After a very enjoyable evening with the opening night of ‘The Motive And The Cue’ by the National Theatre and Neil Street productions, I can say that it was a delight and a very great theatre performance directed by Sam Mendes. Known for Skyfall, Spectre, 1917 and his other fantastic movies. The Motive and The Cue is a play that was inspired by Letters From An Actor by William Redfield and John Gielgud, who directed Richard Burton in Hamlet by Richard L. Sterne.

As an individual myself, I’ve not been to a theatre performance in a very long time. So my reintroduction to the world of theatre was a delight when I got to see this specific play. With a very intriguing synopsis, I felt engaged by the length of the 2-hour 40-min performance. Everyone in the cast did a fantastic job and the noticeable performances led by Mark Gatiss (Sir John Gielgud) and Johnny Flynn (Richard Burton) were astonishing. There was so much to enjoy about the entire performance, but I must say that Flynn’s way of recapturing Richard Burton’s mellifluous baritone voice was a sheer masterpiece in itself and in the way he played Hamlet. Flynn is also starring in the upcoming Warner Brothers Sir Nicholas Winton film ‘One Life’. I also thought the presence and gratis of Gatiss performance as director Gielgud was phenomenal to watch.

A very massive credit to the production team for the motive and the cue. It was an absolute show for the audience. The sound design, props, costumes and set designs were all beautiful. I also enjoyed the meta-aspect of the play within a live theatrical play. Also, a massive thank you to the National Theatre for having us for the opening night! I look forward to seeing more of their incredible work in the future for the upcoming theatre productions!

Tickets are available from £20 at with assisted performances across the run. Dates:  From 9 December 2023 – 23 March 2024

By Shamoon Saeed – Entertainment Features Editor