First Look Friday - A Very Expensive Poison

First Look Friday - A Very Expensive Poison

Posted On: Aug 16, 2019
By Spencer Rust
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    John Crowley (Brooklyn, The Goldfinch) directs Lucy Prebble's (The Effect, ENRON) re-imagining of Luke Harding's A Very Expensive Poison at The Old Vic, a jaw-dropping exposé of the events behind the notorious death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.

    Sending you careering through the shadowy world of international espionage from the townhouses of Fitzrovia, to the brothels of Soho, A Very Expensive Poison tells the story of 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.

    Alexander Litvinenko was a former officer of the Russian Federal Security Service and Committee for State Security who defected and became a naturalised British citizen. He worked as a writer, journalist, and consultant for British Intelligence Services and was outspoken in his opposition to Vladimir Putin and his government. He openly accused them of staging bombings and other acts of terrorism to bring about Putin’s rise to power and orchestrating the murder of Russian journalists.

    In November of 2006, Litvinenko fell seriously ill and was hospitalised. He would never leave the confines of the hospital again. He died less than a month later, the first confirmed victim of polonium-210 induced acute radiation syndrome. Follow the twists and turns that prove that fact is often stranger than fiction.

    A Very Expensive Poison is directed by John Crowley and features set and costume design by Tom Scutt, sound design by Paul Arditti, lighting design by Mimi Jordan Sherin, composition by Paddy Cuneed, video by Ewan Jones Morris, choreography by Aletta Collins, voice coaching by Charles Hughe's D'aeth and dialect coaching by Penny Dyer.

    The cast was recently announced for the world premiere of A Very Expensive Poison soon to play at The Old Vic. Game of Thrones actor Tom Brooke will lead the cast as Alexander Litvinenko. He is joined by MyAnna Buring (The Twilight Saga) as Marina Litvinenko, Peter Polycarpou as Boris Bereszovsky, Michael Shaeffer as Andrei Luguvoi, Lloyd Hutchinson as Dimitri Kotvun, Reece Shearsmith as The President, and Gavin Spokes who plays DI Hyatt.

    The cast of A Very Expensive Poison is completed by Thomas Arnold, Bea Svistunenko, Sarah Seggari, Amanda Hadingue, Yasmine Holness-Dove, Callum Coates, Marc Graham, and Robyn Moore.

    At The Old Vic, from 24 August to 5 October 2019, book your A Very Expensive Poison tickets today!

    A collection of rehearsal images from A Very Expensive Poison at The Old Vic

    Photo credit: Manuel Harlan.