James Norton, Omari Douglas, Luke Thompson, and Zach Wyatt Will Lead Ivo van Hove's English Language Premiere of A LITTLE LIFE

The production previews at Richmond Theatre from 14 to 18 March, ahead of opening in the West End at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 30 March.

By: Nov. 23, 2022
James Norton, Omari Douglas, Luke Thompson, and Zach Wyatt Will Lead Ivo van Hove's English Language Premiere of A LITTLE LIFE


Ivo van Hove will stage the English language première of Hanya Yanagihara's critically acclaimed prize-winning novel, A Little Life in the West End. Van Hove directs James Norton (Jude), Luke Thompson (Willem), Omari Douglas (JB), Zach Wyatt (Malcolm), Elliot Cowan (Brother Luke/Doctor Traylor/Caleb), Zubin Varla (Harold), Nathalie Armin (Ana), and Emilio Doorgasingh (Andy). The production previews at Richmond Theatre from 14 to 18 March, ahead of opening in the West End at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 30 March, with previews from 25 March, and runs until 18 June.

Hanya Yanagihara said today, "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. 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."

Ivo van Hove commented, "It's a joy to be returning to the London stage, to a community that has made us feel so welcome, and especially to be bringing Hanya's incredible novel A Little Life to the stage in the English language for the first time - quite genuinely a dream come true. I'm looking forward to beginning rehearsals with this extraordinary and committed group of actors to reveal the work afresh for audiences from across the UK."

Wessex Grove's Benjamin Lowy and Emily Vaughan-Barratt added, "To be able to bring this work of theatrical genius to the West End is an extreme privilege and a highlight of our careers. We have both been fans and huge admirers of Hanya's A Little Life from our first reading of it seven years ago, and to be able to spend time with the iconic characters of Jude, Willem, JB, and Malcolm again has been remarkable. It will be incredible to see them come to life before our eyes on stage played by the finest actors of a generation. We can't wait to share Ivo's thrilling adaptation of this story about heroic acts of friendship to audiences, whether they are new to the story or longtime fans. Ivo van Hove and Hanya Yanagihara are both artistic titans and we can't wait to share their collaboration with London audiences."


James Norton (Happy Valley, Grantchester) stars as Jude as the visionary director Ivo van Hove (Network, Hedda Gabler) stages the English language premiere of A LITTLE LIFE, his acclaimed production of the million-copy bestseller by Hanya Yanagihara (To Paradise, Booker Prize Shortlist for A Little Life).

The much-anticipated play also stars Luke Thompson (Bridgerton, Hamlet), Omari Douglas (It's A Sin, Constellations), Zach Wyatt (The Witcher, I and You), Elliot Cowan (The Crown, 2:22 A Ghost Story), Zubin Varla (Tammy Faye, Equus), Nathalie Armin (Force Majeure, The Doctor), and Emilio Doorgasingh (Best of Enemies, The Kite Runner).

A LITTLE LIFE follows four college friends in New York City: aspiring actor Willem, successful architect Malcolm, struggling artist JB, and prodigious lawyer Jude.

As ambition, addiction, and pride threaten to pull the group apart, they always find themselves bound by their love for Jude and the mysteries of his past.

But when those secrets come to light, they finally learn that to know Jude St Francis is to understand the limitless potential of love in the face of life.

James Norton plays Jude. His theatre work includes Belleville (Donmar Warehouse), Bug (Found111), Journey's End (West End and UK tour), The Lion in Winter (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Posh (Royal Court Theatre), That Face (Sheffield Theatres) and Cymbeline (Cambridge Arts Theatre). For television his work includes Happy Valley (as series regular Tommy Lee Royce), Grantchester (series lead, Sidney Chambers), The Nevers, The Trial of Christine Keeler, McMafia, War and Peace, Black Mirror, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Life in Squares, Death Comes to Pemberley, Doctor Who, Restless and Blandings; and for film, Freeguard, Nowhere Special, Things Heard and Seen, Little Women, Mr Jones, Hampstead, Flatliners, Bonobo, Belle, Thicker Than Water, Cheerful Weather for a Wedding and An Education.

