Martin McDonagh, the multi Olivier, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning playwright and screenwriter responsible for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Six Shooter, is back in London’s West End this summer with his acclaimed play, The Pillowman, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Steve Pemberton.
Performances begin at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 24 July 2020, for a strictly limited 12-week season until 17 October (press night is 5 August). As a special initiative, the producers will be making tickets available for every performance on a ‘Pay What You Can” scheme.
With an all-star cast including Taylor-Johnson (Golden Globe Award winner, Nocturnal Animals) and Pemberton (Bafta Award winner, The League of Gentlemen), Matthew Dunster directs the first ever West End production of McDonagh’s Olivier Award-winning The Pillowman (its only previous UK run was at the National Theatre in 2003).
Martin McDonagh said:
“The Pillowman is a play that’s always been very close to my heart, in terms of its combination of the darkest of dark comedy with its exploration of the nature of storytelling itself. It’s a play that I haven’t wanted to have staged in London until I could find the perfect director and the ideal cast for it, and having worked with Matthew previously on Hangmen, and been an admirer of Steve and Aaron’s work for many years, I feel it’s the perfect time to find out what a whole new generation makes of this peculiar tale…”
In a totalitarian state a Writer is questioned by the authorities about a spate of murders that bear similarities to his short stories. Is this life imitating art or something more sinister? This black comedy widely regarded as one of the greatest plays of the past 25 years, examines the role of the artist in society and asks what price do we pay for freedom of expression.
Empire Street Productions presents The Pillowman and are thrilled to be bringing play to London with a ‘Pay What You Can’ ticket pricing initiative across the whole run. James Bierman (Empire Street Productions) said: “I really hope that with this play, this cast and for this production, we can welcome both established and new playgoers into the West End, and that this pricing accessibility will give those audiences the thrill of live theatre at its very best.”
Matthew Dunster – who directed McDonagh’s award-winning Hangmen at the Royal Court, in the West End and about to open on Broadway – is joined on the creative team by set and costume designer Anna Fleischle and sound designer Ian Dickinson.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s film roles include portrayals of a young John Lennon in Nowhere Boy, Count Vronksy in Joe Wright’s adaptation of Anna Karenina and James Frey in A Million Little Pieces. Recently starred in Doug Liman’s The Wall, David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King and the upcoming Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. Additional credits include the titular character in the Kick-Ass Films, Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Shanghai Knights, Godzilla and Oliver Stone’s Savages. He was recognised with a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA Award Nomination for Tom Ford’s thriller, Nocturnal Animals. Aaron Taylor-Johnson will play Katurian in The Pillowman.
Steve Pemberton is a member of The League of Gentlemen with Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson. He co-wrote and appeared in Psyschoville and Inside Number 9. His other television credits include: Good Omens, Worzel Gummidge, Doctor Who, Benidorm, Blackpool, Shameless, Whitechapel, Happy Valley and Mapp and Lucia. His stage work includes playing Mr Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer at the National Theatre. Steve Pemberton will play Tupolski.