carlotta Di Gregori (understudy Mother) and David Angland (Blind Man and understudy Michal and Father). The role of Child 1 is shared by Ruby Siddle, Madelynne Mills and Sophia Cullingford, and the role of Child 2 is shared by Lexi Anna Scott, Darcy Crosby and Lillie Stocker. The Pillowman - first day of rehearsals. Photo by Helen Murray Directed by Matthew Dunster (Shirley Valentine; 2:22 A Ghost Story), The Pillowman's creative team also includes Production Designer Anna Fleischle, Lighting Designer Neil Austin, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson for Autograph, Video Designer Dick Straker, Casting Director Amy Ball CDG, Fight Director RC Annie, Movement Director Chi-San Howard, Associate Director Isabel Marr, and Associate Designer Liam Bunster. Book tickets to The Pillowman tickets at the Duke of York's Theatre in London
The Pillowman and Pen International partner up
The Pillowman and Pen International partner up
Charity PEN International is partnering with the the forthcoming new West End production of Martin McDonagh’s play The Pillowman. PEN International promotes the importance of literature and defending freedom of expression, and was started in 1921. As part of the partnership, PEN will hold a series of events and initiatives to highlight the themes tackled by McDonagh in the play. The Pillowman stars Lily Allen (2:22 A Ghost Story), Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen), Paul Kaye and Matthew Tennyson, and is directed by Matthew Dunster (Shirley Valentine). The play starts at the Duke of York's Theatre on 10 June 2023, and runs to 2 September 2023. In the play writer Katurian (Lily Allen) lives in a police state, and is interrogated about the content of her short stories and their similarities to several murders occurring in the town. Throughout the production, the collaboration will see a series of activities featuring the participation of award-winning writers, including PEN International President Burhan Sonmez, Mona Arshi, Yann Martel and Ben Okri, among others. Activities will include three post-show Q&As and essays about the role of the writer in contemporary times, resonating and compounding the themes of the play, and on how writers have often been looked upon to critically engage in what makes us human. Burhan Sonmez, writer and President of PEN International said in a statement: "This captivating play examines the role of the writer in society and reflects on the price paid for exercising the right we all have, to freedom of expression. At PEN, we are proud to be working with this production of The Pillowman, and participate in this ambitious project that supports many of the values we promote such as the need for tolerance, critical thinking and informed debate." James Bierman producer of The Pillowman, said: "All of us involved in The Pillowman are honoured to work with Pen International, which since its inception in 1921, has worked with writers across the world who are persecuted for putting their ideas into words. These writers rely on PEN International to stand up for their right to freedom of expression, and we hope that by joining forces, we can help shine some light on their important work. With the growing number of writers under attack, PEN’s mission today is more vital than ever. In the real world it would be PEN who would be campaigning for Katurian’s release and so it’s important we then use the platform of the play to campaign for them." Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi and a member of PEN International’s Writers Circle said: "Theatre has the power to change things for the better, and with this exciting partnership between PEN International and the new production of The Pillowman, the light will shine more brightly on the freedoms essential to writers and artists around the world." Ben Okri, author and member of PEN International’s Writer’s Circle, said: "How governments handle dissenting voices is often a measurement of how they handle human freedoms at large. This partnership honours all writers and artists silenced for simply expressing their views peacefully, and sends a powerful message in their support, everywhere – at a time when freedom of expression is increasingly under threat." More about tickets to The Pillowman at the Duke of York's Theatre in London
Paul Kaye & Matthew Tennyson to join The Pillowman with Lily Allen & Steve Pemberton
Paul Kaye & Matthew Tennyson to join The Pillowman with Lily Allen & Steve Pemberton