Luke Thompson plays Willem. His theatre work includes King Lear (Duke of York's Theatre), Hamlet (Almeida Theatre and Harold Pinter Theatre), The Oresteia (Almeida Theatre and Trafalgar Studios), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare's Globe - nomination for the Evening Standard Most Promising Newcomer). For television, his work includes Bridgerton (as series regular Benedict Bridgerton), Kiss Me First, In the Club, and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher; and for film, Misbehaviour, Making Noise Quietly and Dunkirk.

Omari Douglas plays JB. His theatre work includes Cabaret (KiKat Club at the Playhouse Theatre), Constellations (Vaudeville Theatre/Donmar Warehouse - Oliver Award nomination for Best Actor), Romantics Anonymous (Bristol Old Vic/Wise Children), Wise Children (The Old Vic/Wise Children), Rush (King's Head Theatre), Peter Pan (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Five Guys Named Moe (Marble Arch Theatre), Tristan and Yseult (Kneehigh/Shakespeare's Globe), The Life (Southwark Playhouse), Annie Get Your Gun (Sheffield Crucible), Jesus Christ Superstar (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre) and High Society (The Old Vic). His television work includes Nolly, I Hate Suzie Too, and It's a Sin (BAFTA nomination for Best Supporting Actor); and for film, Rye Lane, Midas Man and And Mrs.

Zach Wyatt plays Malcolm. His theatre credits include Bartholomew Fair, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare's Globe), Wild East (Young Vic), and I and You (Hampstead Theatre). For television, his work includes The Witcher: Blood Origin, Karen Pirie, and Urban Myths: Hendrix and Handel; and for film, Timestalker and Blithe Spirit.

Elliot Cowan plays Brother Luke/Doctor Traylor/Caleb. For theatre, his credits include 2:22 A Ghost Story (Gieldgud Theatre), A Doll's House (Lyric Hammersmith), Shipwreck (Almeida Theatre), Julius Caesar (Sheffield Theatre), An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville Theatre), Macbeth (Shakespeare's Globe), A Streetcar Named Desire (Donmar Warehouse) and The Revenger's Tragedy (National Theatre). For television his work includes The Crown, Foundation, Death in Paradise, Peaky Blinders, The Spanish Princess, Innocent, Krypton, Beowulf, Frankenstein Chronicles, Cilla, Life in Squares, Luther, Sinbad, Marchlands, The Fixer, Blood and Oil, Marple - They Do It With Mirrors and Ruby in the Smoke; and for film, All the Devil's Men, Muse, Butterfly Kisses, Angels of Decay, Narcopolis, Angel of Decay, Howl, Hammer of the Gods, Happy Go Lucky, Alexander.

Zubin Varla plays Harold. His theatre credits include Tammy Faye (Almeida Theatre), The Two Character Play (Hampstead Theatre), The Twits (Unicorn Theatre), Ghost Quartet (Boulevard Theatre), Equus (ETT/ Trafalgar Studios), Fun Home, Measure For Measure, The Changeling (Young Vic), Poison (Orange Tree Theatre), The Unknown Island (Gate Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare's Globe), The El Train (Hoxton Hall), Troilus and Cressida, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Midnight's Children, The Tempest, Roberto Zucco, Bartholomew Fair, Faust, The Painter of Dishonour, Romeo and Juliet (RSC), Don Juan Comes Back from the War (NT Studio/ Finborough Theatre), Into Thy Hands (Jericho House/ Wilton's Music Hall), War Horse (National Theatre/ New London Theatre), Twelfth Night (Donmar Warehouse/ West End), Paradise Regained (Royal Court Theatre), Dara, The Enchantment, Attempts on Her Life, The Life of Galileo, Cyrano de Bergerac (National Theatre), Julius Caesar (RSC/ Lyric Hammersmith), Amadeus (Barbican), Hello & Goodbye (Southwark Playhouse), Teeth 'n' Smiles (Sheffield Theatres), Chess (Danish tour), In the Solitude of Cotton Fields (ATC / Aldwych Tube Station), A Day Like Today (Young Vic/ Push Festival), Antigone (The Old Vic/ Donmar Warehouse), Jesus Christ Superstar; Beautiful Thing (West End), In the Heart of America (Bush Theatre), and Romeo and Juliet and Lady Be Good (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre). His television work includes Andor, Deep State, Will, Our Girl, Strike Back, Holby City, Garrow's Law, Hustle, Little Dorrit, Silent Witness, Spooks, Crocodile Shoes, and Luv; and for film, Mad, Sad & Bad; Saddam's Tribe, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Nathalie Armin plays Ana. Her theatre credits include Force Majeure, Limehouse (Donmar Warehouse), Ralegh: The Treason Trial (Shakespeare's Globe), The Doctor, Machinal (Almeida Theatre), Anna, Another World: Losing Our Children to Islamic State, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Dara, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Anna (National Theatre), The Complaint (Hampstead Theatre), On the Record (Arcola Theatre), The Tempest (Barbican) and Arabian Nights and Othello (RSC). Her television credits include Treason, Flatshare, Juice, Magpie Murders, Too Close, Home, Marcella, Unforgotten, Humans, Derailed, William and Mary and The Jury; and for film, The Batman, Final Score, Denial and Grow Your Own.

