The Libertine at Theatre Royal Haymarket tickets
The Libertine at Theatre Royal Haymarket tickets

The Libertine has closed

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Overview

Dominic Cooper starred as the decadently hedonistic Earl of Rochester in Stephen Jeffrey’s sexually-charged restoration drama The Libertine. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winning Terry Johnson (La Cage Aux Folles), The Libertine offered a direct and incisive eye into the age of decadence and excess.

Set in 1670’s London, The Libertine follows the true story of the insatiably raunchy John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester. A charmingly charismatic poet and playwright, Wilmot is the ultimate debauchee, leading a life of love, lust and pure luck as he glides through life. When he makes a chance encounter with an alluring actress at the Playhouse Theatre, Wilmot is caught entirely off-guard and begins to rethink his lifestyle. A rollicking romp through the restoration period, The Libertine is brimming with wild wit that is sure to entertain audiences.

First performed on a tour and at the Royal Court, the role of the Earl was made famous in the 2004 film adaptation starring Johnny Depp. Dominic Cooper became the loveable rogue in his first West End appearance since 2009, where he played opposite Dame Helen Mirren in the National Theatre’s Phèdre. His career began in the National Theatre’s The History Boys and Mother Clap’s Molly House and has since gone on to appear in several films including The History Boys, The Duchess, My Week with Marilyn, Mamma Mia! and Captain America: The First Avenger.

Ophelia Lovibond co-starred alongside Cooper as Elizabeth Barry. Many fans will recognise her from the 2014 Hollywood blockbuster film Guardians of the Galaxy and her role in the BBC satire W1A. Lovibond has also recently appeared on stage in The Effect by Lucy Prebble at Sheffield Crucible. Mark Hadfield also joins the cast as Etheridge, having recently appeared in Mrs Henderson Presents, Richard III and The Painkiller.

Revived by multiple award-winning Johnson, who is best-known for directing La Cage Aux Folles, The Graduate, Entertaining Mr Sloane and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Libertine was an alluring, mysterious and wildly entertaining play. After a tour beginning at the Theatre Royal Bath, the show transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in September 2016.

Recommended for

Fans of the 2004 film starring Johnny Depp will love The Libertine’s transformation to the stage. Those who enjoyed Shakespeare in Love and Nell Gwynn will enjoy this drama of the same period.

Age Recommendations: Suitable for 15+

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours and 30 minutes including a 15 minute interval
Opened: 22 Sep 2016
Press night: 27 Sep 2016
Booking from: 30 Nov 2016
Booking until: 03 Dec 2016

Location and map

Theatre Royal Haymarket
Haymarket
London, SW1Y 4HT

47 Reviews Add review

The Libertine was really enjoyable but I would say that if you already knew the gist of the story it would be very beneficial to y... More

Hassellta 155cm, 21 reviews, 2 helpful votes

The Libertine was really enjoyable but I would say that if you already knew the gist of the story it would be very beneficial to your understanding of the play and the actual history. The lead role was played by Dominic Cooper who spoke clearly, had great stage presence and was convincing. The costumes were wonderful, the cast were all believable and the show flew by. It is very amusing with a serious note. The show just starts with no defined curtain call so be in your seat and ready in good time before the start time as cast come on stage and interact. It's lovely. Would recommend if you love history and debauchery! By the way - lots of adult language and sexual reference so not one for the kids!

Hassellta 155cm, 21 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Bit of a bland show. The prologue was very strong which made me very enthusiastic, but eventually the character/storyline developm... More

musicalseats 162 cm, 158 reviews, 31 helpful votes

Bit of a bland show. The prologue was very strong which made me very enthusiastic, but eventually the character/storyline development is lacking which leaves you with a non-complete journey. There were interesting bits of acting, funny scenes, and nice staging, but then the next seen would be very dull or weird. I was left in the end with a lot of questions about the story and the characters. Why did they do certain things? How did they end up there and not there? Just didn't feel complete for me. But besides all this, I had a fun night out, watching an 'okay' play.

musicalseats 162 cm, 158 reviews, 31 helpful votes

The Libertine was very average. Although there were some funny moments, it cannot exactly be described as hilarious and despite th... More

shaun 5"10, 127 reviews, 4 helpful votes

The Libertine was very average. Although there were some funny moments, it cannot exactly be described as hilarious and despite the story of Rochester being an interesting one, you do not become very emotionally attached, being neither particularly charmed or repulsed by his actions. This doesn’t seem to be the fault of Dominic Cooper, who plays it okay, however he doesn’t have a huge amount to work with in the script. Definitely not bad, but also not particularly amazing either.

shaun 5"10, 127 reviews, 4 helpful votes

At almost 20 yrs old he really enjoyed the show, understood the nuances and knew enough history to place the story. He raved about... More

Hassellta 155cm, 21 reviews, 2 helpful votes

At almost 20 yrs old he really enjoyed the show, understood the nuances and knew enough history to place the story. He raved about the way the show was produced and the performance of the individual cast members, and we talked about it a lot afterwards.

Hassellta 155cm, 21 reviews, 2 helpful votes

Disappointing. Nowhere near as raucous or flamboyant as it could have been! Good performances from Mark Hadfield and Will Barton, ... More

susannahrosemn 5"3, 138 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Disappointing. Nowhere near as raucous or flamboyant as it could have been! Good performances from Mark Hadfield and Will Barton, but Dominic Cooper was surprisingly lacklustre. Of course he's attractive, but he lacked the natural charisma and magnetism that was said to be Rochester. Too easy to compare the play to Nell Gwynn, which pulled of Restoration comedy in a much better way. Was an enjoyable enough evening, but not something I would recommend to staunch history fans!

susannahrosemn 5"3, 138 reviews, 4 helpful votes

I just found this show 'ok'. Dominic Cooper was impressive as the Earl of Rochester and I loved the opening of the second act, ho... More

joc78 5"4, 251 reviews, 4 helpful votes

I just found this show 'ok'. Dominic Cooper was impressive as the Earl of Rochester and I loved the opening of the second act, however it lacked a certain punch for me. I thought it would be funnier so I was left slightly underwhelmed unfortunately.

joc78 5"4, 251 reviews, 4 helpful votes

I am exceedingly upset that I waited as long as I did to see this show...simply because by the time I finally saw it, I couldn't f... More

alisoncohn 5"2, 38 reviews, 1 helpful vote

I am exceedingly upset that I waited as long as I did to see this show...simply because by the time I finally saw it, I couldn't find time to see it again before the end of its run. I've never been a huge fan of plays, but this one simply took the cake. Hopefully I'll get to see it again at some point in the future.

alisoncohn 5"2, 38 reviews, 1 helpful vote

The show was good, though I did have trouble keeping up with the script as it was fast paced at the start. The first half was good... More

simonerogers 5'2, 18 reviews, 0 helpful votes

The show was good, though I did have trouble keeping up with the script as it was fast paced at the start. The first half was good but the second half was very slow.

simonerogers 5'2, 18 reviews, 0 helpful votes

Upon leaving The Libertine I couldn't help but ask, 'what the hell was all that about'? With a non-existing plot and characters th... More

nats1602 5"11, 43 reviews, 5 helpful votes

Upon leaving The Libertine I couldn't help but ask, 'what the hell was all that about'? With a non-existing plot and characters that are frankly unlikable it's hard to get invested in this show where the highlight of the night is a song entitled 'Signor Dildo.' You can tell Cooper is putting his all into the Earl but perhaps in future he'll be more choosy over his roles.

nats1602 5"11, 43 reviews, 5 helpful votes