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My Brilliant Friend

A co-production with Rose Theatre Kingston

Parts One and Two
based on Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels
adapted by April De Angelis

12 November 2019 to 22 February 2020
Running Time: Part One approx 2 hours and 35 mins, inc. interval. Part Two approx 2 hours and 35 mins, inc. interval

4 star rating

Elena Ferrante's story makes a triumphant transition to stage

Evening Standard
4 star rating

This is a production which should delight the books’ many fans and serve as a fine introduction to the richly conceived, unforcedly feminist world of Ferrante

Daily Telegraph
4 star rating

An ultra-dynamic production with two towering performances

Time Out
4 star rating

A lively generous tale of femininity and violence

4 star rating

A triumphant staging. Richly rewarding.

4 star rating

As if Ferrante had materialised in front of us.

4 star rating

Big, bold and brilliant

4 star rating

Exhilarating. The passions and struggles of the two friends are vividly there on the stage

Mail on Sunday

My Brilliant Friend

Based on the celebrated novels by Elena Ferrante – published in over 50 countries – My Brilliant Friend is an epic story of love, violence, ambition and self-destruction.

When the most important person in her life goes missing without a trace, Lenu Greco, now a celebrated author, begins to recall a relationship of more than 60 years.

First meeting on the dangerous streets of post-war Naples, friends Lila and Lenu experience turbulent social and political change, from the rise of the Camorra to the sexual revolution and the transformation of their neighbourhood, city and nation. Even as life repeatedly tries to pull them in separate directions, they remain inextricably bound to one another.

Following a sold-out run at Rose Theatre Kingston, the acclaimed two-part adaptation by April De Angelis (Jumpy) is reworked for the Olivier stage by Melly Still (Coram Boy). Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack return to play Lenu and Lila.

This stage adaptation condenses Ferrante's four Neapolitan Novels into one play presented in two parts (My Brilliant Friend and The Story of a New Name into Part 1; Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay and The Story of the Lost Child into Part 2).

Two-show days

Your ticket will admit you to both Part One at 2pm and Part Two at 7.30pm.


Please note: This production contains gunshots, drug use, and some violent and sexually violent scenes, that some people may find distressing. If you require further information, contact details are provided in our Help centre.

Buy the book

Discover Elena Ferrante’s original novel from our online shop. Every purchase supports the work of the National Theatre.
The Neapolitan Novels are published by Europa Editions. 


Talks and events

Making My Brilliant Friend Thu 16 Jan, 10.30am
A Short History of Modern Italy Fri 17 Jan, 6pm
Writer April de Angelis and Director Melly Still, Tue 18 Feb, 6pm

On Stage with Actors Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack

More info

My Brilliant Friend | How we made the poster

More info

My Brilliant Friend ticket prices and Access performances

Individual Parts One and Two Ticket prices

Monday - Thursday eves, all matinees
*£86, £66, £57, £46, £32, £15
Friday & Saturday eves
*£89, £69, £60, £52, £35, £20

Two-show days ticket prices

On two-show days only combined tickets are available. Your combined ticket will admit you to both Part One at 2pm and Part Two at 7.30pm (1.30pm & 7pm on Tuesday 26 November).These tickets offer a saving of up to £10.
Monday - Thursday performances
*£162, £122, £104, £87, £59, £30
Friday & Saturday performances
*£165, £125, £107, £93, £62, £35

Access Performances

Audio-described performances, for blind and visually impaired people:
Two show day (Parts One & Two): Sat 4 January, 2pm (preceded by a Touch Tour  at 12.30pm) & 7.30pm
Part Two: Tue 14 January, 2pm

Captioned performances, for deaf or hard-of-hearing people:
Two show days (Parts One & Two): Sat 21 December, 2pm & 7.30pm
Two show days (Parts One & Two): Sat 28 December, 2pm & 7.30pm
Part One: Mon 6 January, 7.30pm
Part Two: Wed 15 January, 7.30pm


*Some of the best seats in the house are premium priced. They help to ensure we can continue to offer low price seats for all our productions; the National Theatre is a charity and only 17% government-funded. This year nearly 30% of our tickets are available for £20 or less.

My Brilliant Friend | Rehearsal Gallery


Antonio Cappuccio / Pietro Airota
Justin Avoth
Michele Solara / Dede Airosa
Adam Burton
Amiera Darwish
Melina Cappuccio
Amiera Darwish
Trevor Fox
Enzo Scanno
Trevor Fox
Danielle Henry
Nella Incado
Danielle Henry
Fernando Cerullo / Vittorio Greco / Publisher
Martin Hyder
Kezrena James
Eleanora Sarratore
Kezrena James
David Judge
Rino Cerullo
David Judge
Wela Mbusi
Arts Correspondent
Wela Mbusi
Gigliola Spagnuolo / Imma
Victoria Moseley
Manuela Solara / Maestra Oliviero / Photographer
Emily Mytton
Al Nedjari
Donato Sarratore
Al Nedjari
Mary Jo Randle
Immacolata Greco
Mary Jo Randle
Stefano Caracci / Lawyer
Jonah Russell
Colin Ryan
Alfonso Caracci / Gennaro Caracci
Colin Ryan
John Sandeman
Factory Foreman
John Sandeman
Ira Mandela Siobhan
Marcello Solara / Dario
Ira Mandela Siobhan
Professor Galiani
Badria Timimi
Ben Turner
Nino Sarratore
Ben Turner
Pinu Caracci / Nadia Galiani / Tina
Emily Wachter
Pasquale Peluso / Bruno Soccavo
Toby Wharton
Elizabeth Mary (Em) Williams
Ada Cappuccio / Gianni Greco
Elizabeth Mary (EM) Williams

Production team

Photography (Catherine McCormack and Niamh Cusack) by Jillian Edelstein

Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets