Posted on 6 December 2018.

Posted in: Announcements



  • Adrian Lester, Katy Sullivan, Emily Barber and Jack Hunter will make their Hampstead Theatre debuts.
  • This will be the 100th premiere since Edward Hall and Greg Ripley-Duggan took charge of Hampstead Theatre in 2010.


Written by Martyna Majok
Directed by Edward Hall

24 January – 9 March
Press Night Thursday 31 January

‘Roads are dark and America’s long’

Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living receives its highly anticipated UK Premiere at Hampstead Theatre – making it the 100th premiere since Edward Hall and Greg Ripley-Duggan took charge in 2010.

Martyna Majok’s exquisitely original, honest and deftly funny new play explores our need to connect and be loved regardless of the gulfs that disability, race, class, and wealth place between us. Adrian Lester will make his Hampstead Theatre debut in the role of Eddie, Katy Sullivan will make her UK stage debut as Ani, having originated the role in the award-winning off-Broadway production, and they are joined by Emily Barber in the role of Jess and Jack Hunter in the role of John.

John, a wealthy, brilliant, and successful PhD student with cerebral palsy, hires Jess, a recent graduate who has fallen on hard times, as his new carer. Across town, truck driver Eddie attempts to support and re-engage with his estranged wife, Ani, following a terrible accident that has left her quadriplegic. As four very different lives collide and entwine, roles are unapologetically flipped, reversed and exposed - who is actually caring for whom?

Emily Barber plays Jess. Theatre work includes Trouble in Mind (Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal, Bath); Oedipus Rex (Royal Festival Hall); Boys Will Be Boys (Bush Hall); Cymbeline (Shakespeare’s Globe - Charleson Award Commendation); The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville/UK tour); Billy Liar (Manchester Royal Exchange - Manchester Theatre Award 2015 for Best Newcomer); Twelfth Night and When We Are Married (both Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama); Cornelius - Brits on Broadway (59e59, New York); Cornelius (Finborough); Liar (Key Theatre); Orpheus & Eurydice; The Hired Man and Fiddler on the Roof (all National Youth Theatre). Film work includes Backdraft; The Arrival and Burger. Television work includes Call the Midwife; The Royals and Endeavour.

Jack Hunter plays John. Jack graduated from Queen Margaret University in 2017. Theatre work includes All You Need Is LSD (Birmingham Rep/UK tour); Let Me Play the Lion Too (Barbican Centre) and The Living Newspaper (The Arthur Conan Doyle). He has also performed Stand Up Comedy at The Stand Comedy Club, the Edinburgh Fringe and the Aberdeen Comedy Festival.

Adrian Lester plays Eddie. Adrian Lester OBE is an award-winning actor and director. His career started with a string of successful West End productions including Company, for which he received an Olivier Award, Six Degrees of Separation and Sweeny Todd, before taking the lead role in Mike Nichol's film Primary Colors. Other film roles include Day After TomorrowAs You Like ItLoves Labour’s LostGrey LadyDust and Case 39.  Adrian is also well known for his TV work including the long running BBC1 series Hustle, Sky Atlantic’s Riviera, US sitcom Girlfriends, Undercover and Trauma. Directing credits include HustleRiviera and short film Of Mary. Adrian has played the title roles in Henry V and Othello (National Theatre), for which he won Best Actor at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards; Rosalind in As You Like It (Declan Donnellan & Cheek By Jowl); Ira Aldridge in Red Velvet (Tricycle Theatre / St Ann’s Warehouse New York / Garrick Theatre), for which he won Best Actor at the Critics Circle Awards; Hamlet in Peter Brook’s The Tragedy Of Hamlet (London, Paris, Japan and New York) and Guys & Dolls (Royal Albert Hall). Recent/current filming projects include the films Mary, Queen of Scots and Euphoria, Curfew for Sky TV, The Rook for Starz TV. Adrian is writing and preparing to direct his first feature film, Lottery Boy.

