COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre London

Cock tickets at the Ambassadors Theatre, London

Ambassadors Theatre, London
Booking to 5 June 2022
Sorry, this show is not currently booking.

Jonathan Bailey and Joel Harper-Jackson star in Mike Bartlett’s razor sharp play

Marianne Elliott directs Mike Bartlett’s razor sharp play starring Olivier Award winner Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton, Broadchurch, Company), Joel Harper-Jackson (Kinky Boots, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time),Jade Anouka (His Dark Material) and Phil Daniels (The Hatton Garden Job, I Hate Suzie).

Cock is booking until 5 June 2022 at The Ambassadors Theatre, London

What is Cock about?

“The fact is that some of us like women and some like men and that’s fine that’s good in fact that’s good, a good thing, but it seems to me that you’ve become confused.”

John (Jonathan Bailey) is happy in himself, and with his boyfriend (Joel Harper-Jackson), until one day he meets the woman of his dreams (Jade Anouka).

In a world full of endless possibilities why must we still limit ourselves with labels? Mike Bartlett’s razor sharp play about love and identity redefines the battle of the sexes as we know it.

Who is in the Cock cast?

The cast of Cock stars Jonathan Bailey (Company, Bridgerton, Broadchurch, Crashing), Joel Harper-Jackson ((Kinky Boots, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Jade Anouka (Julius Caesar, Henry IV, The Tempest, Cleaning Up, Turn Up Charlie) and Phil Daniels (The Hatton Garden Job, I Hate Suzie).

Creative team

Written by Mike Bartlett. Directed by Marianne Elliott with set & costume design by Merle Hansel, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Ian Dickson, composition by Femi Temowo, movement by Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster, voice work by Hazel Holder and Associate Director Chloe Christian.


Reviews of Cock

★★★★ "Marianne Elliott’s meticulous, eloquently stylised revival " - Evening Standard
★★★★ "Funny and playful but with a stark psychological intensity" - TimeOut
★★★★ "A shrewd, savage revival" - i News
★★★★ "Revival of Mike Bartlett’s 2009 play fizzes with energy" - Independent
"Marianne Elliott’s stylised revival of Mike Bartlett’s comedy" - The Guardian
"Frank and funny... Bartlett’s play has a tension at its centre that feels amplified watching it in 2022" - The Stage
"Brutal, bruising and brilliant" - The Arts Desk
"This engrossing, visceral ride through desire and self-deceit" - Variety
★★★★  Average review score

Read more reviews


Show Information

Performance dates
Booking to 5 June 2022
Age restrictions
Age guidance 14+
Running time
1 hour 45 minutes
Performance days
Evenings: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Matinees: Thursday, Saturday

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


Show Photos


Cast Highlights


Important Notes

Taron Egerton is no longer appearing in COCK.


