Simon Russell Beale and John Heffernan
Simon Russell Beale and John Heffernan
© Johan Persson

Harold Pinter's macabre tragicomedy is set on Christmas Day in a nameless state-run mental institution where the inmates are subjected to a tirade of mindless cruelty.

The second in Jamie Lloyd's Trafalgar Transformed season at the Trafalgar Studios following Macbeth, The Hothouse stars John Simm and Simon Russell Beale.

The rest of the cast includes John Heffernan, Harry Melling, Clive Rowe, Christopher Timothy and Indira Varma, and the production is designed by Soutra Gillmour. It runs at the Trafalgar Studios until 3 August 2013.

After the performance we were joined by director Lloyd along with Russell Beale, Rowe, Melling and Heffernan for a post-show Q&A.

Topics covered included the infamous 'Pinter pause', which Jamie Lloyd revealed the playwright had himself dismissed as little more than an aid to encourage actors to slow down at key moments, something the playwright has noticed didn't often happen when he worked in rep.

"He used to say damn the pauses", Lloyd said, adding that he had consciously removed them from his production of The Hothouse.

Simon Russell Beale, who plays tinpot tyrant Roote, revealed he hadn't known the play before Lloyd approached him to star in it. "I read it and then we had a meeting in which I said I'd do it. That was it."

Catch up with our twitter coverage in the box below...

For details of our other upcoming WhatsOnStage Outings, click here.