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National Theatre

The Motive And The Cue


Sam Mendes (The Lehman Trilogy) directs Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton in this fierce and funny 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.

You can watch the official trailer here


Doors open 30 minutes before the performance commences.

For booking information please go here



‘A love letter to theatre’, Evening Standard

‘Will give you goosebumps’, Independent

‘Immaculately directed by Sam Mendes’, Times

‘A witty, deft, touching evocation of a fascinating, fraught encounter’, Telegraph

‘Mark Gatiss is superb as Sir John Gielgud’, Financial Times





Thu. 21 Mar, 2024


19:00 - 22:00


  • Availability: Tickets on sale to members