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NT Live: The Motive and the Cue

A new play by Jack Thorne. This electrifying brand-new play brings Richard Burton and John Gielgud’s infamous Hamlet rehearsals to the big screen, with Johnny Flynn and Mark Gatiss.


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?

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 (The Lehman Trilogy) directs Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton in this new play.


1964: Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new Broadway 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.


Written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and designed by Es Devlin (The Crucible), the Evening Standard award-winning best new play was filmed live during a sold-out run at the National Theatre.


★★★★★ ‘A brilliant, compassionate new play’ (Financial Times) 

★★★★★ ‘Immaculately directed by Sam Mendes’ (Times) 

★★★★★ ‘Mark Gatiss gives the performance of his career’ (Telegraph) 

★★★★★ ‘Smooth and sophisticated’ (WhatsOnStage)

★★★★ ‘Will give you goosebumps’ (Independent)

The programme starts 30 minutes after doors open and the main feature 60 minutes after doors open.

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.

Doors open:

2pm Sunday 31st March 2024

Director:

Sam Mendes

Genre:

Recorded live theatre
Runtime:
160 minutes including interval
Certificate:
15
Starring:
Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton
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