A major revival of a British classic, The Dresser arrives on the West End in this not-to-be-missed production.
Written by Academy Award-winning author Sir Ronald Harwood and starring Ken Stott (Rebus) and Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen), The Dresser recounts the events of a night in a provincial theatre during WWII. As bombs fall and sirens wail, a troupe of touring actors prepares for their performance of King Lear. However, the once-famous ‘Sir’ (Ken Stott) is refusing to assume his role of Lear. It is up to his loyal dresser Norman (Reece Shearsmith) to inspire the aging actor and to stop the show, and Sir, from crumbling.
Hailed for its humour, tenderness and intelligence and widely considered to be Harwood at his best, The Dresser is a seminal play about life in the theatre and a poignant look at two grudgingly co-dependent men. Nominated for Olivier and Tony Awards and adapted for the small and big screens (the 1983 film adaptation received an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay), this latest production returns The Dresser to its home on the London stage.
With tickets sure to sell out, book your seats for The Dresser today.
The Dresser critic reviews
The Dresser reviews
What a fantastic play, the acting was amazing, and the casting of Reece Shearsmith as the Dresser was amazing. I had no idea he was such a brilliant comic/tragic actor, he had us all laughing and crying. Lovely little theatre and great seats.
A brilliant production of an old favourite.
This was my second attendance at The Dresser. Enjoyed it so much the first time I took friends to see it again. The acting is incredible. Wonderful delight and moving.
One of the best plays you'll see all year. Fine faultless acting, pathos and melancholia all blended into one. Go and see it!
Fabulous! The acting was superb and mesmerising. Wish I could see it again, this was one of the best theatre experiences I have had.
Excellent play. The programme says it all - the cast's various fixations/loyalty/affection for their actor manager who is reaching the end of the road. He is like a once magnificent lion - now old, mangy and toothless. He is nevertheless the centre of the troupe and drives the action. His dresser Norman is his most intimate associate who guards his master jealously. This was a brilliant performance by Reece Shearsmith. The evening left a lot to ponder and reflect on.
Absolutely brilliant! Reece Shearsmith and Ken Stot were mesmerising.
Ken stott is one of my favourite actors and he did not diss appoint. The two main actors were brilliant along with the rest of the cast. Ken must be exhausted putting two performances in one day Brilliant. Recommended to friends. Regards Gloria
Ken and Reece are amazing a stella support. if you leave a theatre glad you went than you know you have had a good time and this did not dissapoint go see
Intense, compelling and brilliantly played from beginning to end - this is what theatre was invented for!
Excellent performance from Reece Sheersmith. What a talented man who plays downtrodden and slightly bitter amazingly well. Ken Stott great performance too. Poignant story, very human, with moments of light too. I cannot recommend seeing this enough. A great performance.
Slow to start but a faithful adherence to the spirit of the play. A couple of stand out performances.
Thoroughly enjoyed this play. Superb acting by Ken Stott and Reece Shearesmith. They deserved their standing ovation .
The Dresser is a beautifully written play and this production brings the characters to life with all their flaws. It is poignant, funny and thought provoking. Highly recommended.
I love this play. The cast are fantastic. Sir is so convincing in the first half that I genuinely thought he was going to keel over with a heart attack. Then in the second half Norman had me laughing and finally crying real tears.
Reece Sheersmith as Norman was spectacular. Don't miss his performance! Our 15 year old daughter who loves Drama has talked about Reece Sheersmith all day ...
A wonderful play with superb acting. Having seen several other versions in film and television this one comes out tops. Ken Stott in particular proves what a brilliant, all round actor he is but he is superbly complemented by all the others and in particular his 'dresser'.
Being 'of a certain age', my wife and I remember the classic Albert Finney/Tom Courtney version of The Dresser very well. We felt that this production was in every way its equal, and a worthy successor. Every character was flawlessly portrayed, the humour and pathos reflected exactly the author's intentions, and the whole production was a tribute to brilliant actors and a brilliant director. Well done to everyone concerned.
A really enjoyable production of The Dresser. Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith were a dream team. Funny, sad but a great play.
This was a well produced, well acted performance. The voice projection of the two principals was good, but not so good in the case of some of the lesser roles, in particular Her Ladyship. It was a riveting piece of theatre.
I enjoyed this play as did the rest of my party but it was slow at the beginning as the leading lady was rather weak & difficult to hear. The two male leads were fantastic.
The play was brought to life magnificently by a n outstanding cast. The contrast between the leads provided real sparks and made the comedy exceptional, and the tragedy very moving
Really enjoyed this production. The two main characters were excellent and well supported. Very sad but also brilliant comedy. Thoroughly recommend this play.
Excellent production, superb acting. Loved the fascility to order refreshments to be delivered to your seat.
I didn't know this play and haven't seen the film. So it was all new and fantastic. Marvellous acting by the entire cast. I loved it all.
Great show with comical dialogue throughout the performance. Definitely a must!
What an absolutely stunning production. Wonderful set, amazing cast. Ken Stott is stunning as Sir, but Reece Witherspoon will break your heart as Norman. Please, please see it. I was a mess at the end!
Thoroughly enjoyed ,wellacted and a real insight into the roving Theatre groups .
A modern classic, and an outstanding production with a great performance from the two lead players.
The best performance in the west end this year. Excellent. The acting was superb and the whole experience wonderful. I would wholeheartedly recommend it, even to theatregoers who have seen the play before.
