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The Dresser – 900×600

The Dresser, playing at the Duke Of York's Theatre

The Dresser

First Published 14 October 2016, Last Updated 14 October 2016

What’s it all about?

Set against the backdrop of a tatty regional theatre in the midst of World War II, Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser tells the tale of Sir, an ageing, once-famous, actor-manager and his long-suffering, dedicated dresser Norman, as they struggle to keep the show on the road.

Sir has discharged himself from hospital; he arrives at theatre dishevelled, weeping and confused. Whilst all around him want to cancel the show, Norman persuades him to perform his King Lear one more time.

Who’s in it?

Reece Shearsmith and Ken Stott take the lead as Norman, the dresser, and Sir respectively, with Harriet Thorpe playing Her Ladyship. Ken triumphs as Sir, one moment striding about the stage delivering Shakespeare lines, and the next almost childlike in his surprise as he’s told that the audience thought his performance was better than Michelangelo’s.

What should I look out for?

Reece Shearsmith’s performance. He delivers perfect comic timing, fully embodying the role of the obsequious Norman, from the subtlest camp nuance right through to his heart-breaking final scene.

What’s being said on Twitter?


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In a nutshell?

A superbly acted comedy on the persistence and toils of art and ageing.


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We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.