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A Little Life Tickets4.9/5 - based on 16 reviews
from 16 verified reviews
- Starring: James Norton
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A Little Life in London
Make your way to the Savoy Theatre for a play that will resonate through the rest of your life thanks to its passion and brutality. It’s on for a limited season so grab your tickets while you can. James Norton stars as the troubled lawyer Jude in director Ivo van Hove’s acclaimed adaptation of A Little Life, based on the Booker Prize nominated work by Hanya Yanagihara. Prepare for a harrowing story that’s broken the hearts of readers worldwide. This is the play’s English language stage premiere.
A Little Life is Hanya Yanagihara’s biggest success, nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2015 and a wonderfully rocky read for millions of people. The Tony and Olivier Award-winning director Ivo van Hove, who delighted us with Hedda Gabler, Network, and A View from the Bridge brought the story to the stage in 2018, premiering with Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s theatre company. Since then it’s been on stage in New York and Edinburgh.
James Norton stars as Jude, having scored hits with TV roles in Happy Valley and Grantchester on the BBC. The cast also includes Omari Douglas from It’s a Sin, and Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, who plays JB. Luke Thompson from TV’s Bridgerton plays Willem and Zach Wyatt from The Witcher plays Malcolm. They’re joined by Elliot Cowan (The Crown, 2:22 A Ghost Story), Zubin Varla (Tammy Faye, Equus), Nathalie Armin (Force Majeure, The Doctor), and Emilio Doorgasingh (Best of Enemies, The Kite Runner). The result is a play rich in the imaginations of two respected creative heavyweights, who’ve crafted a fascinating play with a brilliant cast. No wonder A Little Life is already rated as a modern classic.
What's the plot of A Little Life?
Despite the length and painful subject matter, the book has become a critically acclaimed bestseller. The plot is a chronological narrative with frequent flashbacks, focusing on the lives of four friends - Jude St. Francis, Willem Ragnarsson, Malcolm Irvine, and Jean-Baptiste "JB" Marion. The action follows the men’s relationships as they change under the influence of success, wealth, addiction, and pride.
Spanning three decades of friendship between the men, the play reveals the story of a connection that gets damaged, stretched and battered, but it’s never broken. At its warm heart lies a shared love for the mysterious, troubled Jude. Once his secrets emerge, his friends begin to understand the sheer power of infinite love in the face of tragedy.
Who is A Little Life for?
Because it involves strong language and sensitive subjects like self harm, suicide, trauma, nudity, sexual violence, and emotional abuse, A Little Life is recommended for people aged 16 and above.
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A Little Life Official Theatre Tickets
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A Little Life Ticket Information
- Booking until:
Saturday, 5 August 2023
- Running time:
3h 40m (incl. 1 interval)
- Age restrictions
Age Restriction: 16+
This production includes strong language, nudity, sexual violence, physical and emotional abuse, self-harm, and suicide.
- Important Information
This production includes strong language, nudity, sexual violence, physical and emotional abuse, self-harm, and suicide.
These themes are not just suggested but will be portrayed throughout the production realistically and emotively which some viewers may find upsetting. It is intended for mature audiences and viewer discretion is advised.
Strobe lights used in the show.
Performances between 8th - 9th July are being filmed and there will be cameras on stage, including a cameraman on stage for short periods in select scenes. By attending you acknowledge that you may be filmed, and your image may be used in the film. Please be aware your view may be restricted due to camera equipment.
- Cancellations & Refunds
Once booked, tickets to A Little Life are usually non exchangeable and non refundable as per our terms & conditions. In practice, however, we will do our best to accommodate your request as long as we are notified at least 48 hours before the performance. Please contact us for more information.