Venue Information

Ambassadors Theatre, West Street, London, WC2H 9ND
Nearest Tube or Train: Leicester Square (Northern line, Piccadilly line)
Nearest Buses: 14, 19, 22, 24, 29, 38, 40, 176
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News about Cock
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Jonathan Bailey and Joel Harper-Jackson at Curtain Call for Cock, by Craig Sugden ">
Stage Spy: “Cock” banned by London Underground
It seems that, as a word, Cock isn't as acceptable as we thought it was! Mike Bartlett's play Cock, which is currently wowing audiences in the West End at the Ambassadors Theatre starring Jonathan Bailey, has been subjected to censorship! We already knew that Bailey, and former co-star Taron Egerton, were banned from saying the show's title on BBC's The One Show, when they were doing publicity for the run. But we didn't clock at the time, that posters for the show on London Transport were also censored. Like, there was no title for the show at all. Clearly prospective bookers had to have a quick google to work out what the show was, or naturally look for it on WestEndTheatre.com. The show's producer Chris Harper told Variety that “we were absolutely astounded that we could not use the word ‘cock’ on the underground – it is 2022! The word is perfectly acceptable and has many meanings. Mike Bartlett’s hilarious play, which is currently playing at the Ambassadors Theatre where the title is proudly displayed on the theatre, is a beautifully written piece which was inspired by a cockfight". Transport for London (TFL) who manage the underground have censored show posters before, with Bad Jews - which returns to the Arts Theatre in London this Summer - getting censored in 2015 on grounds that the title could cause “widespread or serious offence”. Danny Moar, the producer of Bad Jews, told the The Evening Standard at the time that: “Half the cast are Jewish, I’m Jewish, the writer [Joshua Harmon] is Jewish and the word ‘bad’ in the title, in so far as it matters, doesn’t mean ‘evil’ — it means ‘non-observant’.” Banning the word "Cock" seems pretty arbitrary to us, although either way, it hasn't hurt ticket sales. Cock closes on 5 June 2022 starring Jonathan Bailey, Joel Harper-Jackson, Jade Anouka, and Phil Daniels. More about Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre
COCK new photos released ">
First Look Photos: Joel Harper-Jackson and Jonathan Bailey in Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre
The producers of COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre have released new photographs of Jonathan Bailey and Joel Harper-Jackson. Taron Egerton dropped out the production last week, to be replaced by his understudy Joel Harper-Jackson. This new revival of Mike Bartlett’s razor sharp comedy is directed by Marianne Elliott (War Horse, Company), and is running at the Ambassadors til 4 June 2022. Harper-Jackson released a statement on 4 April saying that his "experience working in COCK the play has been an extraordinary whirlwind" and that, "due to Taron's recent covid status, i had the privilege of stepping into his shoes to play 'M' temporarily. I will now be taking over the role of 'M' for the remainder of the production. I am thrilled to be playing this character and will treasure this opportunity for years to come." He also thanked Taron Egerton, going on to say that, "Taron has been one of my acting heroes for years, I have learnt a great deal watching, working and getting to know him during this process. He's a true gentleman and a phenomenal actor. I send him much love and well wishes." He finishes by saying thanks to Marianne Elliott and producer Chris Harper, "for giving me this opportunity and I will continue giving it my all night after night. I also need to say a massive thank you to the ENTIRE company both on and off stage. Jade and Phil you are incredible, a true joy to watch and work alongside. And especially to Jonathan Bailey - thank you for your ongoing support, care and words of wisdom - you've made this whole experience easy, calming and most important fun." The cast consists of Olivier Award-winning Jonathan Bailey (Bridgerton) as John, Joel Harper-Jackson  as M, Jade Anouka as W and Phil Daniels as F. The all-important understudies are Dominic Holmes (John and M), Jessica Whitehurst (W) and John Vernon (F). Photos by Matt Crockett Book tickets to COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre, London [ngg src="galleries" ids="773" display="pro_tile"]
Taron and Joel -- Cock ">
Egerton Exits Cock, Joel Harper-Jackson takes over
Taron Egerton has exited the production of Mike Bartlett's COCK, currently running at the Ambassadors Theatre in London. Producers Elliott & Harper Productions, run by Marianne Elliott, the play's director, and Chris Harper, announced today that Taron's understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson, would continue to perform Egerton's role of M until the play ends on 4 June 2022. Egerton had a rocky start, fainting during the first preview of the show last month, and having his understudy Joel Harper-Jackson go on for the last 15 minutes. He then managed a couple of weeks of performances, including the COCK opening night, before testing positive for Covid, and his understudy Harper-Jackson has been covering ever since. Jonathan Bailey and Joel Harper-Jackson at Curtain Call for Cock, by Craig Sugden The producers have said that Egerton had to withdraw from the show "due to personal reasons" but didn't elaborate further. In a pointedly short statement from Marianne Elliott, which made no reference to Egerton or his performance in the show, she said: "Joel is an absolute hero. He is a brilliant and gifted actor