The Dresser at Duke of York's Theatre tickets
The Dresser at Duke of York's Theatre tickets

The Dresser has closed

This show has closed

Overview

A new version of Sir Ronald Harwood’s poignant and hilarious play The Dresser, came back to the Duke of York’s Theatre in 2016

Focusing on the reluctant relationship between the aging actor ‘Sir’ and his personal assistant Norman, as he struggles to keep his charge’s life and career on track, this is a highly anticipated revival of a greatly affectionate and intelligent play about the theatre.

As World War II ominously looms in the background, the two men wind up rather grudgingly being co-dependent on each other in the backstage of a provincial English Theatre. The troubled Sir, a once-famous classical actor who is now reaching the end of his career, refuses to perform in his renowned role as King Lear.

It is down to the resolute dresser Norman to get one last great performance out of the man who feels like the last of a dying breed of fine English Shakespearean actors. But will he succeed?

Reece Shearsmith took on the role of the exasperated dresser Norman. Probably best known as the creator of The League of Gentlemen, Shearsmith has gone on to achieve great success on both stage and screen, starring in movies such as High Rise and A Field In England, as well as recently having roles in the acclaimed black comedy Hangmen.

He was joined by Ken Stott playing character of the aging ‘Sir’. Stott received an Olivier Award Winner in 1995 for his role in the National Theatre production of Broken Glass and has became much loved by a wider international audience for his roles as the Scottish detective Rubus as well as the dwarf Balin in The Hobbit film trilogy.

The Dresser is renowned as Sir Ronald Harwood’s greatest play, having received much acclaim, being nominated for Olivier and Tony Awards, as well as Harwood’s own film adaptation being Academy, BAFTA and Golden Globe award nominated.

With a multi-award winning cast and creative team, and being directed by Sean Foley (Jeeves and Wooster, The Ladykillers) this was one of the most talked about West End plays of winter 2016.

The Dresser opened at the Duke of York’s Theatre in October and ran through until Saturday 14th January 2017.

Recommended for

Fans of Sir Ronald Harwood’s other plays such as Quarter and Taking Sides or his film work such as The Pianist and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly should not miss this rare chance to see what many consider his greatest play, performed by an all-star cast in London’s West End.

The stage is very much at the core of this one, and die-hard fans of classical theatre will certainly enjoy the beautiful yet humorous ode to the theatre and the actors of the past.

Age Recommendations: Not recommended for young children

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours 45 minutes (including an interval)
Opened: 05 Oct 2016
Press night: 12 Oct 2016
Booking from: 13 Jan 2017
Booking until: 14 Jan 2017

Location and map

Duke of York's Theatre
St Martin's Lane
London, WC2N 4BG

33 Reviews Add review

A brilliant show! Its about the relationships between the dresser ad the star and that of them and the cast. For anybody who lo... More

paulfootie 6'3", 76 reviews, 3 helpful votes

A brilliant show! Its about the relationships between the dresser ad the star and that of them and the cast. For anybody who loves theatre this is an excellent 'behind the scenes' show! All the roles were well acted and created the necessary drama and comedy and sadness when needed! The set is fantastic and really gives the feeling of being there and shows the wings, stage and backstage corridors and dressing room fantastically (you'll see what I mean when you go!) A great night out!

paulfootie 6'3", 76 reviews, 3 helpful votes

The Dresser does a pretty good job at blending comedy and tragedy in an entertaining reflective look at theatre and the art of per... More

shaun 5"10, 55 reviews, 2 helpful votes

The Dresser does a pretty good job at blending comedy and tragedy in an entertaining reflective look at theatre and the art of performing. Reece Shearsmith is fantastic as the flamboyant and manic dresser Norman who slowly descends into drunken disarray while Ken Stott performs well against him as the limelight obsessed declining actor known as ‘Sir’. There are funny moments throughout, but none of the jokes are particularly hilarious, with the more emotive sections working better. A lot of the humour comes in references to Shakespearean theatre so perhaps more recommended for a theatre-geek audience.

shaun 5"10, 55 reviews, 2 helpful votes

After a slowish start building the characters, there were comedy moments in the first half, more so as we got to the interval, the... More

paulnp63 6ft, 9 reviews, 0 helpful votes

After a slowish start building the characters, there were comedy moments in the first half, more so as we got to the interval, the start of the second half was really good and funny though. to me Reece seemed to have 10 times more lines than everyone else, but performed them brilliantly, Ken was marvellous playing the sick actor 'Sir' too, very good show and glad I got a ticket to see it :-)

paulnp63 6ft, 9 reviews, 0 helpful votes

A very good show. The two lead actors Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith in particular were excellent. I found it funny, moving and ... More

joc78 5"4, 197 reviews, 2 helpful votes

A very good show. The two lead actors Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith in particular were excellent. I found it funny, moving and emotional. Some parts could be a bit sharper but having seen it in preview, there is the scope to improve it further. A thoroughly enjoyable evening's entertainment with excellent performances

joc78 5"4, 197 reviews, 2 helpful votes

The show was funny, heartwarming and thoroughly enjoyable! The performance by all actors was such a high standard and the show was... More

fifilou 5"7, 175 reviews, 2 helpful votes

The show was funny, heartwarming and thoroughly enjoyable! The performance by all actors was such a high standard and the show was a pleasure to watch! I would recommend this show and urge people to go and see it before it closes!

fifilou 5"7, 175 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Really enjoyed this performance of The Dresser. Actors were fantastic and well cast. Stage set added to the story as it linked se... More

battlin 15 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Really enjoyed this performance of The Dresser. Actors were fantastic and well cast. Stage set added to the story as it linked sets by revolving as they changed rooms. Very clever.

battlin 15 reviews, 1 helpful vote

A fantastic production - the whole ensemble was great, not just the headliners (who were brilliant). Great set, great lighting, gr... More

johng 4 reviews, 0 helpful votes

A fantastic production - the whole ensemble was great, not just the headliners (who were brilliant). Great set, great lighting, great costumes, very entertaining, and highly recommended.

johng 4 reviews, 0 helpful votes

The primary reason that I went to see this show was to see Reece Shearsmith as Norman (the dresser). I am a huge fan of his and wa... More

elmquill1617 5"3, 24 reviews, 1 helpful vote

The primary reason that I went to see this show was to see Reece Shearsmith as Norman (the dresser). I am a huge fan of his and was not disappointed - both the comedic and dramatic sides to his character were very well done (the play was a lot funnier than I expected). I thought that the other members of the cast were also very good and overall, I thought that it was a great performance.

elmquill1617 5"3, 24 reviews, 1 helpful vote

Reece Shearsmith was phenomenal as Norman and Ken Stott was practically loathsome as Sir. The play was darkly comic and had me cry... More

SaraSparrow 5'8", 32 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Reece Shearsmith was phenomenal as Norman and Ken Stott was practically loathsome as Sir. The play was darkly comic and had me crying and laughing in equal measure.

SaraSparrow 5'8", 32 reviews, 0 helpful votes
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