A Very Expensive Poison

A Very Expensive Poison

The Old Vic · 20 AUG - 05 OCT

WORLD PREMIERE. By Lucy Prebble, based on the Book by Luke Harding.

“Lucy Prebble is one of the UK’s best playwrights. She’s 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 – and suffice to say, we’re very excited to see what she does with it.”
Lyn Gardner avatar
11 July 2019  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“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.

Date & time

Until 05 Oct
Tue 20 Aug - Sat 5 Oct, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


The Old Vic
The Cut SE1 8NB London, UK · Get Directions
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