This supremely polished production, with a cast uniformly of the greatest skill, offers in Ken Stott's aging actor and his dresser, Reece Shearsmith, performances not merely notable in the year, not even in the decade, rather performances that belong among the great expositions of the dramatic art and remind us that the theatre is still the art of arts.
This version of "The Dresser" swept away previous versions from my mind. It was both funny and moving; both set in its era and totally real. Ken Stott was excellent. Reece Shearsmith was brilliant. His "campness" was totally naturalistic and his sense of being bereft left me in tears. It was nearly our second choice. What a mistake that would have been!
The play was a wonderful performance we were upgraded on our seats and had a lovely evening .we would go see it again great actors.
Superb performance by the whole cast.
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The two major principals were excellent, and were well supported.
What a joy to see superb acting - the cast, production, everything helped to make this a wonderful night out. I would encourage anyone who relishes the mixture of pathos and lighter moments that gives an insight into the world of theatre a close look to see this production.
This is a classic play which I had wanted to see for a long time. Ken Stott is abrasive and unbalanced as Sir while the dresser Reece Sheersmith is camp and driven and brilliantly played. The humour was cutting and overall a very entertaining evening
Absolutely delightful. Excellent casting and stage set.
Totally transported us to a theatre dressing room during WW2. Wonderful acting creating a mix of emotions. The set worked very well, very inventive. Thoroughly enjoyable evening.
With all actors playing their parts fully they supported outstanding performances from Ken Stott and Reece Shearmith. Absolutely enthralling and so enjoyable. Well done all!
Superlative. Star rated performance. Hovered between pathos and hilarity. I was really touched by this bittersweet love story.
Wit, humour and pathos brilliantly interpreted by a wonderful cast. We must of course single out Reece for his "Norman" who was full of energy from start to finish and who moved effortlessly from humour, sensitivity and bitchiness to disdain and bitterness at the end. We have seen the feature film but this live performance of The Dresser touched our emotions far more keenly and produced tears of joy and of sorrow - we cannot recommend it highly enough - A TRIUMPH!!
I loved the oldish film which had amazing performances from Finney and Courtenay and was not expecting the play to be as good. Reece Shearsmith was outstanding. He gave a subtle, many-layered and at the end an emotional performance, and his relationship with Ken Stott was beautifully crafted. Stott's performance too was subtle and powerful. A great evening of theatre!
We were blown away by the acting, direction and design of this show. The lead two actors were perfect in their roles. The stage movement and the complex and innovative set made for a fascinating experience. The script was engaging with great wit and drama. Very highly recommended.
Arresting from beginning to end. Very well-shaped as a play and as a production: the set included. Excellent rapport between the two main characters and all the actors comprised a strong, complementary team. The humour and the pathos were well-matched and timely.
Such strong performances and superb chemistry between leading actors.
This well known play was re-invigorated by the superb performances of the cast, especially the two leads who play off each other brilliantly. The set was just right and this small intimate theatre provides a fine backdrop. The great timing came in terms of the physical movement through the revolving set, the positioning of clothing being put on or taken off, but also the comic timing required within the dialogue, that allowed the blackest of humour to shine through. My group all had a wonderful time, and I would go back to see it again at the drop of a hat!
We went not knowing what to expect - Ken Stott was superb, owning the stage from the first moment he appeared swaying in a doorway. Reece Shearsmith was captivating - with most of the humour and comic lines. Both actors compliment each other and are so absorbing that the time flew by and by the interval we couldn't wait to see what happened next. Can't emphsise how funny and heartbreaking this show was. Reece Shearsmith shows both his talent for comedy and drama in equal amounts. I'll be watching closely to see what he does next, and we will definitely be there!
Very old fashioned play that has not stood the test of time. Despite a fantastic lead, felt acting lacking. No empathy with the characters. Supporting roles poor
Amazing cast, production offering cryptic humour and pathos simultaneously. Great to see a large cast with many talents. We have seen the play performed in the past but this production surpasses all that has gone before.
St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4BG
No refunds available after purchase.
With Ken Stott and Reece Shearsmith. Directed by Sean Foley.
2 hours and 40 mins (including the interval)
How Does It Work
You will receive a confirmation email with a voucher attached. Please print this voucher and present it to the box office staff on the day of the show. We recommend you arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before the show to collect your tickets and settle into your seats.
««««« 'I loved this Dresser. Sean Foley's fine production wrings plenty of laughs.' Daily Mail ««««« 'A brilliant production' Sunday Express «««« 'A double act to treasure. Ken Stott is magnificent. Reece Shearsmith is a revelation' Telegraph «««« 'A very funny revival of Ronald Harwood's terrific tragicomedy' Observer «««« 'A beautifully acted production' The Stage
When Can I Go
5th October 2016 - 14th January 2017
Where Do I Go
Duke of York's Theatre, St Martin's Lane, London WC2N 4BG TUBE The nearest Tube stations are Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly lines) and Charing Cross (Bakerloo and Northern lines. Leicester Square: From the station head north up Charing Cross Road and take the first right onto Long Acre. When the road intersects with Upper St. Martin's Lane turn left. The theatre is a two minute walk away down the road. Charing Cross: See the directions in the 'Train' section above. BUS There are plenty of buses operating in this area. For the Strand take buses: 6, 9, 11, 15, 23, 91 and 139. For Charing Cross take the 24, 29, 47, 176.