The Motive and The Cue

The Motive and The Cue

Noel Coward Theatre

4.9/5 based on 13 reviews (read reviews)
  • Booking until: Saturday, 23 March 2024
  • Running time: 2h 40m (incl. interval)
Couples (85%) Theatregoers (100%) i
The Motive and The Cue photos
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The Motive and The Cue description

The Motive and The Cue – Five star stuff

Back in 1964, John Gielgud directed a stripped-back Broadway production of Hamlet starring Richard Burton. The idea was to perform the play as if it was a final rehearsal. This is a dramatisation of what happened between the two men. While Gielgud’s fame was fading at the time, Burton’s career was booming thanks to his marriage to Liz Taylor. The result is a battle of two almighty egos, and the tensions run high.

On stage at the Lyttelton Theatre at National Theatre, South Bank, until 15th July 2023, the play then transfers to the Noël Coward Theatre from 9th December 2023 to 23rd March 2024 for a strictly limited 15 week run.

The Financial Times calls it ‘brilliant’ and awards it five stars. A five star review from Broadway World describes it as ‘an undeniably brilliant tour de force’ and four star review from the Telegraph calls it a ‘palpable hit’.

What's the story behind The Motive and The Cue?

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. This ‘fierce and funny’ new play by Jack Thorne gives us a highly entertaining glimpse into the fiery politics of the rehearsal room and the sometimes fraught relationship between art and celebrity. Johnny Flynn plays Richard Burton, Mark Gatiss is Gielgud, and Tuppence Middleton plays Elizabeth Taylor.

About The Motive and The Cue

The Motive and The Cue theatre tickets land you at a co-production with Neal Street Productions. Sam Mendes directs this ‘startling’ new play about the making of Burton and Gielgud’s infamous Hamlet.

Why would the most famous movie star in the world choose to do a play which everyone already knows? And what lures us back to the same plays, year after year? Come and find out.

Get good quality cheap theatre tickets for The Motive and The Cue from us to experience a fantastic cast. As well as the main stars we have top performances from Aaron Anthony, Tom Babbage, Allan Corduner, Janie Dee, Elena Delia, Ryan Ellsworth, Mark Extance, Phoebe Horn, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Huw Parmenter, David Ricardo-Pearce, David Tarkenter, Kate Tydman, Laurence Ubong Williams, and Michael Walters.

The creative team comprises Set Designer Es Devlin, Costume Designer Katrina Lindsay, Lighting Designer Jon Clark, Composer Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, Sound Designer Paul Arditti, and Casting by Alastair Coomer CDG and Naomi Downham. The Associate Director is Zoé Ford Burnett and the Associate Set Designer is Amalie White. The Staff Director is Yasmin Hafesji.

Buy tickets for The Motive and The Cue

Buy tickets for The Motive and The Cue from us and enjoy simple, efficient service. We'll email your e-tickets to you – just present them at the door on the day.


Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss

Playing at Noel Coward Theatre

85-88 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4AU GB (venue info)

Noel Coward Theatre Directions

Age restrictions

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.

Important information

This production contains strong language and adult themes, with some bright lighting.

Performance Times
Mon 19:30
Tue 19:30
Wed 19:30
Thu 19:30 19:30
Fri 19:30
Sat 19:30 19:30
Sun - -
The Motive and The Cue video