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After Life

written by Jack Thorne
adapted from the film by Hirokazu Kore-eda
concept by Bunny Christie, Jeremy Herrin and Jack Thorne
a co-production with Headlong
By special arrangement with Buena Vista Theatrical

2 June – 7 August 2021
Running Time: 1 hour and 40 mins with no interval

5 star rating

A joyously theatrical piece.  Reminds us of just what live theatre can do.

Financial Times
5 star rating

Absolutely superb. Tremendously theatrical and moving.

Time Out
4 star rating

A compelling vision of eternity.

The Times
4 star rating

Exhilarating. Brings vitality to the stage.

The Observer
4 star rating

A powerful show with subtlety and tenderness.

The i
4 star rating

Overwhelmingly moving. Profoundly satisfying.

4 star rating

Remarkable. It is all pure theatre.

The Stage
4 star rating

A vibrant kaleidoscope of memories.

Broadway World

After Life

If you could spend eternity with just one precious memory, what would it be?

A group of strangers grapple with this impossible question as they find themselves in a bureaucratic waiting room between life and death. Encouraged by enigmatic officials, they must sift through their past lives to choose their forever.

Written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) from a concept by Bunny Christie (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things) and Jack Thorne comes a surreal and powerfully human look at the way we view our lives.

Adapted from Hirokazu Kore-eda's award-winning film, After Life is a new co-production with Headlong.

Please note: this production contains themes of grief and loss that some people may find upsetting.

We can’t wait to welcome you for live performances

We're proud to be See It Safely approved by Official London Theatre, so you can feel confident and safe knowing that staff, artists and audiences are COVID-secure based on the latest government guidelines. 

You can also rest assured that our theatres and public areas are well ventilated and undergo enhanced cleaning between every show.

Here are some helpful points to remember when booking tickets and planning your visit:

Performances from Monday 26 July

  • Performances from 26 July will be sold at full seating capacities with a ticket limit of 2 per customer.
  • You will be allocated one of five separate arrival groups, indicated when you select tickets.
  • In advance of your visit, you will receive an email with your specific arrival time.
  • Due to the layout of the Dorfman theatre and audience proximity to performers, some of whom are vulnerable, we need audiences to wear a face covering throughout their visit including during the performance. This is to support the continued welfare and safety of performers, staff and audiences. If you are exempt, we would appreciate you advising front of house staff on arrival.


Learn more about the ways we are welcoming audiences back safely


Supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation through the Weston Culture Fund


Garfield Weston Foundation logo


After Life Experience

A piece by Coney in collaboration with the National Theatre & Headlong

Hello, you. Welcome to the Facilitation.

Here is your opportunity to reflect on your After Life. What precious memory would you choose to live in for eternity?

It’s all in your hands. Take a minute and let us know. We want it to be just right for you.

Are you ready?

Find a quiet space on your own to enter the Facilitation. Once online, your After Life Experience guide will lead you down a contemplative path through your most cherished memories. Take a few minutes to consider what your chosen After Life may be. Press record and be part of an Archive of memories, collected from voices all over the world.

Visit After Life Experience

After Life Experience: A Guided Theatre Meditation | Coney, National Theatre and Headlong

More info

Be Amazing. When booking please consider adding a donation of 5% of the cost of your tickets to help the National Theatre recover from the impact of closure and to celebrate the brilliant people who sit at the heart of everything we do. We need each other


Production team

After Life poster photography by Simón Pais-Thomas

Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets