jakub | May 2, 2023

The Motive and the Cue, About Richard Burton Hamlet, Opens at London’s National May 2

London News

The Motive and the Cue, About Richard Burton Hamlet, Opens at London's National May 2

Sam Mendes directs the Jack Thorne play.

Sam Mendes and Jack Thorne

The Motive and the Cue, a new play by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘s Jack Thorne, officially opens at London's National Theatre May 2 following previews that began April 21.

Sam Mendes directs the play, which continues in the Lyttelton through July 15. 

Inspired by the making of John Gielgud’s Hamlet, as well as Letters from an Actor by William Redfield and John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Sterne, the cast features Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton, Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud, Tuppence Middleton as Elizabeth Taylor, and Janie Dee as Eileen Herlie.

The ensemble includes Aaron Anthony, Tom Babbage, Allan Corduner, Elena Delia, Ryan Ellsworth, Phoebe Horn, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Huw Parmenter, David Ricardo-Pearce, David Tarkenter, Kate Tydman, Laurence Ubong Williams, and Michael Walters.

The Motive and the Cue focuses on Burton, who is newly married to Taylor and set to play the title role in an experimental new production of Hamlet under Gielgud’s direction. As rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel.

The production also has set design by Es Devlin, costume design by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Jon Clark, music by composer Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, sound design by Paul Arditti, video design by Luke Halls, casting by Alastair Coomer and Naomi Downham, and associate direction by Zoé Ford Burnett. 

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