Lily Allen to star in Martin McDonagh’s ‘The Pillowman’ play

Lily Allen is set to star in Martin McDonagh’s West End revival of The Pillowman next year.

The playwright and filmmaker’s acclaimed black comedy first ran at the National Theatre in 2003 starring David Tenant. It later transferred to Broadway, but has not yet made it to a West End stage.

A potential West End revival has been discussed publicly over the years, finally being scheduled in 2020 with Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Steve Pemberton to star.


However, Taylor-Johnson later pulled out following COVID-19-related delays.

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Now, the second-ever British production of the play will run in 2023, directed by 2:22 – A Ghost Story director Matthew Dunster, which Allen previously starred in for her West End debut, earning her an Olivier Award nomination.

In The Pillowman Allen will star as Katurian, a writer who is arrested on suspicion of murder by a totalitarian government after writing stories that depict violence towards children.

The singer will be the first female actor to perform in the role, which was originally written for and performed by men.


The Pillowman is on at the Duke of York’s Theatre, London, from June 10 to September 2, 2023. Tickets are on sale now on the website.

McDonagh’s latest film, The Banshees Of Inisherin, came out last month, which NME described in a four-star review as a “hilarious hillside comedy-drama for fans of In Bruges“.

It continued: “But The Banshees of Inisherin is that rare thing: a film that will have you chuckling one minute, gasping the next. A story about what matters more – your legacy or your life – McDonagh has created a work of feckin’ brilliance.”

Meanwhile, this summer Allen hinted that she may not retire from music “just yet” after she joined Olivia Rodrigo to perform her song ‘Fuck You’ at Glastonbury.