The Motive and the Cue Tickets
Sam Mendes directs a startling new play on the making of Burton and Gielgud’s Hamlet.
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.
This fierce and funny new play by Jack Thorne offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.
Sam Mendes directs Johnny Flynn as Burton, Mark Gatiss as Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Taylor.
Age restrictionThis production is suitable for ages 12+
Running time2 hours and 40 mins including interval
Performance dates9 December 2023 - 23 March 2024
ContentThis production contains strong language and adult themes, with some bright lighting.
News / New Shows + Transfers
What’s opening in theatre’s this month (December 2023)
December is here, and we are full of Christmas spirit (partly thanks to the numerous mulled wine stalls dotted around the capital…) roasted chestnuts, tinsel draped over every available surface, and Christmas films dominating our television sets, we’re fully committed to all things Christmassy.
However, the twinkling lights and decorated trees aren’t the only things going up in the capital this December, as the curtain is set to rise on a whole host of brand-new shows! With beautiful ballet, provocative pantos and Christmas classics, the West End is well and truly spoiling us this festive season (good thing indulgence is encouraged this month!)
30 Nov, 2023 | By Sian McBride
News / Features / New Shows + Transfers
The backstory, the motive and the cue: everything you need to know about Richard Burton
Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, His Dark Materials) explores the tumultuous relationship between art and celebrity in his latest play, The Motive and the Cue. The story follows Richard Burton (Johnny Flynn), fresh from his (first) wedding to Elizabeth Taylor. Burton is preparing to play the titular role in John Gielgud’s (Mark Gatiss) experimental, stripped-back production of Hamlet. It was gamble for the world’s most famous actor to perform such a well-known play, considering he'd played the role 10 years earlier.
However, Burtons fears will ill found as the production became a smash hit breaking the record for the longest run for the play in Broadway history at 137 performances. Many credited Burton’s personality as much as his performance for the show’s runaway success, but how did Richard Burton become such a global phenomenon?
14 Jul, 2023 | By Sian McBride