and stepped into the role at extremely short notice. Audiences have been standing and cheering and so am I." Egerton's co-star, Bridgerton actor Jonathan Bailey, said: "Joel is an immense talent and we couldn’t be luckier to have him on board. I am proud to continue sharing the stage with him." Other cast in the play are Jade Anouka as W and Phil Daniels as F. The understudies are: Dominic Holmes (John and M), Jessica Whitehurst (W) and John Vernon (F). From the get-go, producers got a heavy-weight to understudy Taron Egerton. Joel Harper-Jackson is a highly experienced stage actor, with credits including Charlie Price in the UK tour of Kinky Boots, the UK tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Beautiful - The Carole King Musical at The Aldwych Theatre, and Che in Evita at the Ljubljana Festival in Slovenia. He's also in the new movie version of Matilda The Musical, starring Emma Thompson as Miss Trunchbull. The movie is released in cinemas in the UK on 2 December 2022, and then will be on Netflix. Harper-Jackson's album, "So What Happens Now?" was released in 2020. Joel Harper Jackson COCK's creative team includes Designer Merle Hensel, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson, Composer Femi Temowo, Movement Director Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster, Casting Director Charlotte Sutton, Vocal Coach Hazel Holder and Associate Director Chloe Christian. Book tickets to COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre, London
Cock - Ambassadors Theatre ">
Production photos released for Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre starring Jonathan Bailey and Taron Egerton
Marianne Elliot's latest West End production - COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre - has released new production images. Photographed by Brinkhoff Moegenburg, the cast consists of Taron Egerton, Jonathan Bailey, Jade Anouka and Phil Daniels. Directed by Tony and Olivier award winning Marianne Elliott (Company, War Horse), and written by Mike Bartlett, Cock is running at the Ambassadors Theatre until Saturday 4 June 2022. Mike Bartlett’s razor sharp play promises to redefine the battle of the sexes, and is about a male couple in a gay relationship where one of them falls in love with a woman. Marianne Elliott told the press that: "I feel so excited to be working on this beautifully crafted and hilarious play by Mike Bartlett. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. A truly theatrical piece in that it asks the audience to enter the imagination of the storytelling - as only live theatre can do. It’s also all about the acting so to have such a talented, highly experienced, stellar cast is an absolute dream!" Taron Egerton won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Sir Elton John in Rocketman. Jonathan Bailey won an Olivier Award for his ground-breaking role of Jamie in Marianne Elliott’s West End revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical Company, and plays Viscount Anthony Bridgerton in Netflix period drama, Bridgerton, with the second season coming out later this month. The all important understudies for the show, even more important given one had to go on last week, are Joel Harper- Jackson (John/M), Dominic Holmes (y John/M), Jessica Whitehurst (W) and John Vernon (F). Alongside Marianne Elliott on the creative team are Designer Merle Hensel, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson, Composer Femi Temowo, Movement Director Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster, Casting Director Charlotte Sutton, Vocal Coach Hazel Holder and Associate Director Chloe Christian. Book tickets to COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre Production images of COCK [ngg src="galleries" ids="761" display="pro_tile"]
Taron Egerton - Cock ">
Stage Spy: Taron’s Cock Collapse
Marianne Elliot must have had a mini heart-attack last night, Saturday 5 March 2022, only matched by Taron's fainting spell. The first preview of her revival of COCK, Mike Bartlett's sharp and witty drama at the Ambassadors Theatre starring Rocketman's Taron Egerton and Bridgerton's Jonathan Bailey, was mired in drama - and not part of the play. The producers released the following statement after the show, so we'll let that do the talking: “During this evening’s first preview of Mike Bartlett’s play Cock at the Ambassadors Theatre, Taron Egerton fainted towards the end of the performance. A doctor who was in the audience attended to Taron immediately after the incident, and whilst he felt fine, it was decided that Taron’s understudy, Joel Harper-Jackson would continue in the role to complete the performance". In an Instagram Story today, Egerton said that apart from a "bruised ego" he was okay and thanked the "lovely" Harper-Jackson for stepping in: "As some of you may have heard, I passed out during the first performance of COCK last night. I am completely fine. Slightly sore neck and a bruised ego but I'm fine. I've decided to put a positive spin on it and I would appreciate it if anyone who was in the theatre last night just said that I gave such a committed, electrifying performance that my body couldn't handle it and checked out." "That being said, apparently you're meant to actually do the full show and not just three quarters of it. So I'll be back with a vengeance tomorrow night. Thank you to the amazing team at the theatre and my wonderful cast mates for being so lovely. But mainly I want to say thanks to Joel Harper Jackson who stepped in to do the last bit of the play. Joel is an amazing actor and a lovely person. Thank you Joel." The reason for the fainting is unknown, and he is expected to appear at the next scheduled performance tomorrow, Monday 7 March. And we wish him well. And congrats to Joel Harper-Jackson for stepping in to the breach. Albeit for the last 15 mins! Book tickets to COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre in London
