A Little Life: James Norton to star in West End adaptation of Hanya Yanagihara novel

“This is a singular production, unlike anything I’ve seen before on stage.”

Actor James Norton is set to star in the West End adaptation of Hanya Yanagihara’s award-winning novel A Little Life.

The play, directed by Ivo van Hove, will open at the Harold Pinter theatre on March 30, 2023, and run until June 18.

Yanagihara described van Hove, who directed Hedda Gabler, as a “visionary” and said: “This is a singular production, unlike anything I’ve seen before on stage.

Most Popular

    From left: The cast includes Zach Wyatt (Malcolm),James Norton (Jude), Omari Douglas (JB), and Luke Thompson (Willem). Photo: Charlie Gray

    “I hope audiences will be as transported and astonished as I was.”

    Published in 2015, the critically acclaimed novel sold a million copies, was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and has been regarded as one of the best works of the 21st century.

    Based on the lives of four friends in New York, Happy Valley and Grantchester star Norton will take the central role of Jude, with Luke Thompson, from Bridgerton, playing Willem, Omari Douglas, from It’s A Sin, as JB and Zach Wyatt, from The Witcher, as Malcolm.

    The narrative explores concepts of abuse, endurance and intimacy, as the aspiring actor, successful architect, struggling artist, and prodigious lawyer deal with ambition, addiction, and pride, while bound by their love for Jude and the mysteries and secrets of his past.

    A four-hour Dutch adaption of the bestseller appeared at the Edinburgh international festival, directed by van Hove and the Internationaal Theater Amsterdam ensemble.

    Yanagihara, van Hove and Koen Tachelet have adapted the English-language version.

    She added: “One of the greatest, most unexpected joys and honours in my life has been watching as more readers than I could ever have imagined have taken A Little Life and its characters into their hearts over the past seven years.

    “One of those readers was the visionary Ivo van Hove, and I’m thrilled he’s bringing his interpretation of the book to London next spring, with the most extraordinary cast I could have hoped for.”

    Van Hove said the production was “quite genuinely a dream come true”, adding: “I’m looking forward to beginning rehearsals with this extraordinary and committed group of actors to reveal the work afresh for audiences from across the UK.”

    The play is produced by Wessex Grove, Gavin Kalin Productions, and Playful Productions.

    For more information, and to book tickets - which are from £15 - visit the Harold Pinter theatre website.