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The Motive and the Cue

The Motive and the CueT1282331105
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.
Author Jack Thorne

Archive :: production:T1282331105, play:S1221992002, venue:V380

Production details

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 a startling new play on the making of Burton and Gielgud's Hamlet.

Special Performances

  • 3 Feb 24 Sign Interpreted
  • 20 Feb 24 Captioned
  • 29 Feb 24 Audio Described
  • 9 Mar 24 Captioned
  • 16 Mar 24 Audio Described


VenueNoel Coward Theatre
TownWest End
CountyGreater London
From9th December 2023
Opened18th December 2023
To23rd March 2024
What is currently on at Noel Coward Theatre (V380)



The Motive and the Cue review
22Mar24: Live broadcast seen at the Regal Cinema, Wadebridge.
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating


Producer National Theatre
Producer Neal Street Productions
Director Sam Mendes
Design Es Devlin
Costume Katrina Lindsay
Lighting Jon Clark
Music Benjamin Kwasi Burrell
Sound Paul Arditti
Design Luke Halls (video)
Director Alastair Coomer (CDG - casting)
Director Naomi Downham (casting)
Director Zoe Ford Burnett (associate director)
Director Yasmin Hafesji (staff director)
Performer Johnny Flynn (Richard Burton - Hamlet)
Performer Mark Gatiss (Sir John Gielgud - Director and Ghost)
Performer Tuppence Middleton (Elizabeth Taylor - a world apart)
Performer Allan Corduner (Hume Cronyn)
Performer Sarah Woodward (Eileen Herlie)
Performer Rebecca Collingwood (Linda Marsh)
Performer Luke Norris (William Redfield)
Performer Laurence Ubong Williams (Hugh McHaffie)
Performer Elena Delia (Jessica Levy)
Performer Huw Parmenter (Clement Fowler)
Performer Aaron Anthony (Robert Milli)
Performer Adam Sina (Frederick Young)
Performer Ryan Ellsworth (George Voskovec)
Performer Daniel Krikler (Dillon Evans / Waiter)
Performer David Tarkenter (Alfred Drake)
Performer Kate Tydman (Christine Cooper)
Performer Mark Extance (Mick Burrows)
Performer Stephanie Siadatan (Susannah Mason)
CORONAVIRUS: All venues in the UK were shut down on March 16, 2020, and the restrictions were finally lifted on July 19, 2021. It is important to mention that the UK Theatre Web archive listings (iUKTDb) from March 2020 to July 2021 might not be accurate due to the lack of information regarding rescheduled and cancelled shows.

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