Further casting has been revealed for the forthcoming West End revival of Martin McDonagh’s play The Pillowman at the Duke of York's Theatre. Paul Kaye and Matthew Tennyson are set to join the cast of Martin McDonagh’s acclaimed, Olivier Award-winning comedy, alongside Lily Allen (2:22 A Ghost Story) and Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentleman). Paul Kaye, who plays Ariel, is best know for his TV work including Game of Thrones and Afterlife. His previous stage credits including originating the role of the Mr Wormwood in Matilda The Musical for the RSC, for which he was Olivier nominated, and The Suicide and Our Country’s Good for the National Theatre. Matthew Tennyson, who plays Michal, recently appeared as Wilfred Owen in Terence Davies’ film Benediction and made his screen debut in Pride directed by Matthew Warchus. His theatre includes Sally Cookson’s A Monster Calls at The Old Vic, Cleansed for the National Theatre and Making Noise Quietly at the Donmar Warehouse; and his TV credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Humans. Further casting is to be announced.  The Pillowman is directed by Matthew Dunster - a busy man at the moment, who currently has 2:22 A Ghost Story starring Cheryl and Shirley Valentine starring Sheridan Smith both playing in the West End. Joining Martin and Matthew on the creative team are Production Designer Anna Fleischle, Lighting Designer is Neil Austin, Sound Designer, Ian Dickinson for Autograph and Casting is by Amy Ball. In the play, Lily Allen plays a writer in a police state who is interrogated about the content of her short stories and their similarities to several murders occurring in the town. The show runs at the Duke of York Theatre in London from 10 June to 2 September 2023. More about The Pillowman tickets at the Duke of York's Theatre in London
The Pillowman to star Lily Allen and Steve Pemberton at the Duke of York’s Theatre
The Pillowman to star Lily Allen and Steve Pemberton at the Duke of York’s Theatre
A major new revival of Martin McDonagh’s Olivier Award-winning play The Pillowman has announced casting and venue for its first West End run. The Pillowman will play the Duke of York's Theatre from 10 June 2023 for a strictly limited 12 week run until 2 September 2023. The production is set to star Lily Allen and Steve Pemberton, with direction by Matthew Dunster. Further casting is to be announced. The Pillowman originally had its world premiere in November 2003 at the National Theatre directed by John Crowley starring David Tennant and Jim Broadbent; and opened on Broadway in April 2005 at the Booth Theatre starring Billy Crudup and Jeff Goldblum. The Pillowman is set in a totalitarian state, where a Writer is questioned by the authorities about a spate of murders that bear similarities to her short stories. Is this life imitating art or something more sinister, in a play that examines the role of the artist in society and asks what price do we pay for freedom of expression. Martin McDonagh said in a press statement: “I’m thrilled that The Pillowman is finally making its West End premiere. It’s a play that’s always been very close to my heart, in terms of its combination of dark comedy with its exploration of the nature of story-telling itself and the role of the artist in society. With so many personal freedoms under attack by governments and religions around the world I think it’s a perfect time to put this play on. I am a huge admirer of both Steve Pemberton and Lily Allen - their intelligence, their wit, their fun - and having Lily play Katurian, the first time this role has been played by a woman in an English-speaking version, is just so, so exciting to me. With such a strong cast, and Matthew at the helm once again, I can’t wait to be part of it.” Lily Allen said: “One of our most inventive playwrights, Martin McDonagh, is renowned for pushing boundaries and it’s a privilege to join this show. Together with my incredible 2.22 director Matthew Dunster, I am excited to help create a production of The Pillowman that is sorely needed right now in these unprecedented times. I can’t wait to bring it to life each night on stage and for audiences to get to experience it.” Steve Pemberton said: “As a huge fan of Martin McDonagh’s writing, I'm delighted that The Pillowman is heading to the West End next year. I can’t wait to help bring this blisteringly dark and funny play to life and I’m honoured to be working with such an exciting creative team." Joining Matthew Dunster on the creative team are Set and Costume Designer Anna Fleischle, the Lighting Designer is Neil Austin, Sound Designer, Ian Dickinson for Autograph and Casting is by Amy Ball. The Pillowman is produced by Empire Street Productions (Prima Facie). Martin McDonagh is an acclaimed writer for stage and film. His theatre work include Olivier Award-winning Hangmen, which ran successfully in the West End and on Broadway; The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara, The Lonesome West, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Cripple of Inishmaan, A