The Motive and the Cue

Sam Mendes directs Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton, Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Elizabeth Taylor, in this fierce and funny new play by Jack Thorne, offering a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.

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.

The hugely celebrated production of The Motive and the Cue transfers to the West End this December for 15 weeks only, following a sold-out run at the National Theatre.

★★★★★ 'A brilliant new play' Financial Times

★★★★★ 'Funny, witty and utterly compelling' WhatsOnStage


2 hours 40 minutes, including an interval


Noel Coward Theatre

85-88 St Martins Lane London WC2N 4AU

Additional Details & FAQ

Access Information

For information on accessibility please call 0344 482 5137.

Cancellation Policy

No exchanges or refunds after purchase.

Suitable For Children

Age recommendation: 12+

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

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 ticketholder who is at least 18 years old. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted. Latecomers may not be admitted until a suitable break but we cannot guarantee admittance into the performance.


5.0(2 reviews)
  • Chela

    Jan 10, 2024

    Excellent play!

  • Dr Maria Ilia

    Jan 6, 2024

    An exquisite play that brought to light a real gem of a true story. Top acting from all the cast and the two main characters performances kept me off my seat throughout. Very well done

From £24.00