The Pillowman visits London this summer

Published: 4 March 2020
Reporter: Sheila Connor

Award-winning writer Martin McDonagh is back in London's West End this summer with his acclaimed play The Pillowman starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Steve Pemberton at the Duke of York's Theatre from Friday 24 July for a 12-week season.

Matthew Dunster will direct the first ever West End production—the only previous UK run was at the National Theatre in 2003.

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 examines the role of the artist in society and asks what price we pay for freedom of expression.

There will be ‘Pay What You Can’ ticket pricing across the whole run. James Bierman of 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."