Katy Sullivan plays Ani. Katy received a BFA in acting from Webster University’s Conservatory in St Louis. She created the role of Ani in Cost of Living (Williamstown Theatre Festival Manhattan Theatre Club - Theatre World Award and nominations for Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards). Other theatre work includes Hedda Gabler (Webster University); Lady Windermere’s Fan (Northlight Theatre, Chicago); Finish Line: A documentary play about the 2013 Boston Marathon (Boch Center Shubert Theatre, Boston); A Piece of My Heart (L.A. New Court Theatre) and The Long Red Road (Goodman Theatre). Film work includes the award-winning film, Walk On and T-11 Incomplete (2019). Television work includes My Name is Earl;Last Man Standing, Legit and NCIS: New Orleans. Katy is a four-time U.S. Champion in the 100m. She was among the first bilateral above the knee amputees to compete in the Paralympics in ambulatory track at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. She was a Sports Analyst for NBC’s 2016 Paralympic Games in Brazil. 

Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland and raised in working class Jersey and Chicago. She was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cost of Living (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club). Other plays include Sanctuary City (New York Theatre Workshop); Queens (LCT3/Lincoln Center/La Jolla Playhouse) and Ironbound (Steppenwolf Theatre Company/Round House Theatre/WP Theater/Rattlestick Playwright Theater/Geffen Playhouse and other theatres in America and abroad including The National Theatre of Warsaw in Poland). Awards include The Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Play, The Greenfield Prize (first female recipient in drama), Champions of Change Award from the NYC Mayor’s Office, Francesca Primus Prize, two Jane Chambers Playwriting Awards, The Lanford Wilson Prize, The Lilly Award's Stacey Mindich Prize, Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play from The Helen Hayes Awards, Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, ANPF Women's Invitational Prize, David Calicchio Prize, Global Age Project Prize, NYTW 2050 Fellowship, NNPN Smith Prize for Political Playwriting and Merage Foundation Fellowship for The American Dream. Martyna is a Core Writer at Playwrights' Center, NYTW Usual Suspect, and a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild of America East. Television and film work includes HBO, Focus Features/Maven Pictures and Apple TV. She was the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center and is a 2018-2019 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University.

As Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre, Edward Hall’s productions include I and You; Cell Mates; Filthy Business; Rabbit Hole; Wonderland; Sunny Afternoon (also Harold Pinter Theatre/UK tour); Raving; Chariots of Fire (also West End); No Naughty Bits; Loyalty; Enlightenment, The Strange Death of John Doe and Firebird (Hampstead Downstairs/Trafalgar Studios). As Artistic Director of Propeller, productions have included Rose Rage (adapted from Henry VI, I, II & III); Henry V; The Winter’s Tale; The Taming of the Shrew; Twelfth Night; The Merchant of Venice; Richard III; A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors. His Propeller work has toured worldwide, played the West End and Broadway (as well as regular seasons at Hampstead Theatre) and has won numerous Awards both in the UK and overseas. Other theatre work includes Once in a Lifetime with David Suchet (National Theatre); A Streetcar Named Desire with Natasha Richardson (Roundabout, New York); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (National Theatre); Mark Ravenhill’s Dick Whittington (Barbican); Calico (Duke of York’s); Edmond with Kenneth Branagh (National Theatre); Two Men of Florence (Huntingdon, Boston); Macbeth with Sean Bean (Albery); The Constant Wife (Apollo); Julius Caesar (RSC); Tantalus (Denver Centre and UK tour); Henry V (RSC); The Deep Blue Sea (Vaudeville) and The Two Gentleman of Verona (RSC). Television work includes The Durrells; Partners in Crime, a six part series for the BBC; Restless; Downton Abbey; Strike Back; Spooks; Kingdom; Trial and Retribution; Miss Marple - Sleeping Murder; Cutting Edge: Safari Strife and Richard III.


Cost of Living runs on the Main Stage 25 January - 9 March


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