"When Nichols's play pushes the pain into prominence it comes most alive..."
-The Guardian-

"A bitter, twisted comedy of human fallibility and carnal ecstasy."
-What's On Stage-

Sorry, Passion Play closed on 03 Aug 2013

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About the show

Peter Nichols' Passion Play originally opened at the Aldwych Theatre in London's West End in 1981, where it went on to win the Evening Standard Award for Best Play. It then opened on Broadway under the title Passion in 1983, running for 107 performances. This brand new production marks the first London revival of this black comedy which features the story of a marriage which is cruelly torn apart. Producer Tali Pelman was drawn to the play feeling it was as relevant now as it was back in the 1980s, saying it is in her opinion one of the three best British plays on the theme of infidelity.

James and Eleanor are comfortably married and have been together for over 25 years. As James agrees to a secret meeting with their friend Kate, who has found herself recently widowed, an affair between the two begins. As the couple begin to get closer and closer, James and Eleanor's marriage is gradually stripped bare, revealing how illicit desires and more importantly, forbidden passion can lie beneath even the most solid of relationships.

Eleanor is played by Zoe Wanamaker who makes a welcome return to the West End in this dark comedy. She was last seen onstage at the National Theatre and in the West End in Howard Davies' revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons. She has gained a popular following thanks to the success of BBC comedy 'My Family' in which she co-stars as a dysfunctional married couple alongside Robert Lindsay. Younger fans will recognise her from the Harry Potter film series in which she played Quidditch teacher Madame Hooch. Passion Play reunites Wanamaker with director David Leveaux, after the pair last worked together on Electra which saw Wanamaker win the Olivier Award in 1998 for Best Actress.

Who Should See It?

Fans of great, interesting drama will enjoy this revival. Anyone who previously enjoyed Pinter's Betrayal or Old Times will appreciate this intimate play, concerning a relationship which faces multiple problems. Please note the play does involves some adult content, and is recommended as being suitable for children over the age of 13.


Passion Play won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play after it premiered in 1981.

Zoe Wanamaker has won 2 Olivier Awards and has been nominated 9 times.

Playing at

Duke of York's Theatre
St Martin's Lane
Seating Plan

Duke of York's Theatre seating plan

Booking period

1st May 2013

20th Feb 2020

3rd Aug 2013

Running time

2 hours 20 minutes