Playwright and filmmaker McDonagh’s 2003 production first received critical acclaim during its run at the National Theatre. Instead of making its way to West End, however, it later transferred for a season on Broadway.
For years McDonagh has publicly discussed the possibility of a West End revival, and then finally, in 2020 it was scheduled with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Steve Pemberton starring.
However, due to the pandemic these plans were delayed and Taylor-Johnson pulled out.
Now, 20 years later, in 2023, Matthew Dunster is set to direct the second-ever British production of The Pillowman.
Most of McDonagh’s recent productions have been helmed by Dunster, including the 2021 smash hit 2:22 – A Ghost Story, in which Allen made her Olivier-nominated West End debut.
She will play Katurian, a fiction writer who gets arrested by a totalitarian government on suspicion of a string of murders after his short stories depict violence toward children.
Allen will be the first female actor to play Katurian, who was originally written as male and has historically been played by male actors.
The Pillowman will run from 10 June to 2 September 2023 at the Duke of York’s Theatre.