Emilio Doorgasingh plays Andy. His theatre work includes Persuasion (Rose Theatre Kingston, Alexandra Palace, Oxford Playhouse), Best of Enemies (Headlong/Young Vic), Shadowlands, Present Laughter (Chichester Festival Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare's Globe), The Kite Runner (Wyndham's Theatre, Playhouse Theatre and UK tour), The American Wife (Park Theatre), and Boy (Almeida Theatre). For television, his work includes You and Me, The Good Karma Hospital, Sister Boniface Mysteries, Ted Lasso, Suspicion, The Tuckers, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Unforgotten, and Game of Thrones; and for film, And Mrs, Rupture, Princess Switch 3, Soof 3, Dangerous Game, Red 2, Awakened, Pimp, Extraordinary Rendition, and Kingdom of Heaven.

Hanya Yanagihara is the editor in chief of the multiple National Magazine Award-winning T, The New York Times' style and design magazine. Previously, she served in various editorial roles at Condé Nast Traveler, W, Departures, Radar, Town & Country, and Brill's Content. She began her career in book publishing at Random House. Along with her magazine work, Yanagihara is the author of three novels: A Little Life (Doubleday, March 2015 - to be published on 5 January by Picador), The People in the Trees (Doubleday, August 2013), and To Paradise (Doubleday, January 2022). The People in the Trees was shortlisted for the PEN/Robert Bingham Award and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize (UK). A Little Life, a New York Times bestseller, has been published in more than 30 countries, and was a finalist for both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award, as well as the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, the Andrew Carnegie Medal, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Dublin International Literary Award, and the American Booksellers' Association Indie Award. It was the winner of the Kirkus Award and the British Booksellers' Association award, and was a bestseller in the U.K., Australia, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands. She is a recipient of the Benjamin Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and an honorary doctorate from Smith College and serves on the board of PEN America.

Ivo van Hove has been Artist Director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (formerly Toneelgroup) since 2001. From 1998 to 2004, he was Artistic Director of the Holland Festival, presenting a varied selection of international theatre, music, opera and dance. His theatre credits include the theatrical adaptation of The Glass Menagerie (Théâtre de l'Odéon, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam), West Side Story (Broadway Theatre), All About Eve (Noël Coward Theatre), Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life (Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, Edinburgh International Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music), The Human Voice (Harold Pinter Theatre), Network (National Theatre and Cort Theatre, Broadway), Hedda Gabler (National Theatre), A View from the Bridge (Young Vic/Wyndham's Theatre/Lyceum Theatre, Broadway), The Crucible (Walter Kerr Theatre), Lazarus (King's Cross Theatre/New York Theatre Workshop); and Visconti's The Damned (La Comédie-Française, Paris/ The Park Avenue Armory). He is the recipient of two Olivier Awards and two Tony Awards for A View From the Bridge; two Obie Awards for More Stately Mansions and Hedda Gabler. In addition, he is also Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France; and King Filip of Belgium awarded him Commander of the Order of the Crown. Additional directing credits include Angels in America, Roman Tragedies, Kings of War, Opening Night, Taming of the Shrew, Scenes from a Marriage, Othello, The Miser, Mourning Becomes Electra, Long Day's Journey into Night and The Fountainhead (all Internationaal Theater Amsterdam).