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Lily Allen and Steve Pemberton to lead The Pillowman in the West End

Martin McDonagh's play is heading for London

Lily Allen and Steve Pemberton
© Left: Dan Wooller

Following a postponement in 2020, Martin McDonagh's ⁦Olivier Award-winning play The Pillowman will come into the West End in 2023.

Directed by Matthew Dunster (Hangmen, A Very Very Very Dark Matter), the play tells the story of a writer questioned by authorities about a series of murders that bear similarities to her short stories.

This production will star WhatsOnStage Award-winner Lily Allen as Katurian, with Steve Pemberton as Tupolski. The show marks Allen's return to the stage after appearing in the world premiere of 2:22 A Ghost Story last summer.

The piece will have set and costume design by Anna Fleischle, sound design by Ian Dickinson and casting by Amy Ballfur. Further casting is to be announced at a later date.

McDonagh commented: "I'm thrilled that The Pillowman is finally making its West End premiere. It's a play that's always been very close to my heart, in terms of its combination of dark comedy with its exploration of the nature of story-telling itself and the role of the artist in society. With so many personal freedoms under attack by governments and religions around the world I think it's a perfect time to put this play on.

"I am a huge admirer of both Steve Pemberton and Lily Allen - their intelligence, their wit, their fun - and having Lily play Katurian, the first time this role has been played by a woman in an English-speaking version, is just so, so exciting to me."

The West End show will run at the Duke of York's Theatre from 10 June 2023 to 2 September 2023. Tickets will go on general sale from 11 November, though previous purchasers will be contacted ahead of time.

Allen commented: "One of our most inventive playwrights, Martin McDonagh, is renowned for pushing boundaries and it's a privilege to join this show. Together with my incredible 2.22 director Matthew Dunster, I am excited to help create a production of The Pillowman that is sorely needed right now in these unprecedented times. I can't wait to bring it to life each night on stage and for audiences to get to experience it."

McDonagh's work includes The Banshees of Inisherin, which is currently in cinemas and the Academy Award-winning film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

His previous play The Cripple of Inishmaan won Daniel Radcliffe a WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actor in a Play, while The Pillowman's first run was at the National Theatre in 2003 – it was then revived in 2009 in Leicester.

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