COCK The Play">
New photos released for COCK starring Taron Egerton and Jonathan Bailey
New images have been released for the upcoming revival of Mike Bartlett's play COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre. Running from 5 March to 4 June 2022 at the Ambassadors Theatre, COCK stars Bridgerton's Jonathan Bailey and Rocketman star Taron Egerton as a gay couple whose relationship is thrown into turmoil when one of them "meets the woman of his dreams". The play also stars Jade Anouka and Phil Daniels. Marianne Elliot (War Horse, Company) directs the play, alongside Designer Merle Hensel, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson, Composer Femi Temowo, Movement Director Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster, Casting Director Charlotte Sutton, Vocal Coach Hazel Holder and Associate Director Chloe Christian. COCK is produced by Elliott & Harper Productions. Marianne Elliot told the press this week that: "I feel so excited to be working on this beautifully crafted and hilarious play by Mike Bartlett. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. A truly theatrical piece in that it asks the audience to enter the imagination of the storytelling - as only live theatre can do. It’s also all about the acting so to have such a talented, highly experienced, stellar cast is an absolute dream!" Playwright Mike Bartlett added: "I love Marianne Elliott’s work and have done for a long time, so I’m thrilled to be able to collaborate with her on this revival. Especially with this incredible cast, which I know will bring both a fresh take and vast experience to a play about love, identity and the passionate human being.” Book tickets to COCK at the Ambassadors Theatre in London [ngg src="galleries" ids="757" display="pro_tile"] More about the cast and creative team Taron Egerton: Taron won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Sir Elton John in Rocketman and also recorded the original song for the film I’m Gonna Love Again with Sir Elton which went on to win Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. He will next be seen starring in Blackbird, a limited series drama for Apple TV alongside Paul Walter Hauser, Tetris directed by Jon S. Baird and produced by Matthew Vaughn for Apple + and is also set to star in Claire Denis’ romantic drama thriller Stars at Noon, opposite Margaret Qualley. Egerton shot to fame when he played Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin in Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and reprised the role in Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Other credits include Eddie the Eagle, Testament of Youth, Legend, Sing, Robin Hood, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. On stage he has appeared in The Last of the Haussmans at the National Theatre and Tommy in No Quarter at the Royal Court Theatre. Jonathan Bailey: Jonathan won an Olivier Award for his ground-breaking role of Jamie in Marianne Elliott’s West End revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s musical Company. Jonathan plays Viscount Anthony Bridgerton in the Netflix’ period drama, Bridgerton, a role he is reprising in the second series scheduled for release in 2022. His other TV credits include the ITV series Broadchurch, Leonardo da Vinci in Leonardo, Me and Mrs Jones, Doctor Who and WIA (all for the BBC) and Crashing and Chewing Gum for Channel 4. His theatre credits include David Hare’s South Downs, American Psycho at the Almeida Theatre, The York Realist at The Donmar Warehouse, and King Lear (alongside Sir Ian McKellen) for Chichester Festival Theatre. Jade Anouka: Jade's recent TV credits include Ruta Skadi in BBC/HBO’s His Dark Materials, Channel 5’s The Drowning and ITV’s Cleaning Up. Her film credits include Ear For Eye, Fisherman’s Friends and Last Christmas. In theatre Jade has played the title roles in Hampstead’s Olivier nominated The Phlebotomist and Queen Margaret at The Royal Exchange. Other theatre credits include Moon On A Rainbow Shawl at The National Theatre, Doctor Faustus in the West End and the Donmar Warehouse Shakespeare Trilogy where she played Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, Hotspur in Henry IV and Ariel in The Tempest. She wrote, directed and co-starred in a short film - Her & Her for BBC’s Culture In Quarantine series which has since got in to 23 film festivals. Phil Daniels: Phil's early films include Anoop and the Elephant, Bugsy Malone, Breaking Glass, Scum and the central role of Jimmy in Quadrophenia. He starred in a 1985 British snooker musical, Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire. More recent films include playing the voice of Fletcher in Chicken Run, Free Jimmy, Freebird, Vinyl and The Hatton Garden Job. He narrated tracks Parklife and Me, White Noise on the Parklife and Think Tank albums for Blur. On TV, he played Kevin Wicks in EastEnders and appeared in Sunnyside Farm, Time Gentlemen Please, and Rock and Chips. His theatre credits include: The Merchant of Venice, The Jew of Malta and A Clockwork Orange for the RSC, This House for the National Theatre, King Lear at Chichester Festival Theatre and Thenardier in Les Miserables in the West End. Mike Bartlett is a multi-award-winning writer for both stage and screen. His five part drama series Doctor Foster won the National Television Award for Best New Drama and was seen by almost 10 million viewers. Other television work includes Life, Doctor Foster series 2, King Charles III, Sticks and