“Lucy Prebble is one of the UK’s best playwrights. She made her mark on the industry with a string of intelligent plays exploring a variety of contemporary issues. The Sugar Syndrome poked around the dark corners of the web; following the Great Recession, Enron satirised the fraud at the heart of American business; and The Effect examined the connections between neuroscience, love and depression. Now, with the Russian government’s 2018 attempted murder of Sergei Skripal still fresh in people’s memories, Prebble is revisiting the story of Alexander Litvinenko. The production takes a few creative risks, with critics responding with a mix of 3, 4 and 5 star reviews.”
“A new play by Lucy Prebble (who wrote Enron, The Effect and The Sugar Syndrome) is always something to look forward to. In the wake of the Salisbury Novichok poisonings, this account of a previous poisoning is based on Luke Harding’s book about the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, who in November 2006 was poisoned by the radioactive substance Polonium in London after making enemies in Russia at the highest level. Harding’s thoroughly researched book has been compared to a real-life John LeCarre thriller and Prebble should make it gripping in a production that shines a spotlight on the shadowy world of international espionage.”
A modern-day assassination in the heart of London. In the strange coming together of high-stakes global politics and radioactive villainy, a man pays with his life.
At this time of unnerving global crises and rumblings of a new Cold War, A Very Expensive Poison sends us careering through the shadowy world of international espionage from the townhouses of Fitzrovia to the brothels of Soho.
With dazzling inventiveness, Lucy Prebble (The Effect, ENRON) reimagines Luke Harding’s jaw-dropping exposé of the events behind the tragic death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko.
The twisted tale of the Russian dissident’s death by radioactive poisoning employs songs, puppets and even Putin as an unreliable narrator
Flair, power, humour and emotional punch
Toxic drama gets under the skin
Masterfully messy meta-thriller about the Litvinenko poisoning
Inventive but flawed exploration of the Litvinenko murder
Bold evocation of a post-truth world
The Arts Desk
Lucy Prebble’s brave, mad, brilliant attempt to process the 2006 assassination of Alexander Litvinenko
What’s thrilling is the way that Prebble is constantly testing just how a story can be told even as it points up the fact that stories are spun this way and that to suit the interests of those who want to control the story
Lyn Gardner for Stagedoor
While Lucy Prebble's phenomenal new work - a combination of horror, espionage thriller, love story and satire, with dazzlingly theatrical framing - doesn't centre around the B world, it is, unquestionably, the play for the present moment
Story of Litvinenko's murder leaves an odd taste in the mouth
A brilliantly bold and ferociously intelligent drama about our slippery times
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