85-88 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4AU GB
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The Motive and The Cue

The Motive and The Cue Tickets

4.9/5 - based on 13 reviews
from 13 verified reviews
  • Starring: Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss
  • Tickets refunded if your event is cancelled
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The Motive and The Cue in London


Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss

The Motive and The Cue is a fresh new play by Jack Thorne, co-produced with Neal Street Productions with Sam Mendes in the director’s chair. Described as a 'startling new take on the making of Burton and Gielgud’s infamous 1964 version of Hamlet, it reveals the reasoning behind the world’s best-loved movie star’s decision to get involved in such a well-known play, and explores why audiences love to come back to see the same play time after time.

On at the Lyttelton Theatre at the National Theatre on South Bank until 15th July 2023, it then transfers to the West End’s Noël Coward Theatre from 9th December to 23rd March, on a strictly limited 15-week run.

So what are the reviews saying? The Financial Times calls it ‘brilliant’ and gives it five stars. Five star reviews also come from Broadway World (‘an undeniably brilliant tour de force’) and there’s a four star review from the Telegraph, which calls it a ‘palpable hit’. The Times says it’s ‘Immaculate’, just a few of the many accolades the play has received.

Mendes directs Johnny Flynn as Burton, Mark Gatiss as Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Taylor. The rest of the cast comprises Aaron Anthony, Tom Babbage, Allan Corduner, Janie Dee, Elena Delia, Ryan Ellsworth, Mark Extance, Phoebe Horn, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Huw Parmenter, David Ricardo-Pearce, David Tarkenter, Kate Tydman, Laurence Ubong Williams, and Michael Walters.

What's the plot of The Motive and The Cue?

The Motive and the Cue is inspired by ‘Letters from an Actor’ by William Redfield and ‘John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet’ by Richard L. Stern.

Richard Burton has just married Liz Taylor. He’s due to play the title role in an experimental new production of Hamlet, directed by John Gielgud. As the rehearsals begin, it’s clear that two very different ages of theatre are clashing. The collaboration between Burton and his director soon goes wrong and the result is ‘fierce and funny’, giving us a hugely entertaining glimpse into the politics of rehearsals and the strange relationship between art and celebrity.

The creative team involves the Set Designer Es Devlin, Costume Designer Katrina Lindsay, Lighting Designer Jon Clark, Composer Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, and the Sound Designer Paul Arditti. The casting is from Alastair Coomer CDG and Naomi Downham. The Associate Director is Zoé Ford Burnett, the Associate Set Designer is Amalie White, and the Staff Director is Yasmin Hafesji.

Who is The Motive and The Cue for?

The play includes strong language and adult themes, and there’s some bright lighting. The plot is for people who love the theatre and are fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes.

The Motive and The Cue Official Theatre Tickets

Our central reservation system connects you directly to the Noel Coward Theatre box office system. We provide live & full availability for The Motive and The Cue tickets, from VIP and premium, to top price and discount tickets, helping you choose the perfect tickets for your budget. Pick your seats from our interactive seating plan and get your theatre tickets emailed to you instantly after your booking. Simply present your e-tickets at the door on the day and experience what London & the West End have best to offer: the magic of theatre. Buying tickets for The Motive and The Cue has never been easier.

The Motive and The Cue Ticket Information

  • Booking until:

    Saturday, 23 March 2024

  • Running time:

    2h 40m (incl. interval)

  • Age restrictions

    12+ 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 ticket holder who is at least 18 years old. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.

  • Important Information

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

  • Cancellations & Refunds

    Once booked, tickets to The Motive and The Cue 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.

The Motive and The Cue cheap tickets

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The Motive and The Cue reviews

4.9 out of 5 based on 13 reviews

What to expect:

  • Recommended for:
  • Couples (85%)
  • Theatregoers (100%)
Latest customer reviews

All reviews are from customers who have been invited to leave a review just after seeing The Motive and The Cue.


Well made play

Diction issues with Johnny Flynn and Luke Norris. The West End Director needs to get in and give some notes - it's a pity because the play is great and the acting overall is wonderful - including Mr Flynn. Its all to do with the accent I suspect.

T Reviewed on 17 March 2024 by
Thornage, United Kingdom


An actors show , clever,

D Reviewed on 08 March 2024 by
Wellington, United Kingdom


Absolutely Amazing 😍

Amazing show!

C Reviewed on 03 March 2024 by
Borris, Ireland


intellectually stimulating and funny at the same time

M Reviewed on 28 February 2024 by
Barnet, United Kingdom


An exceptional performance with incredible acting from all the principal characters and a great retelling of an important period in Broadway history

J Reviewed on 18 February 2024 by
Hinderclay Diss, United Kingdom


A must see

Amazing directing and innovative scenery

L Reviewed on 31 January 2024 by
Glifada, Greece


Highly recommended.

Well paced, fabulous staging and very theatrical. Mark Gatiss is awesome. Comfortable seating with adequate leg room. Highly recommended.

T Reviewed on 30 January 2024 by
Ramsgate, United Kingdom


Don't miss this special production

Brilliantly written play, Brilliantly acted. One of the best plays I have seen Recently.

P Reviewed on 25 January 2024 by
Javea, Spain


the heart of hamlet

Great all round, thankyou. And the gamble on bringing my two teenage daughters paid off too, as they loved it. I loved the subtle approaches , combined with strong invidual performances, interweaving the classic play with a live reumagining, all together, really felt as though , at times, I was there with Sir John, Elizabeth and Mr Burton. Amazing. Now if Mr Gattis can pls soon return to making sherlock 5, that will be a 10/10 review..9.5/10. Thankyou.

G Reviewed on 18 December 2023 by
Cambridge, United Kingdom

27 Feb
Emmie Newitt

London Theatre February 2024 Monthly Round Up

by Emmie Newitt | Tuesday, February 27 2024, 09:51

And just like that, February is about to end and we’re back for another monthly round up with the latest news, reviews, and a rundown of what to see in March!

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London Theatre February 2024 Monthly Round Up
09 Feb
Emmie Newitt

6 Plays To Watch In London This February

by Emmie Newitt | Friday, February 9 2024, 09:51

Wondering what play to book in February? We’ve got you covered with 6 of the best shows to see over the next month.

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6 Plays To Watch In London This February
20 Dec
Stuart King

Review: THE MOTIVE AND THE CUE at Noel Coward

by Stuart King | Wednesday, December 20 2023, 10:31

It’s 1964 and movie star Richard Burton (Johnny Flynn) is in rehearsals for a production of Hamlet on Broadway. The stakes could not be higher for the Welshman who’d tied the knot with Elizabeth Taylor (Tuppence Middleton) a mere three weeks before opening night. At the helm, Shakespearean titan Sir John Gielgud (Mark Gatiss) whose classical delivery and poetic appreciation for the text, inform his directorial style and are entirely at odds with Burton’s ferocious modern vision.

The cast of The Motive and the Cue in the West End. © Mark DouetThe cast of The Motive and the Cue in the West End. © Mark Douet

Review: THE MOTIVE AND THE CUE at Noel Coward
23 Nov
Emmie Newitt

The Shows Opening in London Theatres in December 2023

by Emmie Newitt | Thursday, November 23 2023, 12:34

Looking for new shows to see in December? With Christmas now in sight, there's so much on offer in London's theatre scene. Read our guide to find out more.

shows to see in london in december 2023Unfortunate, Edward Scissorhands and The Motive and The Cue promotional images.

The Shows Opening in London Theatres in December 2023