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The Motive and The Cue

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Booking from
Saturday, 9 December 2023

Booking until
Saturday, 23 March 2024

Running time
2h 40m (incl. interval)

Performance Times

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30 19:30 -
19:30 19:30 -

The Motive and The Cue

Love theatre? Fascinated by what happens when two enormous egos clash? You’ll enjoy The Motive and The Cue, theatre tickets for which are available from us. It’s a fresh new play by Jack Thorne, in co-production with Neal Street Productions. Sam Mendes directs this ‘startling’ new play about the making of Burton and Gielgud’s infamous modern-dress 1964 production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is ascending to superstardom, while Gielgud’s star is fading. As the rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and things quickly begin to go downhill.

Described as a ‘fierce and funny’ play, it delivers a glimpse into the politics of rehearsals and the uneasy relationship between art and celebrity. Sam Mendes directs Johnny Flynn as Burton, Mark Gatiss as Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Taylor. The Motive and the Cue is inspired by ‘Letters from an Actor’ by William Redfield and ‘John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet’ by Richard L. Stern. Theatre tickets for The Motive and The Cue take you to the Lyttelton Theatre at South Bank until 15th July 2023, then it transfers to the West End’s Noël Coward Theatre from 9th December 2023 to 23rd March 2024 for a strictly limited 15 week run.

Audience Latest Reviews

Reviews Summary based on 13 reviews

What to expect








Young Couples:

Well made play
Diction issues with Johnny Flynn and Luke Norris. The West End Director needs to get in and give some notes - it's a pity because the play is great and the acting overall is wonderful - including Mr Flynn. Its all to do with the accent I suspect.
Tony, 17 Mar 2024
Absolutely Amazing 😍
Amazing show!
Caroline, 03 Mar 2024
A must see
Amazing directing and innovative scenery
Lila, 31 Jan 2024
Highly recommended.
Well paced, fabulous staging and very theatrical. Mark Gatiss is awesome. Comfortable seating with adequate leg room. Highly recommended.
Tim, 30 Jan 2024
Don't miss this special production
Brilliantly written play, Brilliantly acted. One of the best plays I have seen Recently.
Patricia, 25 Jan 2024
the heart of hamlet
Great all round, thankyou. And the gamble on bringing my two teenage daughters paid off too, as they loved it. I loved the subtle approaches , combined with strong invidual performances, interweaving the classic play with a live reumagining, all together, really felt as though , at times, I was there with Sir John, Elizabeth and Mr Burton. Amazing. Now if Mr Gattis can pls soon return to making sherlock 5, that will be a 10/10 review..9.5/10. Thankyou.
graham, 18 Dec 2023