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Dear Octopus

by Dodie Smith

Booking and details

7 February — 27 March 2024
Checking availability
The event location is

Lyttelton Theatre

National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX

View performances

Tue and Thu selected performances at 6.30pm

The family, from whose tentacles we can never quite escape

When a golden wedding anniversary reunites the Randolph family on the eve of WWII, Dora and Charles must reckon with the adults their children have become. Their children, meanwhile, are haunted by the memory of the family they once were.

As the weekend’s celebrations unfold, the family walks a tightrope between intimacy and estrangement, camaraderie and rivalry, love and hate.

Heartbreaking and joyful, this captivating revival of Dodie Smith’s (I Capture the Castle) play is a moving dissection of family and what it means to grow up and return home.

Lindsay Duncan (Hansard) plays Dora in this beautiful, contemporary production, directed by Emily Burns (Jack Absolute Flies Again).

Cast includes

Lindsay Duncan photo portrait

Lindsay Duncan


Malcolm Sinclair photo portrait

Malcolm Sinclair


Production team


Emily Burns

Set and Costume Designer

Frankie Bradshaw

Frankie Bradshaw

Lighting Designer

Oliver Fenwick

Oliver Fenwick

Sound Designer

Tingying Dong

Tingying Dong


Nico Muhly

Casting Director

Bryony Jarvis-Taylor

Company Voice Work

Shereen Ibrahim

Shereen Ibrahim

Company Voice Work

Liz Flint

Staff Director

Júlia Levai

Ticket prices

Monday – Thursday evenings and all matinees:
£20, £36, £46, £66, £86, £96

Friday & Saturday evenings:
£20, £39, £49, £69, £89, £99

Previews 7 – 12 February:
£20, £30, £36, £46, £56, £76

For concessions and discounts, see Ways to save

Please note the 6.30pm start time on the following performances: Tue 20 Feb, Thu 29 Feb, Tue 5 Mar and Thu 14 Mar.

Visit our Ticketing FAQs for information on how to book, ticket exchanges and more.

Prices may change according to demand

Assisted performances


BSL Interpreted

Audio described

Chilled performance

The signer for the BSL performance will be announced closer to the performance date.

Audio-described performances are preceded by a Touch Tour, 90 minutes before the performance start time. Call the Access line on 020 7452 3961 to book Touch Tours.

We have an allocation of tickets held for members of our Access scheme and if any of the Access performances above are shown as “Sold Out”, tickets may still be available: Please log in to your account to access them, or call Box Office on 020 7452 3961

Smart caption glasses

Are planned to be available for performances of Dear Octopus from 7.30pm, Wednesday 21 February.



Photography (Lindsay Duncan) by Kelvin Murray.