17 February - 13 April 2024

"The window for change - real change I mean - will close. It’s already closing. Very soon it will be shut, and we shan’t be able to get it open again.”

Two worlds meet in a romantic drama which sees stars of film and TV, Keeley Hawes and Jack Davenport, make their long-awaited returns to the London stage.

1948, Shropshire: the winter is freezing, austerity is biting and Iris Elcock, GP, Socialist and Labour party councillor, is working tirelessly to implement Nye Bevan’s National Health Service Act and its revolutionary promise of free health care for all. At home she is a mother, and wife to a fellow GP, an ex-Navy man scarred by the war. But a chance meeting with George Blythe, a local boy who has made it to Hollywood, turns her quiet, certain world upside down. 

The Human Body is a story of political and private passions from multi-award-winning writer Lucy Kirkwood (The Witches, Mosquitoes, Chimerica). In his final production as Artistic Director of the Donmar Warehouse, Michael Longhurst directs together with Ann Yee, with whom he previously collaborated on Next to Normal and Caroline, or Change.


★★★★ “Keeley Hawes shines here... And she has a worthy foil in Jack Davenport, playing a wittily jaded movie star” Evening Standard

★★★★ “Lucy Kirkwood’s potent new drama set in the austerity era, that perpetually fascinating period in which the blood and bravery of war is gone, to be replaced by the long grind of a country counting the cost, in every possible sense.” The i

★★★★ “An exemplary cast, with Siobhán Redmond, Pearl Mackie and Tom Goodman-Hill multitasking expertly as 28 characters between them. At its heart are Hawes and Davenport, both funny, poignant and true as middle-aged lovers struggling with one of the toughest ailments of all: heartache.” Financial Times

★★★★ “Kirkwood is such a wonderful writer and Longhurst (in his last production of his tenure as artistic director) and Yee such confident, fluent co-directors” WhatsOnStage

★★★★ “The golden age of cinema meets theatre in this thoroughly enjoyable play” Theatre Weekly


This production is generously supported by our Season Supporter, Charles Holloway

George Blythe Jack Davenport 
Bob Danvers-Walker / Graham Hawes / Julian Elcock / Mr Sieves / Duncan / Dustman / Waiter / Reynolds / Mr Eavis / Mr Flack Tom Goodman-Hill 
Laura Elcock / Barbara / Girl Flora Jacoby Richardson 
Iris Elcock Keeley Hawes 
Laura Elcock / Barbara / Girl Audrey Kattan 
Director / Interviewer / Office Girl / Gladys / Jean / Mrs Sieves / Marion Cutler / Sylvia Samuels / Judy / Mrs Thwaite / Mr Jessup Pearl Mackie
Helen Mackeson / Mrs Howells / Mrs Stubbs / Shirley / Winston Churchill / Hotel Manager / Mr Clegg Siobhán Redmond 
Writer Lucy Kirkwood
Directors Michael Longhurst & Ann Yee
Designer Fly Davis 
Lighting Designer Joshua Pharo
Sound Designer Ben and Max Ringham
Video Designers Nathan Amzi & Joe Ransom
Associate Designer Tom Paris
Fight Director Bret Yount 
Intimacy Director Sara Green
Voice Coach Barbara Houseman 
Dialect Coach Penny Dyer
Casting Director Anna Cooper CDG
Assistant Set & Costume Designer Rimu Kwok
Assistant Lighting Designer Cheng Keng  
Assistant Sound Designer José Guillermo Puello