Behanding in Spokane and A Very Very Very Dark Matter. McDonagh recently won the Best Screenplay Award at the Venice Film Festival for his new film The Banshees of Inisherin, is also the multi Olivier, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning playwright and screen-writer responsible for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Six Shooter. Lily Allen, who made her West End debut in 2:22 - A Ghost Story at the Noel Coward Theatre in a role for which she was awarded Best Female-Identifying Role in a Play at the Whatsonstage Awards and Olivier nominated, will play Katurian, the first time the role has been played by a woman. Next year Allen is set to star star in new Sky original comedy Dreamland, and she is also an internationally renowned singer and songwriter. Steve Pemberton is a member of The League of Gentlemen with Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson. He co-wrote and appeared in Psychoville and Inside No. 9 for which he won the BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance in 2019. His other television credits include: Killing Eve, Good Omens, Worzel Gummidge, Doctor Who, Benidorm, Blackpool, Shameless, Whitechapel, Happy Valley and Mapp and Lucia. His stage work includes playing Mr Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer at the National Theatre. Steve will play Tupolski. More about The Pillowman tickets at the Duke of York's Theatre in London
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Steve Pemberton to star in Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Steve Pemberton to star in Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman
Golden Globe Award winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals) and BAFTA winner Steve Pemberton (The League of Gentlemen) will star in a new production of Martin McDonagh’s Olivier Award winning play The Pillowman. Directed by Matthew Dunster, this production is the first ever West End staging of McDonagh’s electrifying and savagely funny black comedy since it premiered at the National Theatre in 2003. The play is set in a totalitarian state and centres on a Writer who is questioned by the authorities about a spate of murders that bear similarities to his short stories. This dark comedy is widely regarded as one of the greatest plays of the past 25 years and seeks to question the role of the artist in society and what price do we pay for freedom of expression. The Pillowman will begin performances at the Duke of York’s Theatre from Friday 24 July 2020 for a strictly limited 12-week season . Martin McDonagh said: "The Pillowman is a play that's always been very close to my heart, in terms of its combination of the darkest of dark comedy with its exploration of the nature of story-telling itself. It's a play that I haven't wanted to have staged in London until I could find the perfect director and the ideal cast for it, and having worked with Matthew previously on Hangmen, and been an admirer of Steve and Aaron's work for many years, I feel it's the perfect time to find out what a whole new generation makes of this peculiar tale..." McDonagh is a multi Olivier, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning playwright and screen-writer known forThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, Six Shooter. His plays include The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Hangmen and A Very Very Very Dark Matter. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is best known for his starring role in the Kick-Ass Films, Doug Liman’s The Wall, David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King and will soon be seen in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Steve Pemberton's numerous credits include Psyschoville, Inside Number 9, Shameless, Whitechapel, Happy Valley and Mapp and Lucia. The production will see Dunster reunite with the multi Olivier, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning playwright and screen-writer following their smash-hit production of Hangmen at the Royal Court Theatre in 2015. A show which subsequently transferred to the West End and is about to open on Broadway. Dunster will also team up with his Hangmen creative team with Set & Costume by Anna Fleischle and Sound Design by Ian Dickinson. Further casting to be announced. The Pillowman is booking from 24 July 2020 until 17 October 2020 at the Duke of York's Theatre, London The Pillowman tickets are available now.

More Great Shows

More >
Filter by
Exact matches only
All Shows
Musicals
Plays
Sign-up for news and booking alerts about these shows and more:

Leave a Review or Comment

Comments and reviews are subject to our participation guidelines policy, which can be viewed here. Our policy is for readers to use their REAL NAMES when commenting.