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The Cut, Waterloo Road, London SE1 8NB

A Very Expensive Poison Poster

A Very Expensive Poison

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Closed October 5, 2019

Masterfully messy and utterly unique

The Stage

Why See A Very Expensive Poison?


World Premiere

From the writer of Enron and The Effect comes a brand new play about the murder of Alexander Litvinenko and the search for his killers - begun by the man himself as he lay dying from a mysterious poison. Adapted from Luke Harding's 2016 book, the extraordinary events of 2006 are to be laid bare by Prebble in a heartfelt dramatisation that explores the ongoing impact of this very strange assassination.

The Death of Alexander Litvinenko

A gripping story with elements right out of a James Bond film by way of a drawing room farce, Litvinenko's death shocked the world as it displayed the sheer brazen-faced hubris of Russia and their perceived threats. After dosing a cup of tea at a swanky hotel with deadly radioactive poison Polonium -210, the two murderers Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun left their victim in a lead-lined coffin whilst all but escaping justice. Outrageous and indicative of the power of fear and political opposition, Prebble has chosen a subject ripe for the stage, and one that could not be more timely.

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Additional Information


Previews from: 20 August 2019

Opening night: 6 September 2019



Cast and Creative


Tom Brooke as Alexander Litvinenko
MyAnna Buring as Marina Litvinenko
Reece Shearsmith as The President
Gavin Spokes as DI Hyatt
Thomas Arnold as Emmerson/Tim/Sergei/Mario
Amanda Hadingue as Professor Dombey/Lluba/Photographer/Dr Bhatt
Lloyd Hutchinson as Dimitri Kotvun
Peter Polycarpou as Boris Bereszovsky
Sarah Seggari as Cabin Crew/Nurse Rezan/Australian Cleaner/ Nurse
Michael Shaeffer as Andrei Luguvoi
Bea Svistunenko as Anatoly Litvinenko/Nurse Michena/Waitress
Callum Coates as onstage swing/Dr Virchis/FSB Officer 2
Marc Graham as onstage swing/Nurse David/Youth/FSB Officer
Yasmine Holness-Dove as onstage swing/Natalia/FSB Officer 3/Youth 2/Waitress 2/Dr Dudhniwala
Robyn Moore as onstage swing/Galina/Receptionist


Written by Lucy Prebble
Based on the book by Luke Harding
Directed by John Crowley

What we thought

thrilling MOVING Excellent

I doubt you'll see a more vital work this year.

The audacious machinations of Putin's Russia are put on blast in Lucy Prebble's ingeniously staged telling of the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, adapted from Luke Harding's book about the case.

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Kitty McCarron

Kitty McCarron

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