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The Motive and the Cue    Tickets
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London

The Motive and the Cue Tickets

See this five-star play directed by multi award-winner Sam Mendes (The Lehman Trilogy).
Production image of The Motive and the Cue in London, featuring the full West End cast.
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Production image of The Motive and the Cue in London, featuring Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton.
The Motive and the Cue    Tickets

About The Motive and the Cue

Sometimes, the best drama happens backstage… see Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss, and Tuppence Middleton star in the West End transfer of The Motive and the Cue, directed by Sam Mendes. Book The Motive and the Cue tickets on TodayTix.

Critics raved about the National Theatre’s production, with Evening Standard calling it “a love letter to theatre!”

The Motive and the Cue revolves around the dynamic and tense relationship between the young, enthusiastic Richard Burton and ageing star Sir John Gielgud during a 1964 Broadway production of Hamlet. The play explores universal themes of creation, collaboration, and the frustrations that emerge. The Motive and the Cue is a highly enthralling and fiercely funny new work by Olivier Award winner and Drama Desk Award nominee Jack Thorne.

In the New York City-set play, Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is all set to play the title role in an experimental new Broadway production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. Exciting? Rehearsals would say otherwise. As the artistic process unravels, two ages of theatre collide, and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel.

Run time

2h 40m (incl. interval)

Start date

December 9th, 2023

End date

March 23rd, 2024

Categories

Age

12+ Everyone, regardless of age, must have their own ticket to enter the theatre. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by and sat next to a ticket holder who is at least 18 years old. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.

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Reviews

Audiences Say
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious
89
Excellent

549 reviews on Show-Score

Positive
Mixed
Negative
Critical Darling
Overrated, Intelligent
80 / 100
James Tradgett
Masterful, Great staging, Exquisite, Absorbing, Clever
96 / 100
OliverAyres
Must see, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Funny
96 / 100
Ed_Fortune
Great staging, Indulgent, Intricate, Sublime, Absorbing
92 / 100
View all reviews
Production note
This production contains strong language and adult themes, with some bright lighting.

The Motive and the Cue cast and creative team

By: Jack Thorne, based on the books John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard Sterne and Letters From an Actor by William Redfield
Director: Sam Mendes
Cast list: Johnny Flynn (as Richard Burton), Tuppence Middleton (as Elizabeth Taylor), Mark Gatiss (as John Gielgud), Allan Corduner, Ryan Ellsworth, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Michael Walters, Laurence Ubong Williams Design: Es Devlin
Costumes: Katrina Lindsay
Lighting: Jon Clark
Sound: Paul Arditti

Venue

Noël Coward Theatre

85-88 St Martin's Lane, London, United Kingdom, WC2N 4AU

Directions

Location: West End
Railway station: Charing Cross
Bus numbers: (Charing Cross) 24, 29, 176; (Strand) 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 87, 91, 139
Night bus numbers: (Charing Cross) 24, 176, N5, N20, N29, N41, N279; (Strand) 6, 23, 139, N9, N15, N11, N13, N21, N26, N44, N47, N87, N89, N91, N155, N343, N551 Car park: St Martin's Lane Hotel (1min)
Directions from tube: (2mins) Take Cranbourn Street away from Leicester Square until St Martin’s Lane, where you head right until you reach the theatre.

More information about The Motive and the Cue

Following an acclaimed, sold-out run at the National Theatre, Jack Thorne’s The Motive and the Cue transfers to the West End’s Noel Coward Theatre for 15 weeks only. The fierce and funny new play, inspired by Letters from an Actor by William Redfield and John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Stern brings together a powerhouse creative team.

Olivier, Tony, and Academy Award winner Sam Mendes direct the play by the co-author of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Starring Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton, Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Elizabeth Taylor, the new London play The Motive and the Cue offers a singular glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the thorny, mercurial relationship between art and celebrity.

What to watch for

  • Sam Mendes won an Oscar for directing American Beauty and earned a nomination for 1917; he also won Tony and Olivier Awards for directing The Ferryman.
  • Johnny Flynn, star of the Netflix series Lovesick, stars as theatre legend Richard Burton; Olivier Award nominee Mark Gatiss, who had a recurring role on Game of Thrones, plays the director Sir John Gielgud; and Tuppence Middleton, who appeared in the Downton Abbey films and The Imitation Game, plays Elizabeth Taylor.
  • There’s no ambiguity here: critics loved this play, with Evening Standard calling it ‘a love letter to theatre’ and The Times saying it’s ‘immaculately directed by Sam Mendes.’
  • Director Sir John Gielgud and actor Richard Burton did not always get along. ‘Shall I go ahead and wait until you're better?... ah, I mean ready?’ Gielgud asked his lead backstage one evening. Their complicated history also stems from the fact that Gielgud gave Burton his career breakthrough, directing him in The Lady's Not For Burning.

Frequently asked questions

What is The Motive and the Cue about?

Academy Award winner Sam Mendes directs the National Theatre's West End transfer of The Motive and the Cue. Don't miss Mark Gatiss, Johnny Flynn, and Tuppence Middleton starring in this hilarious new play about the making of Richard Burton and John Gielgud's Hamlet on Broadway.

What is the running time of The Motive and the Cue ?

The Motive and the Cue runs for 2h 40m (incl. interval).

Which theatre is The Motive and the Cue at?

The Motive and the Cue is at London's Noël Coward Theatre.

What is the age recommendation for The Motive and the Cue ?

12+ Everyone, regardless of age, must have their own ticket to enter the theatre. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by and sat next to a ticket holder who is at least 18 years old. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.

How do you get tickets for The Motive and the Cue ?

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