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A Little Life to run in the West End with James Norton, Omari Douglas, Luke Thompson and Zach Wyatt

Ivo van Hove's production of Hanya Yanagihara's novel makes its English language premiere

Zach Wyatt, James Norton, Omari Douglas and Luke Thompson
© Charlie Gray

Hanya Yanagihara's seminal novel A Little Life is set to open in the West End and visit Richmond Theatre next spring.

Ivo van Hove directs the piece in its English language premiere, following a Dutch-language production's run in Edinburgh in August. That iteration was awarded the full five stars by WhatsOnStage.

Yanagihara said today: "One of the greatest, most unexpected joys and honours in my life has been watching as more readers than I could ever have imagined have taken A Little Life and its characters into their hearts over the past seven years.

"One of those readers was the visionary Ivo van Hove, and I'm thrilled he's bringing his interpretation of the book to London next spring, with the most extraordinary cast I could have hoped for. This is a singular production, unlike anything I've seen before on stage; I hope audiences will be as transported and astonished as I was."

A Little Life follows four college friends in New York City as their lives are pulled apart by various forces. The 2015 novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and in 2016 was also nominated for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

Set to appear in the stage production are James Norton (Happy Valley) as Jude, Luke Thompson (Bridgerton) as Willem, Omari Douglas (Cabaret) as JB, Zach Wyatt (The Witcher) as Malcolm, Elliot Cowan (The Crown) as Brother Luke/Doctor Traylor/Caleb, Zubin Varla (Tammy Faye) as Harold, Nathalie Armin (Force Majeure) as Ana, and Emilio Doorgasingh (Best of Enemies) Andy.

Co-producer Wessex Grove's Benjamin Lowy and Emily Vaughan-Barratt added: "To be able to bring this work of theatrical genius to the West End is an extreme privilege and a highlight of our careers. We have both been fans and huge admirers of Hanya's A Little Life from our first reading of it seven years ago, and to be able to spend time with the iconic characters of Jude, Willem, JB, and Malcolm again has been remarkable.

"It will be incredible to see them come to life before our eyes on stage played by the finest actors of a generation. We can't wait to share Ivo's thrilling adaptation of this story about heroic acts of friendship to audiences, whether they are new to the story or longtime fans. Ivo van Hove and Hanya Yanagihara are both artistic titans and we can't wait to share their collaboration with London audiences."

The show will play an initial week at the Richmond Theatre from 14 to 18 March 2022, ahead of a West End run at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 25 March to 18 June. Tickets are on sale below from later today.

Joining van Hove on the creative team are set and lighting designer (and regular collaborator) Jan Versweyveld, as well as costume designer An D'Huys, music and sound designer Eric Sleichim and casting director Julia Horan.

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