The production is set to begin performances at the Duke of York’s Theatre from the 10th June 2023.

It has been announced that the delayed production of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman will head to the West End next Summer.

Directed by Matthew Dunster, the production’s cast is set to be led by Lily Allen as Katurian, the first time the role has been played by a woman and Steve Pemberton as Tupolski. Further casting has yet to be announced.

In a totalitarian state a Writer is questioned by the authorities about a spate of murders that bear similarities to her 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.

Lily Allen, who made her West End debut in 2:22 – A Ghost Story at the Noel Coward Theatre in a role for which she was awarded Best Female-Identifying Role in a Play at the Whatsonstage Awards and Olivier nominated. She will next appear will star in the new Sky original comedy Dreamland which will premiere in 2023.

Steve Pemberton co-wrote and appeared in Psychoville and Inside No. 9 for which he won the BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance in 2019.  His other television credits include: Killing Eve, 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.

Talking about the news, Martin McDonagh said: “I’m thrilled that The Pillowman is finally making its West End premiere. It’s a play that’s always been very close to my heart, in terms of its combination of dark comedy with its exploration of the nature of story-telling itself and the role of the artist in society. With so many personal freedoms under attack by governments and religions around the world I think it’s a perfect time to put this play on. “

Martin McDonagh recently won the Best Screenplay Award at the Venice Film Festival for his new, critically-acclaimed movie The Banshees of Inisherin, is also the multi Olivier, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning playwright and screen-writer responsible for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Six Shooter. His work for the stage includes: the Olivier Award-winning Hangmen ran in the West End and on Broadway. His other plays include The Beauty Queen of Leenane, A Skull in Connemara, The Lonesome West, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, The Cripple of Inishmaan, A Behanding in Spokane and A Very Very Very Dark Matter. 

The creative team for the production includes: Set and Costume Designer Anna Fleischle, the Lighting Designer is Neil Austin, Sound Designer, Ian Dickinson for Autograph and Casting is by Amy Ball.

The Pillowman will run at the Duke of York’s Theatre from the 10th June until the 2nd September.


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