They will play Taylor and Burton

The play “The motive and the cue” will depict the production of “Hamlet” on Broadway in New York in 1964 where Burton, newly married to Taylor, played the Danish prince in a production directed by John Gielgud, writes Deadline.

On opening night in April 1964, chaos erupted outside the Lunt-Fontanne Theater as police were surrounded by the crowd who wanted to catch a glimpse of Taylor as she arrived at the theater.

Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, who was recently awarded an honorary prize at the Stockholm Film Festival, had long cast Johnny Flynn and Mark Gatiss in the roles of Burton and Gielgud, but lacked someone who could portray Elizabeth Taylor.

The choice finally fell on Tuppence Middleton, 35, who can currently be seen on SVT in the British thriller series “Bedragen”. She also had a role in the movie “Downton Abbey: A New Era”.

— Taylor was the biggest movie star in the world in 1964 and Burton and Gielgud were also big stars, says theater producer Caro Newling, who along with Sam Mendes started working on the project during the pandemic shutdown.

“The motive and the cue” – the title is taken from a passage in a monologue in “Hamlet” – opens at the NT’s Lyttelton Theater next May.

Tuppence Middleton at the premiere of “Downton Abbey: A New Era” in April. Now she will portray the Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor. Archive image.

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