The Motive and the Cue Transfers to the West End this December

Mark Douet

Following a highly successful, sold out run at the National Theatre, The Motive and the Cue is to transfer to the West End. The critically acclaimed National Theatre and Neal Street Productions’ new play by Jack Thorne, inspired by the making of Richard Burton and John Gielgud’s Hamlet, is directed by Sam Mendes, with set design by Es Devlin. It will be playing for a strictly limited  period – 9 December 2023 to 23 March 2024 at the Noël Coward Theatre. Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss and Tuppence Middleton will reprise their iconic roles of Burton, Gielgud, and Elizabeth Taylor, respectively.

The play is set in 1964, when Richard Burton is probably the second-most famous actor in the world – the most famous being his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. Burton is to play the titular role in a high-concept production of Hamlet under the exacting direction of legendary theatre knight Sir John Gielgud. As rehearsals commence, two ages of theatre collide, and  , 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 relationship between the boozy, blunt Welsh actor and the revered theatre director begins to disintegrate. The Motive and the Cue brings the theatrical process to life vividly, and perfectly captures a particularly heady time in history.  

The Motive and the Cue

Dates:   From 9 December 2023 – 23 March 2024


Address:  Noël Coward Theatre (a Delfont Mackintosh Theatre), 85 - 88 St Martin’s Lane, London,WC2N 4AP

Box Office:  Book via 0344 482 5151

Running Time:  2 hours 40 minutes, including an interval


Mark Douet

The Motive and the Cue cast at the National Theatre.

Elisabeth Rushton

Elisabeth has over 15 years of experience as a luxury lifestyle and travel writer, and has visited over 70 countries. She has a particular interest in Japan and the Middle East, having travelled extensively around Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, and the UAE. A keen skier, she has visited over fifty ski resorts around the world, from La Grave to Niseko. She writes about a broad spectrum of subjects...(Read More)

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