Home » London Theatre News » Aaron Taylor-Johnson & Steve Pemberton to star in The Pillowman

Aaron Taylor-Johnson & Steve Pemberton to star in The Pillowman

Steve Pemberton
Steve Pemberton

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 iconic play, The Pillowman.

Performances begin at the Duke of York’s Theatre from Friday 24 July, for a strictly limited 12-week season (Press Night: Wednesday 5 August at 7:00pm). As a special initiative, the producers are also thrilled that they will be making tickets available for every performance on a ‘Pay What You Can” scheme.

With an all-star cast including Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Golden Globe Award winner, Nocturnal Animals) and Steve Pemberton (Bafta Award winner, The League of Gentlemen), Matthew Dunster directs the first ever West End production of Martin McDonagh’s electrifying and savagely funny Olivier Award-winning The Pillowman (its only previous UK run was at the National Theatre in 2003) at the intimate Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

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 story-telling 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.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Aaron Taylor-Johnson

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 recognized 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.

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 (Hangmen, Death of a Salesman, Message in a Bottle, Everyone’s Talking about Jamie) and Sound Designer Ian Dickinson (Hangmen, Company – West End and Broadway, Jerusalem and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time).

Empire Street Productions presents The Pillowman and are thrilled to be bringing this extraordinary 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.”

Written by Martin McDonagh
Directed by Matthew Dunster
Set & Costume Design by Anna Fleischle
Sound Design by Ian Dickinson
Casting by Amy Ball

Katurian Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Tupolski Steve Pemberton
Further cast to be announced

Duke of York’s Theatre
Fri 24 Jul – Sat 17 Oct 2020
104 St Martin’s Ln, London WC2N 4BG, UK
Mon – Sat at 19:30
Thu and Sat at 14:30


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