Stones, Trauma, Press, Doctor Who and The Town. Bartlett’s stage plays include: Vassa, Albion and Game for the Almeida Theatre, Snowflake for Arts at the Old Fire Station; Wild at Hampstead Theatre; the Olivier Award winning King Charles III at the Almeida Theatre, Wyndham’s Theatre and Music Box Theatre in New York (also winner of the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play 2014); An Intervention for Paines Plough and Watford; Bull at Sheffield Theatres, Off Broadway and the Young Vic (Winner of Best New Play at the National Theatre Awards 2013); Medea for Headlong, Glasgow Citizens, Watford Theatre and Warwick; Chariots of Fire at the Hampstead Theatre the Gielgud Theatre in the West End; 13 at National Theatre; Cock for the Royal Court; Decade for Headlong; Earthquakes in London for Headlong and the National Theatre; Love, Love, Love for Paines Plough, Plymouth Theatre Royal, the Royal Court, Roundabout Theatre Company, New York and the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre; Contractions for the Royal Court and Crucible Theatre, Sheffield; My Child for the Royal Court; Artefacts for the Bush Theatre and Honest for the Theatre Royal Northampton. Marianne Elliott recently directed Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Company at the Gielgud Theatre. It won four Olivier Awards including ‘Best Revival of a Musical’. Its Broadway transfer will re-open (following the Covid shutdown) in New York this autumn. Her other shows for Elliott & Harper include the Olivier Award winning Death of a Salesman (co-directed with Miranda Cromwell) in the West End and at the Young Vic. For the National Theatre she directed the Olivier and Tony award-winning Angels in America (in London and on Broadway), the Olivier and Tony-award-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (at the NT, West End, on Broadway and on tour). She co-directed the world-wide hit War Horse alongside Tom Morris (at the NT, West End on Broadway and on tour). She received a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play for War Horse. On winning the Tony Award for Curious Incident in New York, Marianne became the first woman in Broadway history to have won two Tony Awards for Best Direction of a Play. Other productions at the NT include The Light Princess, Women Beware Women, Port, Saint Joan (Olivier Award for Best Revival, South Bank Show Award) and Pillars of the Community (Evening Standard Best Director Award). Elliott recently directed two of the episodes of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads for the BBC.
Jonathan Bailey & Taron Egerton ">
Taron Egerton and Jonathan Bailey to star in ‘Cock’ in London’s West End
Golden Globe winner Taron Egerton (Rocketman) will make his West End stage debut opposite Bridgerton's Jonathan Bailey in the West End premiere of acclaimed play Cock. Mike Bartlett's Olivier Award winning play about love and identity will play a limited season at the Ambassadors Theatre in London from 5 March 2022 until 4 June 2022, with an official press night on 15 March 2022. Jonathan Bailey will return to the stage for the first time since his Olivier Award winning performance in Company. Jonathan plays Viscount Anthony Bridgerton in the Netflix’ period drama, Bridgerton, a role he is reprising in the second series scheduled for release in 2022. His other TV credits include the ITV series Broadchurch, Leonardo da Vinci in Leonardo, Me and Mrs Jones, Doctor Who and WIA (all for the BBC) and Crashing and Chewing Gum for Channel 4. His theatre credits include David Hare’s South Downs, American Psycho at the Almeida Theatre, The York Realist at The Donmar Warehouse, and King Lear (alongside Sir Ian McKellen) for Chichester Festival Theatre. Whilst he is best know for his film roles, Rocketman, Kingsmen: The Secret Service, Kingsmen: The Golden Circle, Eddie The Eagle and Robin Hood, Egerton has appeared on stage in The Last of the Haussmans at the National Theatre and in No Quarter at the Royal Court Theatre. Joining Egerton and Bailey will be rising star Jade Anouka - recently seen on TV playing Ruta Skadi in BBC/HBO's His Dark Materials - and veteran screen and stage actor Phil Daniels (Quadrophenia; This House, National Theatre; Les Miserables,West End). Rising star Jade Anouka (His Dark Materials BBC, Shakespeare Trilogy at the Donmar Warehouse) and Phil Daniels. The play will be directed by Tony Award and Olivier Award winning director Marianne Elliot (Company, War Horse, Curious Incident, Death of a Salesman). The creative team include Designer Merle Hensel, Lighting Designer Paule Constable, Sound Designer Ian Dickinson, Composer Femi Temowo, Movement Director Annie-Lunette Deakin-Foster, Casting Director Charlotte Sutton, Vocal Coach Hazel Holder and Associate Director Chloe Christian. ‘I feel so excited to be working on this beautifully crafted and hilarious play by Mike Bartlett. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. A truly theatrical piece in that it asks the audience to enter the imagination of the storytelling - as only live theatre can do. It’s also all about the acting so to have such a talented, highly experienced, stellar cast is an absolute dream!’ Marianne Elliott said. Playwright Mike Bartlett added:  ‘I love Marianne Elliott’s work and have done for a long time, so I’m thrilled to be able to collaborate with her on this revival. Especially with this incredible cast, which I know will bring both a fresh take and vast experience to a play about love, identity and the passionate human being.”  Cock tickets are now on sale. Cock is booking from 5 March 2022 until 5 June 2022 at The Ambassadors Theatre, London

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