Wyndham's Theatre

32-36 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA GB

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The Starry Messenger

The Starry Messenger Tickets

3.9/5 - based on 53 reviews
  • Starring: Elizabeth McGovern, Matthew Broderick
Tickets from £14.75 Show Closed
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About The Starry Messenger

Show Closed
This show is now closed.

Performance Times
Mon - 19:30
Tue - 19:30
Wed 14:30 19:30
Thu - 19:30
Fri - 19:30
Sat 14:30 19:30
Sun - -
Starring:

Elizabeth McGovern, Matthew Broderick

The Starry Messenger description

The Starry Messenger – Starring Matthew Broderick

In the vastness of the universe, are we all just lonely souls under the same night sky? It's a big question, potentially the biggest question of all. This delightful play explores the life of Mark Williams, an astronomer at New York City’s Planetarium and a man who doesn't believe in fate... but whose life is changed forever by it. Welcome to The Starry Messenger.

This is a superb bittersweet comedy-drama, in which the Hollywood star and multiple Tony Award-winning Broadway legend Matthew Broderick shines bold and bright as the main character. And this is his West End debut, believe it or not. You'd think he'd been born on the London stage.

What's the story?
Mark Williams is a man who's lost. As a scientist he feels much more comfortable with the distant, chilly stars than he does to the job he's supposed to be doing, and even his wife Anne fades into relative insignificance compared to the heavens.

As you can imagine Mark has no time for fate, faith or divine intervention. But the universe thinks differently, and he's helpless in the face of its power. When he meets Angela, a young single mother, he thinks maybe the stars have actually aligned for the first time. But then things go catastrophically wrong, badly pear-shaped, and he finds he has to re-evaluate his life, the universe and everything.

Elizabeth McGovern from Downton Abbey and The Handmaid’s Tale stars alongside Broderick in a brave, bold dissection of what love means, what hope means, and what it means to come to a personal understanding about our place in a vast, empty universe.

Kenneth Lonergan is the Academy Award-winning writer of Manchester By The Sea and one of the best-respected writers of our times. He's responsible for the magical Gangs of New York, which he co-wrote, and for writing and directing You Can Count On Me, Margaret. He has won numerous well-deserved awards and his work has delighted and entertained many thousands, if not millions of us over the years.

Matthew Broderick played David Lightman in the Cold War thriller WarGames and Leo Bloom in the Broadway production of The Producers. He played a brilliant John Brown in Inspector Gadget and he's the winner of plenty of coveted awards including two Tony Awards, one for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Brighton Beach Memoirs and another for Best Actor in a Musical in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. He remains the youngest ever winner of a Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

As the New York Times said, the play “Re-establishes Mr. Lonergan, who hasn’t had a new play on the boards since 2001, as a possessor of all the crucial parts of a good dramatist’s anatomy: a critical mind, an empathetic heart and a musical ear that hears whole lives in sentences. And Mr. Broderick delivers his finest, most affecting performance in years.”

Who is this show for?
The subject matter means children will probably not enjoy the play much. It's written for adults.

The Starry Messenger cheap tickets

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-36%
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Valid on all performances until 10 Aug 2019.

-42%
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The Starry Messenger reviews

3.9 out of 5 based on 53 reviews

What to expect:

Acting
Music
Costumes
Story
Lighting

Recommended for:

Anyone (25%)
Families (26%)
Teenagers (26%)
Couples (51%)
Theatregoers (74%)
Latest customer reviews
Krystal
Very enjoyable

It was a pleasure to see what wonderful performances. There was a great mix of humor and drama.

Reviewed on 11 August 2019 by , Macon, United States Of America

Jane
Excellent

Reviewed on 08 August 2019 by , Tadworth, United Kingdom

Rasmus Holmen
Broderick shines

Matthew Broderick was brilliant! This is not a comedy per se, btw. It certainly takes a dramatic turn later in the play.

Reviewed on 31 July 2019 by , Bronshoj, Denmark

Simon
Very boring

Boring from the start through to the end. The story had potential to develop into something more dramatic and interesting but never gets there. Acting was robotic and lacking depth, except perhaps a few scenes when the wife and girlfriend got angry or upset. Best scenes involved the old man in hospital and the set design was good. Very disappointed.

Reviewed on 28 July 2019 by , London, United Kingdom

John
Dreary self-indulgent mess

See title. Don’t bother.

