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The Motive and the Cue, Noel Coward Theatre

December 9, 2023 - March 23, 2024

The Motive and the Cue

Jack Thorne’s new play The Motive and the Cue, starring Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton, and directed by Sam Mendes will run at the Noel Coward Theatre from 9 December 2023 to 23 March 2024. The play premiered at the Lyttleton Theatre earlier in 2023, where it sold out.

The play is inspired by William Redfield’s Inspired by Letters from an Actor and Richard L. Sterne’s John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet. Mark Gatiss plays John Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton is Elizabeth Taylor.

Described by the Financial Times as ‘brilliant new play’, the play gives a view into the rehearsal room, with the clash between art and celebrity. It is a co-production of Neal Street Productions and The National Theatre.

The Plot for The Motive and the Cue

The Motive and the Cue cast at the National Theatre. Photo by Mark Douet I80A4197 (2)
The Motive and the Cue at the National Theatre

Richard Burton, who has just wed Elizabeth Taylor, takes on the role of Hamlet in a daring new production under the rigorous direction of John Gielgud. However, as practise goes on, two eras of theatre intersect, and the working relationship between Burton and Gielgud soon seems to be in jeopardy. This feisty and hilarious play pries into the dynamics of a rehearsal room, and the connection between art and stardom.

The Cast

Johnny Flynn, Autumn de Wilde
Johnny Flynn plays Richard Burton in Jack Thorne’s play

Johnny Flynn (Burton), Mark Gatiss (Gielgud) Tuppence Middleton (Taylor), with Allan Corduner, Sarah Woodward, Rebecca Collingwood, Luke Norris, Laurence Ubong Williams, Elena Delia, Huw Parmenter, Aaron Anthony, Adam Sina, Ryan Ellsworth, Daniel Krikler, David Tarkenter, Kate Tydman, Mark Extance and Stephanie Siadatan.

The Motive and the Cue

It will run at the Noël Coward Theatre, 85 – 88 St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4AP.


Tickets are available at a range of prices starting from £20.

Further Information

If you require further information on the production please click on here.



December 9, 2023
March 23
Event Category:


Noël Coward Theatre
85 - 88 St Martin’s Lane
London,WC2N 4APUnited Kingdom
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