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First Look: A Very Expensive Poison in rehearsals for Old Vic premiere

Daring playwright Lucy Prebble is taking the Alexander Litvinenko assassination straight to the London theatre stage at the end of this month and rehearsals for The Old Vic premiere are in full swing. Have a look at the rehearsal photos for A Very Expensive Poison ​below and be sure to catch this provocative new play when it opens on 24 August.

A Very Expensive Poison is laced with more than just polonium-210

Lucy Prebble's highly-anticipated dramatisation of journalist Luke Harding's bestseller, A Very Expensive Poison, is more than just a scandalous exposé. It's also laced with crassitude and crudeness as it explores the incompetence of two blundering Russian assassins who were in no way elite secret agents. After reading Prebble's script, Harding praised her brilliance in capturing the "clash of incompetence and malevolence." He mentioned that the mere thought of two idiotic assassins as mobile Chernobyl accidents wandering the streets of London with the highly radioactive substance, polonium-210, practically in their pockets all the while riding in cycle rickshaws and picking up women was an insanely comic thought indeed. You could surely call them the two stooges.

Marina Litvinenko helped influence Prebble's finished product

Prebble recently told The Guardian — the same publication for whom Harding works as a foreign correspondent — that when she was writing the play, she allegedly met with Alexander Litvinenko's wife, Marina Litvinenko, several times and that she had a significant influence on how Prebble's finished play turned out. Prebble was initially worried about meeting Mrs. Litvinenko considering that she suffered such an unfathomably awful tragedy. However, Marina Litvinenko turned out to be more than supportive and even excited about the project, and made sure that Prebble knew the story was in fact a love story. Litvinenko also asked Prebble not to forget the cost the tragedy had on her family's lives.

At the beginning of rehearsals, widow Marina Litvinenko met with many members of the cast and was overjoyed to see how enthusiastic they were about discovering the truth of what happened, something she claims to have made a mission of hers for the last 13 years. Litvinenko went on to call the story significant in understanding the current events in Britain and in Russia. Though, while Harding assumed back in 2016 that Russia wouldn't dare engage in similar assassination attempts due to potential fallout, then the Sergei Skripal poisoning happened using Novichok agent A-234 — a near imitation of the radioactive Litvinenko assassination — thereby rendering Harding's initial assumptions as null and void and Russia's politics as all too difficult to fully understand.

At the end of the stage play, the character of Marina Litvinenko engages directly with the audience. Prebble's reasoning for this is to comment on the fact that people should not only be "audiences" in politics but should also be actors in politics as well. As she told The Guardian, "...we are all a bit responsible for the society we have created," likely a commentary on Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Brexit, etc.

Nevertheless, you can be sure A Very Expensive Poison is unlike any other play on this season!

Save £26 on A Very Expensive Poison Old Vic Theatre premiere tickets!

You don't want to miss the long-awaited world premiere of A Very Expensive Poison. Lucy Prebble's self-dubbed "risky" play couldn't be more relevant to our times than now and is one of the biggest must-see plays of the year. Set to play a very limited run at London's Old Vic Theatre and with special offer tickets now on sale, you can be sure A Very Expensive Poison tickets will not last long.

Book by 16 August 2019 and get £78 tickets for £52, £66 tickets for £44, £48 tickets for £32, and £36 tickets for £29. This limited special offer on A Very Expensive Poison London theatre tickets is valid for all world premiere performances from 24 to 31 August 2019. Be sure to book your tickets early for this thought-provoking off-West End production to secure the best seats at The Old Vic Theatre at the best prices.

👉🎟 Book A Very Expensive Poison tickets for the London Old Vic premiere and save up to £26.
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You might also be interested in reading...

👓☣️ Our spotlight piece on Luke Harding.
👓☠️ Top 7 Facts About A Very Expensive Poison The Play.


Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.


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