Reviewed on 23 July 2019 by , West Vancouver, Canada

Philip
Entertaining

Good story well played by all, good choice of cast for the respective roles. Volume a little subdued on occasion, but on the whole easy to follow. Transition between sets cleverly done with atmospheric lighting and music that well complimented the scene changes. Enjoyable show.

Reviewed on 22 July 2019 by , Loughborough, United Kingdom

Paula
A slow start but it held my interest

The play gathered pace an interest after a slow and quite boring start. However, it did engage my interest and there were some humorous moments as well as some poignant ones. It contrasted the enormity of the universe against man’s smallness although some of the issues that the characters dealt with were huge - (unexpected death) as well as an existential crisis. Not a must see - and very long - but I’m glad I saw it.

Reviewed on 19 July 2019 by , Cape Town, South Africa

Georgia
Are we still stuck in the 20th century?

While this show is excellent in terms of acting, staging, lighting, and even the writing, I was disappointed with the story itself. The female characters (although excellently portrayed by a stellar cast) were full of sexist clichés, and the men were all there to save the day and ‘have it all’. This would have been forgivable, if somewhat cringey, if it was a play of an era. But as a play written in the 21st century, even if it was set in the 20th, I was disappointed. Can’t we be done adding to the pile of stories portraying women as feeble, weak, naive, hysterical, unintelligent and controlling?

Reviewed on 18 July 2019 by , Paris, France

Stefan
Fantastic play, superb actors, Broderick delivers a masterclass in acting, a career best!

Reviewed on 16 July 2019 by , Frechen, Germany

Eftychia
Beautiful performances

Reviewed on 16 July 2019 by , Athens, Greece

Gita
Must see

Reviewed on 11 July 2019 by , New Delhi, India

Lydia

Well acted. Enjoyed my evening

Reviewed on 10 July 2019 by , Congleton, United Kingdom

Kathleen
Thought provoking

Reviewed on 07 July 2019 by , Cincinnati, United States Of America

Wan Norman
Understated but a real gem of a play

There’s no shouting, bells and whistles or overly dramatic interludes. Mathew Broderick’s performance is quietly assured, the poignant script replete with under the surface messages. Subtly affecting, makes one (especially those going into humdrum middle aged tedium) think, reflect and ponder about life, where we are in the universe and where we want to go...

Reviewed on 07 July 2019 by , Ampang, Malaysia

Christian
Sense of a purpose

Reviewed on 05 July 2019 by , Aberdeen, United Kingdom

Lenka
Melancholy and the stars of our lives

This play is just beautiful inside out. It beams starry light to the corners of our minds. Matthew Broderick’s melancholy is contagious and let you think about your own path. The acting is so beautiful, especially Mr Broderick and Ms Eleazar.

Reviewed on 05 July 2019 by , London, United Kingdom

Mariia
No meaning what so ever

Reviewed on 28 June 2019 by , Amsterdam, Netherlands

Clement
Subtle Problems of Mid-Life Masculinity

About the subtle changes in the min male character, who begins as very bland.

Reviewed on 28 June 2019 by , Ann Arbor, United States Of America

Phyllis
Funny and poignant

Reviewed on 26 June 2019 by , Melbourne, Australia

Gregory
Dull and stilted

I found the show dull and the acting stilted. The show felt disjointed and whilst there was the odd humerous line Matthew did not engage with either his colleagues or the audience. Distictly underwhelmed. Left at the interval as no interest in see the outcome.

Reviewed on 25 June 2019 by , Corby, United Kingdom

Pamela
Boring Play

The play was slow and ponderous with a few funny lines but developed extremely slowly and did not seem to end anywhere. We stayed to the end only because we hoped it would get better but alas that was not the case. I would not recommend this to anyone.

Reviewed on 25 June 2019 by , Horsham, United Kingdom

Tony
A little slice of life

May not be to everyone’s taste but I loved this - moved at a nice pace, good jokes and silence when needed, really liked the sets too

Reviewed on 23 June 2019 by , Solihull, United Kingdom

Jeffrey

This was a well delivered mix of some thought provoking messages with interspersed light hearted lines in the right places. The performances by these seasoned actors kept me engaged. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Reviewed on 22 June 2019 by , Santee, United States Of America

Shelley
Thoughtful

Overall I enjoyed the play and would recommend it to others particular those theatregoers that enjoy seeing something to think about rather than just “entertained”. The main character was very complex as were the other two supporting characters and the play left me with plenty of food for thought about relationships and the workings of the universe. On the negative side I felt the play was a little too long and very much a slowburner. A bit too ponderous. Perhaps a little more light relief could have been injected via the students who were well played,with humour and easy to relate too.

