"...stunningly political and superbly theatrical"
-The Stage-

"Political, engaged theatre of such scope is rare"

"...a uniquely theatrical spectacle"
-The Guardian-

Sorry, A Very Expensive Poison closed on 05 Oct 2019

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About the show

Award-winning playwright Lucy Prebble is back with an evocative new piece which examines treachery and murder in global politics. A Very Expensive Poison receives its world premiere at the Old Vic from 19 August 2019.

Based on Luke Harding's 2016 book, the play delves into the assassination of former KGB whistle-blower Alexander Litvinenko. The book received critical acclaim, and the Prebble treatment can only serve to amplify this jaw-dropping true life tale.

In a London hospital, a man loses his struggle to live. Mixed up in high-stakes politics and espionage, it is discovered that he has been poisoned; it's an assassination that rocks the world. This is the shocking account of Litvinenko and his powerful enemies.

Tom Brooke (The Boat That Rocked, AMC's Preacher) stars as Litvinenko, with MyAnna Buring (Ripper Street) as the spy's wife Marina.

Lucy Prebble's previous plays include ENRON and The Effect. The latter earned her the 2012 Critics' Circle Award for Best Play. The director is John Crowley (The Goldfinch, Brooklyn).

Lean a little closer into a dark moment in recent history. A Very Expensive Poison plays at the Old Vic Theatre from 19 August 2019, with an official opening night on 5 September.

Who Should See It?

Those concerned with world affairs will find A Very Expensive Poison an important and riveting piece. Fans of Prebble’s play ENRON, or of any of her other acclaimed plays, will want to see what the talented writer has come up with since then.

Playing at

Old Vic Theatre
103 The Cut
Seating Plan

Old Vic Theatre seating plan

Booking period

20th Aug 2019

18th Jan 2020

5th Oct 2019

Running time

2 hours 50 minutes (including interval)


Recommended 12+