The Motive and the Cue

By Jack Thorne
Originally produced at National Theatre, London, England
April 20 - June 10, 2023

Synopsis: Sam Mendes directs a startling new play on the making of Burton and Gielgud’s 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? Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new 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. This fierce and funny new play by Jack Thorne offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.

Artistic StatementComing soon!
Grant StatementComing soon!

Writer Jack Thorne
Director Sam Mendes
Scenic Designer Es Devlin
Costume Designer Katrina Lindsay
Lighting Designer Jon Clark
Sound Designer Paul Arditti
Composer Benjamin Kwasi Burrell
Video Designer
Luke Halls
Alastair Coomer CDG
Naomi Downham
Associate Director
Zoé Ford Burnett
Staff Director
Yasmin Hafesji


Allan Corduner
Ryan Ellsworth
Johnny Flynn
Mark Gatiss
Aysha Kala
Tuppence Middleton 
Luke Norris
Michael Walters
Laurence Ubong Williams