Reviewed on 14 June 2019 by , London, United Kingdom

Barry
Depth and breadth on an intimate scale

Not for lovers of slapstick, but a slow-burning, very dry comedy which plays to Broderick’s finely tuned skills, rich acting throughout, and a searing drama that sneaks up on you, relieving the comedy while exploring the universe through the intimate unfolding of one man’s mid-life crisis. Superb theater.

Reviewed on 13 June 2019 by , New York, United States Of America

Carolina
good acting and a great text!

Reviewed on 12 June 2019 by , AlcobaÇa, Portugal

Linda

Great Show

Reviewed on 11 June 2019 by , King's Lynn, United Kingdom

Nadine
Don’t waste your time

See something else - waste three hours at home or doing something else- v disappointed

Reviewed on 08 June 2019 by , London, United Kingdom

Jenny
A moving and thought provoking piece of theatre

If you like to be challenged by theatre and are willing to let the piece slowly unfurl you will love this magnificent play by Kenneth Lonergan

Reviewed on 08 June 2019 by , London, United Kingdom

Lynne
Very bad

We should have left before the second half the show was terrible

Reviewed on 07 June 2019 by , Anstead, Australia

John
No flow

A meandering script with lots of threads that were never pulled together. There was no flow and the dialogue was often awkward and unnatural.

Reviewed on 03 June 2019 by , Mamer, Luxembourg

Monique
What happened

a real disappointment, sat through the show but others in our row of seats did not return after the break. Lack of human chemistry among actors.

Reviewed on 01 June 2019 by , Farnborough, United Kingdom

Andrew
Lost sock in the laundromat of oblivion

Mark is an astronomer having a mid-life crisis, wry and downbeat, mild-mannered and put-upon. A young student walks into his life and the inevitable happens. That would all be very pedestrian but Kenneth Lonergan brings emotional depth to everything he touches and Mark's predicament really resonates. He's an unlikely Lothario and raises the eyebrows of colleagues in the faculty, as well as testing the sympathy of the audience, especially when wife Ann (Elizabeth McGovern) is hardly a ballbuster. It doesn't end exactly happily (and there is a shocking tragedy in Act 2), but at least on a note of redemption. Terrific performances all round and quite a few laughs amid the sadness.

Reviewed on 31 May 2019 by , London, United Kingdom

Jennifer
Great Writing and Acting, Deep Themes, Funny

Wonderful turn by Matthew Broderick (and the entire cast) in this complex and moving look at how we search for and try to make meaning in our lives at a time when both religion and science offer little or no solace for our fears about death and existence. Often quite funny, the laughs are generated by the absurdity of life itself.

Reviewed on 27 May 2019 by , Oakland, United States Of America

ELENA

A story of ordinary lives beautifully interpreted by a cast of great actors.

Reviewed on 25 May 2019 by , Cisliano, Italy

Lisa
Boring show, poorly acted

I purhased these tickets based on the well know actors in the show but was very disappointed. I found the story line boring, the acting very wooden and it seemed like their timing was also off on the night.

Reviewed on 20 May 2019 by , Albury, Australia

Nancy

Very slow start. Second act picks up and pulls the show through.

Reviewed on 19 May 2019 by , Reston, United States Of America

Wendy
Different

Reviewed on 19 May 2019 by , London, United Kingdom

Louise
Just okay

Slow moving.

Reviewed on 18 May 2019 by , Davenport, United States Of America

06 Jun
2019
Kit Benjamin

Review: The Starry Messenger at Wyndham’s Theatre

by Kit Benjamin | Thursday, June 6 2019, 09:31

The Starry Messenger Mark Williams (Matthew Broderick) is a disappointed, middle-aged astronomy teacher but not (as we are frequently reminded) an astronomer: In other words, he is in the gutter but looking at the stars. Or, if not in the gutter, at least in an unfulfilling marriage.

Review: The Starry Messenger at Wyndham’s Theatre
18 Jan
2019
Phil Willmott

One of Broadway’s royalty is headed to London’s West End

by Phil Willmott | Friday, January 18 2019, 10:20

The Starry MessengerMatthew Broderick is to star opposite Elizabeth McGovern in Academy Award-winner Kenneth Lonergan's The Starry Messenger.

One of Broadway’s royalty is headed to London’s West End