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The Tell-Tale Heart

a new play by Anthony Neilson
based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe

5 Dec 2018 to 9 Jan 2019
Running Time: Approx 2 hrs 20 mins inc. interval

The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell-Tale Heart is a twisted, graphic and darkly-comic treat.

Renowned for his ground-breaking work, Anthony Neilson (The PrudesUnreachableThe Wonderful World of Dissocia) makes his National Theatre debut with this contemporary reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale of a haunted conscience.


A young playwright rents an attic flat in Brighton, hoping it will break the writer’s block that’s preventing her from following up on her wildly successful debut. Whilst there, she forms a relationship with her landlady, a lonely young woman with a life-altering condition.

But pressure mounts on the writer, and her relationship with the landlady becomes ever-more suffocating.


Please note: This production contains strobe lighting, provocative language, some violent scenes, and moments and themes that some people may find distressing - it's definitely not for children!


Talks and events

Director and Writer Anthony Neilson Mon 7 January, 6pm
Exploring the Gothic in Culture Wed 9 January, 6pm

4 star rating

Very funny, very gory. Darkly, deliciously silly.

Time Out
4 star rating

A little crazy, crude and mightily enjoyable.

The Times
4 star rating

Brilliantly creepy. Shocks and entertains

4 star rating

Festive fun of the most delectably terrifying kind.

Daily Telegraph
5 star rating

Stunningly inventive. A playful, knuckle-whitening ride.


The Tell-Tale Heart | Audience Response

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The Tell-Tale Heart | Inside the rehearsal room

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The Tell - Tale Heart | Teaser Trailer

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The Tell-Tale Heart | Short story

Supported Layout: 
Half Width
Restrict to tags: 

Fear on stage | Previous NT productions


Production team

Photography by Graham Pearson.

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