Based on the Guardian/Faber book by Luke Harding
A shocking assassination in the heart of London. In a bizarre mix of high-stakes global politics and radioactive villainy, a man pays with his life.
At this time of global crises and a looming new Cold War, A Very Expensive Poison sends us careering through the shadowy world of international espionage from Moscow to Mayfair.
John Crowley (Brooklyn, The Goldfinch) directs Lucy Prebble’s (The Effect, ENRON) reimagining of Luke Harding’s jaw-dropping exposé of the events behind the notorious death of ex-FSB Officer Alexander Litvinenko.
A glorious play by the incredible Lucy Prebble. Loved the acting and the set design. A remarkable show very much updated in nowadays political agenda.
Everything theatre should be - important subject, genuinely emotional and incredibly creative. Brilliant staging and set design with puppetry, animation and dance woven amongst the play. Great performances all round but Reece Shearsmith was a scene stealer.
Enthralling combination of satire, pantomime and pathos. Very imaginative and effective adaptation of this sorry story. Hilarious yet a chilling reflection of the times we're living in. And a warning...
I thoroughly enjoyed A Very Expensive Poison. The play was both entertaining and enlightening, dealing with a recent episode in our history from which we do not emerge very gloriously. The subject is dealt with sensitively yet powerfully. The actors are all excellent and believable. The disregard for the proscenium arch is engaging. The variety of styles helps keep the play light enough for the audience not to feel they have sat through a political diatribe. Excellent activist theatre.
Brilliant. Scary and moving. Great acting.
The variety of forms of theatre made the whole performance captivating. Emotional, funny, sinister and engaging with the audience in an entertaining way. The actors were all excellent. Scene changes brilliant, Bit of surreal dance helped to lighten the mood. Totally enjoyed the theatre, but such a sad story.
Grim story told with a light touch and brilliantly acted. I found the musical elements in Act 2 a little jarring. Well worth the money - don’t miss it.
This poison grips the attention then fades into a sort of surreal confusion. The awful truth of the horrific murder is, though, made clear through strong lead perfomances.
I really enjoyed this show, I followed it easily
Magnificent...creative, informative and gripping.
A sudden decision, based on one newspaper review, which turned out to be well justified. It was compelling from the off, poignant and funny. Excellent cast, good ensemble playing, nifty scene changes, and full of surprises. Altogether a very stimulating performance.
Was recommended to me and we were not disappointed - great cast!
The dramatic treatment of the Litvinenko poisoning is an audacious theatrical endeavour, which doesn't quite come off. It falls unsuccessfully between a strong, moving and educative account of the event, its context, and its consequences, and, a knockabout treatment of the rich Russians in London, and a comic/sinister look at Putin. And a personal love story. The speech by Lugovoi about the sacrificies in the war and the fall of the Soviet Union was moving, but not well developed. So much of how Russia behaves can be explained by its history, geography, and enormous cultural diversity. The judicial inquiry received scant coverage, which let the play down.
Go and see it, it's fantastic!
Best play I’ve seen in years! A rollercoaster of emotions from tearful to laughing. A surprisingly original way to tell this emotional story. Highly recommend anyone to see this play before it ends
Great performance and very well-written. Highly recommend!
I really enjoyed this play. It was a dark subject but presented in a humorous way which made it more poignant. I was ashamed that I didn’t pay attention to the events at the time.
Great performance from all the actors, however Marina's and Alexander's characters were amazing
Lucy Prebble doesn't dress things up and that is one of the beautiful aspects of this play. It has humour a plenty, woven into a tragic story that shows how scared people who have power really are. Take away their power and bullying tactics and they are nothing. Very clever staging allows the wonderfully accomplished cast to seamlessly move from scene to scene. Fifteen cast play over fifty characters, but you never feel as though you're seeing the same person again. It is a very well directed production, with every nuance and twist being skilfully brought to the audience. The only slightly incongruous piece was a song in the second act, which although the lyrics were of importance, drifted into a momentary lapse of the otherwise tight structure. The sound and lighting was first class and very creative at every juncture. This is a must see production.
I really enjoyed this play and was surprised by the humour in it. Great cast, well portrayed. Would definitely recommend this. Considering going again.
No refunds or exchanges available after purchase
Act One: 1 hour 25 minutes
Interval: 20 minutes
Act Two: 1 hour 20 minutes
Good To Know
A Very Expensive Poison includes the following:
• Flashing lights
• Loud noise (gunfire)
• Smoke and haze
• Tobacco and herbal cigarette smoke
• Some strong language and some mild sexual references
Suitable For Children
Suitable for ages 12+
Where Do I Go
The Old Vic
The Cut, London