Everything you need to know about 'A Little Life' in the West End

From how to get A Little Life tickets to when to see the play, here’s your ultimate guide to the show. A Little Life is at the Harold Pinter Theatre and the Savoy Theatre.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Every so often, a novel transcends its pages to become a piece of timeless literature. Over the years, many West End plays based on books have won awards: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, War Horse and Life of Pi to name a few. Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life is the latest novel to receive the stage treatment, as it arrives in the West End in spring 2023.

A Little Life is at the Harold Pinter Theatre for 13 weeks. A Little Life then moves to the Savoy Theatre for five weeks.

A Little Life follows four college friends as they all move from their smalltown Massachusetts college to the bright lights of New York City. The bruising novel won awards and put Yanagihara on the map. Ivo van Hove adapts and directs this mammoth play, brought to life by some of the most talented actors of a generation. Here’s what you need to know about A Little Life in the West End.

What is A Little Life about?

At the start of the A Little Life story, four classmates graduate from their small Massachusetts college and move to New York City. They hope to transform their way of living, and view New York as the place to change it all.

As the years fly by, friends Willem, JB and Malcolm find themselves drawn to Jude St. Francis, a high-flying lawyer. Jude struggles to open up and reveals his past to Willem. When secrets come to light, and ambition, addiction and pride gets in their way, these four friends learn the power of unlimited love.

Where is A Little Life playing?

A Little Life will play at the Harold Pinter Theatre from 25 March to 18 June. The Harold Pinter Theatre is in the West End and often houses star-led plays. Previous shows at the Harold Pinter Theatre include The Seagull starring Emilia Clarke, Prima Facie starring Jodie Comer, and Cyrano de Bergerac starring James McAvoy.

After performances at the Harold Pinter Theatre, A Little Life is at the Savoy Theatre. from 4 July to 5 August. The Savoy Theatre often houses musicals, with previous shows including Pretty Woman: The Musical and 9 to 5.

What days is A Little Life playing?

A Little Life plays eight performances a week. Matinee performances take place on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Evening performances take place daily from Tuesday to Saturday. For the complete performance schedule and show times, visit the A Little Life page on London Theatre.

When did A Little Life premiere?

Dutch theatre company Toneelgroep Amsterdam presented the world premiere of A Little Life in 2018. Ivo van Hove leads Toneelgroep Amsterdam, joined by designer Jan Versweyveld. The production was staged in Dutch with English subtitles. A Little Life was then presented at the 2022 Edinburgh International Festival, and shortly followed with performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.

The English language version of A Little Life will premiere at Richmond Theatre, before a West End run at the Harold Pinter Theatre in spring 2023. Find out more about A Little Life in London.

Who wrote A Little Life?

Hanya Yanagihara wrote A Little Life. The Hawaii-born author’s wrote three books: The People in the Trees, A Little Life, and To Paradise. Her second novel is considered to be her greatest work: Yanagihara won the Kirkus Prize for Fiction in 2015, plus she gained a legion of celebrity fans — Dua Lipa stated that the novel changed her life.

The A Little Life play is a collaboration between Yanagihara, Koen Tachelet, and Ivo van Hove. Ivo van Hove directs A Little Life; he recently directed plays such as The Human Voice with Ruth Wilson, All About Eve with Gillian Anderson, and Network featuring Bryan Cranston.

A Little Life characters

The play centres around four college friends whose lives intertwine in spectacular fashion. Find out more about the four friends in A Little Life before seeing the play.

Jude St. Francis: After graduating from college, Jude enjoys a successful career as a New York City lawyer. At the same time, he’s haunted by the trauma of his past. Growing up, Jude suffers abuse at the hands of authoritative figures, and these memories continue to affect his livelihood.

Willem Ragnarsson: Growing up in rural Wyoming, Willem dreams of making it big in the film industry. After graduating from college, he’s a successful movie star, but finds himself personally conflicted with his relationship to Jude.

Malcolm Irvine: Following college, Malcolm enjoys a rewarding career as an architect and marries Sophie. Malcolm designs Jude and Willem’s home, but they meet their fated end with the friends.

JB Marion: After college, Jean-Baptiste alienates Jude, Willem, and Malcolm, and struggles to maintain his artist lifestyle due to drug addiction.

A Little Life West End cast

James Norton will play Jude in A Little Life, joined by Luke Thompson as Willem, Omari Douglas as JB and Zach Wyatt as Malcolm. Zubin Varla, Nathalie Armin, Emilio Doorgasingh, and Elliot Cowan also star. Find out more about the A Little Life West End cast.

How to get A Little Life tickets

Everything Ivo van Hove touches turns to gold, and A Little Life will be no exception. It's sure to be one of the must-see shows of the year. Get your tickets now to avoid missing out.

Book tickets to A Little Life at the Harold Pinter Theatre on London Theatre today.

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Book tickets to A Little Life at the Savoy Theatre on London Theatre today.

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Photo credit: A Little Life cast (Photo courtesy of production)

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