"Stott and Shearsmith shine"
-Evening Standard-

"Theatrical treats"
-The Times-

"I loved this"
-The Daily Mail-

Sorry, The Dresser closed on 14 Jan 2017

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About the show

Sir Ronald Harwood has had a prolific and acclaimed career, producing some of the greatest film and theatre of a generation. Regarded by many as his greatest work, The Dresser has returned to London’s West End in 2016 at The Duke of York’s Theatre and stars Reece Shearsmith and Ken Stott.

Following the reluctant relationship between an ageing thespian who is attempting to pull off his renowned King Lear, despite having entered his twilight years, and his ever diligent dresser Norman, who is tasked with ensuring that it happens, The Dresser is a poignant yet funny ode to the Shakespearean greats of yesteryear.

Set against the backdrop of the bombings of World War II, the two men are trapped with each other’s company, backstage in a small town theatre. With the once-famous Sir’s refusal to take the stage and put on the performance he is expected to, will Norman succeed as the dresser who is meant to ensure he does?

Sir Ronald Harwood is known for his illustrious career spanning over 50 years in theatre and including many great classics such as Quarter, Taking Sides and Ivanov. He has also had great success on film as well, winning the Oscar for his screenplay to the 2007 film The Pianist, as well as being Academy Award-nominated for his adaptation of The Diving Bell and The Butterfly.

Many consider The Dresser to be his finest work, and under the guidance of director Sean Foley, it is set to light up the West End this autumn. Foley, having previously won an Olivier Award for his plays Do You Come Here Often? and The Play What I Wrote, as well as being multi-nominated for 2012’s revival of The Ladykillers, has firmly established his reputation in West End comedy. The Dresser will give him the perfect opportunity to tackle humour and poignancy in equal measure.

Black comedy aficionado and creator of the The League of Gentlemen, Reece Shearsmith, takes the lead role as the exasperated dresser Norman, while he is joined by Ken Stott of Rubus and The Hobbit fame.

With an all-star cast and award winning creative team, this is one of the most entertaining and brilliant productions this year. Previews for The Dresser began at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End on Wednesday 5th October 2016 and it is currently running through until Saturday 14th January 2017.

Who Should See It?

Fans of either Reece Shearsmith or Ken Stott should not miss the chance to see these two brilliant actors take up the leads in one of Sir Ronald Harwood’s greatest works.

With Sean Foley taking the helm as director, lovers of his previously dark yet humorous plays should find similar levels of tragedy and comedy here to both make you laugh and move you.

Playing at

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

Duke of York's Theatre seating plan

Booking period

5th Oct 2016

20th Sep 2021

14th Jan 2017

Running time

2 hours 45 minutes (including an interval)


Not recommended for young children