By Jack Thorne
Richard Burton, the firebrand Welsh actor, newly married to movie star Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new production of Hamlet under the exacting direction of John Gielgud.
But as rehearsals progress, the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel. One of them is the most famous movie star in the world; the other, a patrician from an earlier age of theatre. The stage is set for two titans to collide.
Jack Thorne's The Motive and the Cue is a fierce, funny play which offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity. Commissioned and co-produced by Neal Street Productions, it opened at the National Theatre, London, in May 2023, directed by Sam Mendes and featuring Johnny Flynn as Burton, Mark Gatiss as Gielgud and Tuppence Middleton as Taylor.
Paperback, 112 pages