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National Theatre to premiere new Jack Thorne play The Motive and the Cue, directed by Sam Mendes

The show tells the tale of a fractious time when John Gielgud was directing Richard Burton in Hamlet

Sam Mendes and Jack Thorne
© Mark Douet and Cameron Slater

The National Theatre will premiere a new play by Jack Thorne (His Dark Materials) next spring.

Set to be 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 titled The Motive and the Cue. It is co-produced with Neal Street Productions (who also worked on Lehman).

The piece is set during 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.

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 and dates to be announced.

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