Lily Allen Returns To The Stage In The Pillowman

By Rufus Punt | 17th November 2022

Lily Allen is continuing her newfound acting career; having debuted in the West End with 2:22: A Ghost Story, she’s set to act in the upcoming Sky drama Dreamland alongside Doctor Who star Freema Agyeman, and will also return to the West End next year with a new production of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman. The play originally ran in 2003, and is about a fiction writer living in a police state, and their potential connection to a string of bizarre child murders.


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Allen will be playing the lead role of Katurian, who is arrested and interrogated because of the apparent connection between her short stories, which depict violence against children, and several child murders in her town. It’s a dark and twisted black comedy, tackling the issue of whether fiction can result in real life violence. According to the official website, the play “examines the role of the artist in society and asks what price we pay for freedom of expression.” Allen is the first female actor to play Katurian, and features alongside League of Gentlemen and Inside No. 9 star Steve Pemberton, and the play is directed by Matthew Dunster. The original play’s run 20 years ago was critically acclaimed, and has been praised as one of the best plays of the 21st century.

McDonaugh, who also wrote 2:22 A Ghost Story, is the director behind dark comedy films like In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and The Banshees of Iniseherin, as well as the acclaimed Oscar winning drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The play’s original cast back in 2003 included David Tennant, Jim Broadbent and Nigel Lindsay. There hasn’t been a West End production of The Pillowman since 2003, and a new production was announced in 2020 with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Pemberton, but the pandemic delayed plans and Taylor-Johnson pulled out. This new run will be performed at the Duke of York’s Theatre, from June to September 2023, and tickets are on sale on the play’s website now.

The Pillowman runs from 10th June to 2nd September at The Duke of York’s Theatre, get tickets here.

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