The Motive and the Cue tickets

Noel Coward Theatre

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The Motive and the Cue

Sam Mendes directs Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton, Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Elizabeth Taylor, in this fierce and funny new play by Jack Thorne, offering a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.

1964: Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new Broadway production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel.

The hugely celebrated production of The Motive and the Cue transfers to the West End this December for 15 weeks only, following a sold-out run at the National Theatre.

★★★★★ 'A brilliant new play' Financial Times

★★★★★ 'Funny, witty and utterly compelling' WhatsOnStage

Access Information

For information on accessibility please call 0344 482 5137.


85-88 St Martins Lane London WC2N 4AU

Cancellation Policy

No exchanges or refunds after purchase.


2 hours 40 minutes, including an interval

Suitable For Children

Age recommendation: 12+

Please note: This production contains strong language and adult themes, with some bright lighting.

Everyone, regardless of age, must have their own ticket to enter the theatre. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by and sat next to a ticketholder who is at least 18 years old. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted. Latecomers may not be admitted until a suitable break but we cannot guarantee admittance into the performance.


Dec. 9, 2023 - March 23, 2024

Noel Coward Theatre

85-88 St Martins Lane London WC2N 4AU

Latest customer reviews

  • A masterclass of acting

    22 March 2024

    Mesmerising performances from Mark Gatiss and Jonny Flynn.

    A Confirmed ticket purchaser

  • The Motive and the Cue

    17 March 2024

    Thoroughly enjoyed the play. However the dialogue was really hard to hear at times. Richard Burton was particularly unclear and clarity and prononciation unclear. John Gielgud was excellent.

    Sandra Confirmed ticket purchaser

  • A play to enjoy and to savour

    15 March 2024

    This is what theatre is all about: intimate, engaging, thought provoking and dazzling. Great cast who seemed very at home both on the stage and with each other, making this really feel like you were there at the time, in the rehearsal room and afterwards at the hotel, during a period of theatrical history. Lovely idea for a play and marvellously brought to life. Gatiss was great, but as said above, all the cast were top notch and seemed to gel to make this a first class production. I recommend this!

    Chris Confirmed ticket purchaser

  • A very clever play

    15 March 2024

    Thoroughly enjoyed the production and the 3 main cast members were superb. The play was very cleverly constructed to show the actors' lives as well as their rehearsals. As I knew Hamlet well, it was even more enjoyable - I don't know how much it would mean to someone who didn't. Only problem was, every time "Burton" forgot his lines I had to bite my lip to stop myself wanting to prompt...

    Hilary F Confirmed ticket purchaser