Noël Coward Theatre

The Motive and the Cue

9th December 2023 - 23rd March 2024

About The Motive and the Cue

Evening Standard Theatre Awards



Following a highly acclaimed, sold-out run at the National Theatre, The Motive and the Cue transfers to the West End for a strictly limited 15-week run, playing at the Noël Coward Theatre from 9 December.

Academy Award®, Tony Award® and Golden Globe winner Sam Mendes (The Lehman Trilogy, The Ferryman) directs this startling production based on the making of Richard Burton and John Gielgud’s Hamlet on Broadway. Celebrated as ‘a love letter to theatre’ (Evening Standard), the fierce and funny new play by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) offers a glimpse into the politics of a rehearsal room and the relationship between art and celebrity.

Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel.

A ‘brilliant, compassionate new play’ (Financial Times) powered by ‘dazzling performances’ (Time Out), don’t miss Johnny Flynn, Mark Gatiss and Tuppence Middleton as Burton, Gielgud and Taylor.
Full West End casting to be announced.

The Motive and the Cue Tickets

at the Noël Coward Theatre

Ticket Prices

Standard Tickets from: £20.00*

Please check individual performances for price availability.

For Booking fees and other information click here.

Performance schedule

Monday - Saturday: 7:30pm
Thursday & Saturday: 2:00pm

First midweek matinee performance:
Thursday 21st December 2023 at 2:00pm

First weekend matinee performance:
Saturday 16th December 2023 at 2:00pm

Monday 18th December: 7:00pm
Tuesday 19th December: 7:30pm
Wednesday 20th December: 7:30pm
Thursday 21st December: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Friday 22nd December: 7:30pm
Saturday 23rd December: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday 24th December: No performances

Monday 25th December: No performances
Tuesday 26th December: No performances
Wednesday 27th December: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Thursday 28th December: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Friday 29th December: 7:30pm
Saturday 30th December: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Sunday 31st December: No performances

Monday 1st January: No performances
Tuesday 2nd January: 7:30pm
Wednesday 3rd January: 7:30pm
Thursday 4th January: 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Friday 5th January: 7:30pm
Saturday 6th January: 2:00pm and 7:30pm

Show Running Time

2 hours 40 minutes

including an interval

Some Things You Need to Know

Age recommendation: 12+

Please note: This production contains strong language and adult themes, with some bright lighting. E-cigarettes are smoked onstage in this production.

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 ticketholder who is at least 18 years old. Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted. Latecomers may not be admitted until a suitable break but we cannot guarantee admittance into the performance.

You may not bring food or drink purchased elsewhere.

For full terms and conditions, please click here.


If you have access requirements, you can find information regarding accessibility at this theatre here.

The Motive and the Cue Access Performance Dates

Signed Performance

Saturday 3 February 2024 at 2:00pm

Captioned Performance

Tuesday 20 February 2024 at 7:30pm

Audio Described Performance

Thursday 29 February 2024 at 7:30pm

Captioned Performance

Saturday 9 March 2024 at 2:00pm

Audio Described Performance

Saturday 16 March 2024 at 2:00pm

For further information or to discuss your visit to Noël Coward Theatre and check availability, please use the options below:

Groups and Education Theatre Tickets

Discounts and Savings when booking for your Group or School


Groups (10+)

Band A & B for £50, valid for Monday to Thursday performances.


Schools (10+)

Band C seats for £25, plus 1 free teacher per 10 paying students. Valid for Monday - Thursday performances.

Theatre Hospitality Packages

Hospitality, Champagne and VIP Packages from Delfont Mackintosh Theatres

Champagne Package

Includes a Premium Seat, half a bottle of Champagne, a show programme, a souvenir brochure (where applicable) and a hospitality meet and greet service.

Hospitality, Champagne and VIP Packages from Delfont Mackintosh Theatres

VIP Package

Includes a Premium Seat, half a bottle of Champagne, a show programme, a souvenir brochure (where applicable), specially designated hospitality area, savoury canapés, your choice of drinks, and a theatre host.