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Paul Kaye & Matthew Tennyson join West End Premiere of Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman


The Pillowman on Screen One
The Pillowman

It was announced today that Paul Kaye and Matthew Tennyson will join the cast of Martin McDonagh’s electrifying and savagely funny Olivier Award-winning The Pillowman to play Ariel and Michal, respectively. They join the previously announced Lily Allen as Katurian and Steve Pemberton as Tupolski.

Lily Allen plays a writer in a police state who is interrogated about the content of her short stories and their similarities to several murders occurring in the town. The production will run at the Duke of York Theatre in London from 10 June to 2 September 2023, with a press night on 21 June.  This West End premiere of The Pillowman is directed by Matthew Dunster.

Paul Kaye’s previous stage work includes originating the role of the Mr Wormwood in Matilda The Musical for the RSC, for which he was Olivier nominated, and The Suicide and Our Country’s Good for the National Theatre. His extensive TV credits include Game of ThronesAfterlifeThe StrangerThe Third DayI Am Kirsty, Three Girls, Terry Pratchett: Back in Black, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Spaced, Pulling, Chewing Gum, Lillyhammer and Sexy Beast. Films include the multi award-winning It’s all Called Pete Tong, Woody Allen’s Match Point, Catherine Called Birdy and  Nandor Fodor and The Talking Mongoose.

The Pillowman Trailer

Matthew Tennyson most recently appeared as Wilfred Owen in Terence Davies’ film Benediction and made his screen debut in Pride directed by Matthew Warchus. His theatre includes Sally Cookson’s A Monster Calls at The Old Vic, Cleansed for the National Theatre and Making Noise Quietly at the Donmar Warehouse. TV credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Humans.

Lily Allen, who made her West End debut in 2:22 – A Ghost Story at the Noel Coward Theatre in a role for which she was awarded Best Female-Identifying Role in a Play at the Whatsonstage Awards and Olivier nominated, will play Katurian, the first time the role has been played by a woman. Up next, Allen will star in the new Sky original comedy Dreamland which will premiere this year. Lily is also an internationally renowned singer and songwriter.

Steve Pemberton is a member of The League of Gentlemen with Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson. He co-wrote and appeared in Psychoville and Inside No. 9 for which he won the BAFTA for Best Male Comedy Performance in 2019.  His other television credits include: Killing Eve, Good Omens, Worzel Gummidge, Doctor Who, Benidorm, Blackpool, Shameless, Whitechapel, Happy Valley and Mapp and Lucia.  His stage work includes playing Mr Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer at the National Theatre. Steve will play Tupolski.

Further casting is to be announced. 

Martin McDonagh recently won the Best British Film BAFTA award for his critically-acclaimed movie The Banshees of Inisherin, which also won the Best Screenplay Award at the Venice Film Festival and is nominated for nine Academy Awards.  He is also the multi-Olivier, BAFTA and Academy Award-winning playwright and screen-writer responsible for Three Billboards Outside EbbingMissouri, In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Six Shooter.

McDonagh’s Olivier Award-winning Hangmen ran successfully in the West End and on Broadway. His other plays include The Beauty Queen of LeenaneA Skull in ConnemaraThe Lonesome WestThe Lieutenant of InishmoreThe Cripple of InishmaanA Behanding in Spokane and A Very Very Very Dark Matter.  

Matthew Dunster is a theatre and film director and writer. He has directed or written over sixty shows, often with major national companies (including RSC, NT, Royal Court, Young Vic, Royal Exchange, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Bridge), as well as directing in the West End, on Broadway and internationally. He has been the Associate Director of The Young Vic and Shakespeare’s Globe. Matthew has been nominated for three Olivier Awards and his Broadway production of Hangmen was nominated for five Tony’s. 

Joining Martin and Matthew on the creative team are: Production Designer Anna Fleischle, the Lighting Designer is Neil Austin, Sound Designer, Ian Dickinson for Autograph and Casting is by Amy Ball.

The Pillowman is produced by Empire Street Productions, the same company that brought the hugely successful Prima Facie starring Jodie Comer to the West End last year, and which went on to break audience records when it was subsequently released in cinemas by NT Live. The production opens on Broadway in 2023. As with Prima Facie, accessibility to The Pillowman is fundamental to the producer, and there will be a Pay What You Can schemewith 20 tickets per performance for the week, released the Wednesday beforehand.

Pillowman casts Paul Kaye & Matthew Tennyson on Screen One
Pillowman casts Paul Kaye & Matthew Tennyson


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