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A Little Life reviews
What to expect:Acting
- Recommended for:
- Theatregoers (94%)
Latest customer reviews
Only occasionally does theatre actually change the way I feel about myself....this did
Reviewed on 27 July 2023 by Alyson, Salusbury, United Kingdom
Reviewed on 25 July 2023 by Hannah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reviewed on 08 July 2023 by Adam, Edgware, United Kingdom
Expect Emotional Showdown. Moving story
Reviewed on 07 July 2023 by Max, Blackheath, United Kingdom
It’s not often I cry at the theatre. It takes a lot. But at this play “A little life”, I held my breath. I couldn’t watch or bear to look but I was compelled to by the startling honesty of the performances by this premiere cast. JAMES NORTON LUKE THOMPSON OMARI DOUGLAS ZACH WYATT ELLIOT COWAN ZUBIN VARLA NATHALIE ARMIN EMILIO DOORGASINGH “A little life” (directed by Ivo van Hove and based on the novel by Hanya Yanagihara) tells of four men, aspiring in their late 20’s early 30’s to make something of their lives and of their friendships. At the centre of the story is a vulnerable and sick Jude. Physically sick but emotionally tortured from his abusive childhood. The play nor the direction leave the audience in any doubt of the brutality of sexual, physical and mental abuse. There is much darkness and much shocking candid delivery of the harrowing nature of it all. A lot of blood, a lot of nudity, a lot of grave and sickening scenes of sexual assault and self harm. A lot of scenes so traumatising that you almost want to shout out for it to stop. The fact that you can’t intentionally makes you feel guilty. It becomes clear why Jude, so deeply loved by his friends, doctor and adoptive father, can’t feel nor recognise what love is. It’s tender and moving to watch him find moments of it in his relationships but terrifying to watch him hurt himself (and be tortured by many adult men) when the demons from the past haunt him again. James Norton sings Mahler like it’s a childhood nursery rhyme ..a theme tune of his life. I am lost to the world With which I used to waste much time; It has for so long known nothing of me, It may well believe that I am dead. Nor am I at all concerned If it should think that I am dead. Nor can I deny it, For truly I am dead to the world. I am dead to the world’s tumult And rest in a quiet realm! I live alone in my heaven, In my love, in my song! There were many scenes where, in the full house at the Savoy, the audience cried out or gasped audibly. Jude’s journey is like a parable or a morality tale we are all responsible for allowing to unfold. There’s an onstage audience watching his every attempt to hurt or suicide with scenes from New York racing faster as his harming gets close. Kindness. That’s the message. That we don’t know the suffering of other people so we must try to extend kindness. James Norton was devastatingly fragile in his depiction of the tortured Jude. The rest of the cast were so naturalistic and compelling I forgot that it was a play several times and not an improvisation. Superlative acting..a Masterclass. Every single character was rivetingly depicted. Go see it at the Savoy. There are moments of levity..not many. But there are. I cried all the way home at the capacity man has to break another and to love another. 3 hours and 40 mins I will never forget. Worthy of a full house leaping to their feet at the close.
Reviewed on 06 July 2023 by Arlene, Brighton, United Kingdom
An amazingly intense emotional performance, superb acting from a great cast. The length of the show was not an issue at all as I was captivated throughout by the quality of this production.
Reviewed on 05 July 2023 by Julie, Potters Bar, United Kingdom
I’m a regular theatre goer and also a James Norton fan i fact he is my favourite actor which is why I booked the tickets . However the darkness of the play was very disturbing and I felt too much .Although I had read a bit about the play I was not prepared for the extent of the shocking scenes . Not being gay I found the sex hard to watch and my husband did not return for the second half . However I appreciated that the acting was amazing to play these parts especially James Norton . Hold not really recommend it too many .
Reviewed on 09 June 2023 by Teresa, Peacehaven, United Kingdom
Book portrayed brilliantly into this play
Reviewed on 03 June 2023 by Alison, Hook, Hartley Wintney, United Kingdom
GO to this show
Reviewed on 19 May 2023 by Robert, Ballyclare, United Kingdom
Fantastic performance. Serious subject.
Reviewed on 14 May 2023 by Christopher, London, United Kingdom
A Little Life is a hard watch due to subject matter but absolutely amazing in terms of theatre performances and experience! It is a long play but I was gripped the whole time. I would describe it as heartbreakingly compelling.
Reviewed on 04 May 2023 by Jill, London, United Kingdom
I thoroughly enjoyed this production due to the masterclass in acting given by James Norton ably supported by the rest of the cast especially Luke Thompson. Although long and emotionally draining, I was totally absorbed in the story and the performance flew by. Not for everyone, it was nevertheless a realistic portrayal of abuse and its long term effects.
Reviewed on 23 April 2023 by Rod, Horley, United Kingdom
If you have read the book you may have wondered how it could transfer into a stage play. The performances are excellent but some of the detail of the novel has been last in the edit. Nevertheless it works as a play although much of it is difficult to watch. Audience members were late and others couldn’t last the long first act without going to the toilet which was disruptive given the nature of the production.
Reviewed on 21 April 2023 by Sarah, Wetherby, United Kingdom
A LITTLE LIFE to be screened in cinemas
by Emmie Newitt | Monday, June 12 2023, 08:14
Ivo van Hove's English language premiere of Hanya Yanagihara's critically acclaimed prize-winning novel, A LITTLE LIFE, will be shown in cinemas across the UK and selected European countries on 28 September.A LITTLE LIFE to be screened in cinemas
A LITTLE LIFE to extend and transfer to The Savoy Theatre
by Eleni Cashell | Thursday, March 9 2023, 21:53
There's going to be more of A LITTLE LIFE in the West End!
Before it's even opened, the production has announced an extension and a transfer to The Savoy Theatre.A LITTLE LIFE to extend and transfer to The Savoy Theatre
A Little Life - A brilliant adaptation starring James Norton
by London Box Office | Tuesday, November 29 2022, 18:39
The brilliant James Norton stars as the mysterious, troubled lawyer Jude St Francis in director Ivo van Hove’s acclaimed adaptation of A Little Life. The play is adapted from the brilliant Booker Prize nominated novel by Hanya Yanagihara and weaves a powerful story that has broken the hearts of readers worldwide. Now it’s celebrating its English language stage premiere at the Harold Pinter Theatre from Saturday 25th March to Sunday 18th Jun 2023.A Little Life - A brilliant adaptation starring James Norton