Here’s everything you need to know about the West End adaptation of Yanagihara’s bestselling novel, including how to get your hands on tickets.
When Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life first hit shelves in 2015, no one could have predicted just how big an impact it would have.
Despite its 700-odd and difficult subject matter, the book rose to become a critically acclaimed bestseller – eventually making the shortlist for both the Man Booker Prize and Women’s Prize For Fiction.
Based on the lives of Jude, Willem, JB and Malcolm, four fictional friends who move from a small US college to pursue their careers in New York City, the story focuses predominantly on Jude, a young lawyer whose traumatic past continues to haunt him.
Following Jude as he tries to come to terms with the trauma of his past, the book explores the complex relationships between the men at its core – tackling themes such as addiction, self-harm, suicide and sexuality in the process.
And now, the heart-breaking magic of Yanagihara’s masterpiece is making its way to the London stage for the first time, in an adaptation which is sure to be as emotional and complex as the subject matter it’s based on.
Based on Ivo van Hove’s Dutch adaptation of the novel with his Internationaal Theater Amsterdam ensemble, which ran for more than four hours at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, the West End show will see a star-studded cast take to the stage as the novel’s central characters.
These include Happy Valley and Grantchester’s James Norton, who will play Jude, and It’s A Sin’s Omari Douglas, who will take on the role of JB. Finishing off the central cast is Bridgerton’s Luke Thompson, who is playing Willem, and Karen Pirie’s Zach Wyatt, who will play Malcolm.
Speaking about the London show, Yanagihara said she hoped audiences would be “as transported and astonished” as she was when she first saw Ivo van Hove’s adaptation.
“One of the greatest, most unexpected joys and honours in my life has been watching as more readers than I could ever have imagined have taken A Little Life and its characters into their hearts over the past seven years,” she said.
“One of those readers was the visionary Ivo van Hove, and I’m thrilled he’s bringing his interpretation of the book to London next spring, with the most extraordinary cast I could have hoped for. This is a singular production, unlike anything I’ve seen before on stage; I hope audiences will be as transported and astonished as I was.”
The show will preview at the Richmond Theatre on 14-18 March before opening in the West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre on 25 March, where it will run for 12 weeks. With an expected run-time of nearly four hours, it’s definitely going to be an emotional rollercoaster. Make sure you bring lots of tissues.
Tickets for A Little Life are available to buy now from £15
Images: Charlie Gray/Getty
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