Reviews: What Do Critics Think Of The Motive and the Cue, About Richard Burton's Historic Hamlet | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Do Critics Think Of The Motive and the Cue, About Richard Burton's Historic Hamlet

Sam Mendes directs the Jack Thorne play at London's National Theatre.

Mark Gatiss and Johnny Flynn in The Motive Mark Douet

The Motive and the Cue, a new play by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child's Jack Thorne, officially opened at London's National Theatre May 2, and the reviews are rolling in!

The play, which began previews April 21, is directed by Sam Mendes. The run is set to continue at the Lyttelton through July 15.

Inspired by the making of John Gielgud’s Hamlet, as well as Letters from an Actor by William Redfield and John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Sterne, the cast features Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton, Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud, Tuppence Middleton as Elizabeth Taylor, and Janie Dee as Eileen Herlie.

Read the reviews here.

Evening Standard (Nick Curtis)

Financial Times (Sarah Hemming)

The Guardian (Arifa Akbar)

iNews (Alice Saville)

The Independent (Jesse Thompson)

London Theatre (Marianka Swain)

The Upcoming (Michael Higgs)

The Times (Clive Davis) *

TimeOut (Andrzej Lukowski)

TheatreWeekly (Greg Stewart)

The Stage (Sam Marlowe) *

WhatsOnStage (Sarah Crompton)

*This review requires creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

The ensemble includes Aaron Anthony, Tom Babbage, Allan Corduner, Elena Delia, Ryan Ellsworth, Phoebe Horn, Aysha Kala, Luke Norris, Huw Parmenter, David Ricardo-Pearce, David Tarkenter, Kate Tydman, Laurence Ubong Williams, and Michael Walters.

The Motive and the Cue focuses on Burton, who is newly married to Taylor and set to play the title role in an experimental new production of Hamlet under Gielgud’s direction. As rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel.

The production also has set design by Es Devlin, costume design by Katrina Lindsay, lighting design by Jon Clark, music by composer Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, sound design by Paul Arditti, video design by Luke Halls, casting by Alastair Coomer and Naomi Downham, and associate direction by Zoé Ford Burnett.

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