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Mark Gatiss, Johnny Flynn and Tuppence Middleton set for National's The Motive and The Cue, directed by Sam Mendes

Jack Thorne's play opens in April

Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss and Tuppence Middleton
© Dan Wooller

Lead casting has been set for the upcoming new play The Motive and the Cue, running at the National Theatre from April.

Directed by Sam Mendes, who recently won a Tony Award for his production of The Lehman Trilogy (which also first opened at the National), the play is is co-produced with Neal Street Productions (who also worked on Lehman).

The piece follows the rehearsal period for John Gielgud's landmark, Broadway production of Hamlet, led by a newly married Richard Burton in the title role. It is based on the memoirs of two members of the cast – William Redfield and Richard L Sterne.

Playing Burton is Johnny Flynn (True West), while Gielgud is to be played by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Tuppence Middleton (the Downton Abbey movies) plays Burton's famous wife Elizabeth Taylor. The cast also includes Allan Corduner, Ryan Ellsworth, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Michael Walters and Laurence Ubong Williams.

The show has set design by Es Devlin, costume design by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound design by Paul Arditti, with composition by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell. Casting is by Alastair Coomer and Naomi Downham.

Dates for the show have also been revealed in the National's 2023 season news.