Home » London Theatre News » People, Places & Things at Trafalgar Theatre London

People, Places & Things at Trafalgar Theatre London

The National Theatre, Mark Gordon Pictures, Gavin Kalin Productions, Seaview and Second Half Productions, announces today that the original, smash hit production of People, Places and Things will make a triumphant return to London’s West End, this spring. Duncan Macmillan’s intoxicating play, directed by the acclaimed, award-winning Jeremy Herrin and originally co-produced by the National Theatre and Headlong, will run at the Trafalgar Theatre from 3 May until 10 August 2024. Tickets will go on sale to the public, on Friday 15 March at 10am, from £20.

People Places and Things. © Matt Humphrey.
People Places and Things. © Matt Humphrey.

Denise Gough will reprise her Olivier Award-winning role as Emma, a struggling actress whose life is spinning recklessly out of control. Gough won ‘Best Actress’ at the 2016 Olivier Awards and at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards for her ‘career defining performance’ (Evening Standard) in People Places and Things at the National Theatre in 2015. Critics hailed her performance as ‘extraordinary’ (The Observer), ‘ingenious’ (New York Times) and ‘stunning’ (Time Out). She went on to win her second Olivier Award (‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’, 2018) for her performance in Tony Kushner’s Angels in America for which she was nominated for a Tony Award ® (2018) when the National Theatre production transferred to Broadway. Gough has also been nominated for a British Academy Television Award (2022) for her performance in Clara Salaman incendiary three-part ITV series Too Close. More recently she played the role of Dedra Meero in Disney+’s hugely successful Star Wars spin-off series, Andor.

Tony Award®-winner Bunny Christie will recreate her ‘cabinet-of-curiosities’ (New York Times) innovative set design with special on-stage seating bringing an element of intimacy to this vivid and transfixing portrayal of addiction.

Emma was having the time of her life. Now she’s in rehab. Her first step is to admit that she has a problem. But the problem isn’t with Emma, it’s with everything else. She needs to tell the truth. But she’s smart enough to know that there’s no such thing. When intoxication feels like the only way to survive the modern world, how can she ever sober up?

Duncan Macmillan’s critically acclaimed play ‘mixes dark wit, intellectual ambition and emotional intelligence’ (The Times). Other work includes Every Brilliant Thing (Paines Plough/Pentabus, Edinburgh, UK tour & New York), George Orwell’s 1984 (adapted with Robert Icke, Headlong/Nottingham Playhouse/Almeida/West End), Lungs (Paines Plough & Sheffield Theatres, Washington DC), Don Juan Comes Back From the War (Finborough) and Monster (Royal Exchange, Manchester).

Jeremy Herrin is Co-Director of Second Half Productions. His ‘endlessly inventive staging’ (New York Times) of People Places and Things was during his tenure as Artistic Director of Headlong (2013-2020). Recent work includes A Mirror (Trafalgar Theatre/Almeida Theatre); Ulster American (Riverside Studios) and 2022 South Bank Show Award for ‘Best Theatre Production’, Best of Enemies (Young Vic/ West End). Upcoming work includes, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night starring Brian Cox.

Actress, Denise Gough, said: “I am beyond excited and so grateful to be returning to the role of Emma in People, Places and Things. Duncan Macmillan’s incredible play was a life changing experience for me and many others. It brought me pure joy, night after night, to take to the stage to share Emma’s story and I can’t wait to bring her back to new audiences and to give voice, and space, to people that live with or have experienced any form of addiction.

Playwright, Duncan Macmillan, said: “The debut of People, Places and Things was a really special time. The play had taken me almost a decade to write and came partly out of a frustration with how addiction is typically portrayed on stage and screen. Under Jeremy Herrin’s compassionate direction, the company visited treatment centres and worked closely with people in recovery. We all felt a responsibility to make the play, primarily, for those who know what it is to live with addiction, for them to feel represented and seen. We did not expect the incredible response the play received when it first opened and its momentum has only increased over the years, not least because of Denise Gough’s now mythic central performance. She is, for me, the greatest actor of my generation and it is my great fortune that she took the role then and thrilling that she’s returning to it now.

Director, Jeremy Herrin, said: “When I was Artistic Director of Headlong, I read Duncan Macmillan’s play, and I knew I had an opportunity to make a production with real power. With Denise Gough as Emma, it felt like we connected deeply with audiences at the National Theatre, in the West End and in New York. The show seemed to be stimulating, entertaining and deeply emotional. I am delighted to reunite with Denise, Duncan and the creative team to share People, Places and Things with new audiences, and I am grateful to all our colleagues and partners who have made it possible.

People, Places and Things garnered widespread critical acclaim when it had its world premiere at the National Theatre’s Dorfman theatre in September 2015 in a co-production with Headlong. The production transferred to Wyndham’s Theatre in March 2016 in London’s West End before transferring to St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York in October 2017.

The creative team includes director, Jeremy Herrin; set designer, Bunny Christie; costume designer, Christina Cunningham; lighting designer, James Farncombe; music, Matthew Herbert; sound designer, Tom Gibbons; video designer, Andrzej Goulding; movement director, Polly Bennett; casting by Jessica Ronane CDG CSA; and original casting by Wendy Spon. Further casting to be announced.

Dates: From 3 May 2024 – 10 August.
Press night – Tuesday 14 May
Address: Trafalgar Theatre, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY
Performance Schedule: Monday – Saturday, 7.30pm with a matinee on Wednesday and Saturday, 2.30pm*
*schedule may differ during previews and bank holidays
Running Time: Approx. 2 hours 20 mins including a 20 mins interval
Recommended Age: 14+



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top