A Number

Old Vic Theatre
The Cut, Waterloo, London

Public Previews: 24 January 2022
Opens: 1 February 2022
Closes: 19 March 2022

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Nearest Tube: Waterloo

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Show times
Monday at 7.30pm
Tuesday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Thursday at 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday no shows

Wed 26 Jan at 7.30pm only Tue 1 Feb at 7.00pm only Wed 2 Feb at 7.30pm only Thu 3 Feb at 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Runs 60 minutes with no interval

Seat prices
? to ?
(plus booking fees if applicable)

A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic Theatre in London

A Number

A major revival of Caryl Churchill's A Number in London for a strictly limited season

A father is confronted by three sons; three identical sons. But can they be truly identical?

Bernard thinks he's an only child. At the age of 35, he learns otherwise. Discovering the results of a scientific experiment that left him as one of 'a number' of clones, Bernard confronts his father, Salter. As clones reveal themselves identities are challenged, but how will Salter reveal the true events of the past? And more importantly, which Bernard is the original? A Number asks human questions of a complex scientific debate and pushes the boundaries of scientific possibility to put an astonishing twist on parental guilt and sibling rivalry, on the nature/nurture debate and even the idea of free will.

"We've got 99% the same genes as any other person. We've got 30% the same as a lettuce. Does that cheer you up at all?"

Note: This production is suitable for ages fourteen-and-above.

The cast features Lennie James as 'Salter' and Paapa Essiedu as 'Michael Black'/'Bernard 1'/'Bernard 2'.

Directed by Lyndsey Turner.

Lennie James' London theatre credits include 'Thaliard'/'Lysimachus' in Phyllida Lloyd's revival of William Shakespeare's Pericles at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre in 1994.

Paapa Essiedu's London theatre credits include 'Horst' in Stephen Daldry's rehearsed reading of Martin Sherman's Bent at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre in 2017. In the 2018 Harold Pinter Season at the Harold Pinter Theatre Paapa Essiedu played 'Devlin' in Ashes to Ashes, 'Officer'/'Prisoner' in Mountain Language, 'Lionel' in New World Order, and 'Victor' in One for the Road.

Caryl Churchill's other London theatre plays include Far Away and Top Girls.

A Number in London at the Old Vic Theatre public previews from 24 January 2022, opens on 1 February 2022, and closes on 19 March 2022


2002 London Premiere at Royal Court Theatre

2010 London Revival at Menier Chocolate Factory

2015 London Revival at Young Vic

2020 London Revival at Bridge Theatre


2002 London Premiere at Royal Court Theatre

Previewed 12 September 2002, Opened 18 Sepember 2002, Closed 2 November 2002 at the Royal Court Theatre

The cast featured Michael Gambon as 'Salter' and Daniel Craig as 'Bernard 1'/'Bernard 2'/'Michael Black'.

Directed by Stephen Daldry, with designs by Ian MacNeil, lighting by Rick Fisher, and sound by Ian Dickinson.


2010 London Revival at Menier Chocolate Factory

Previewed 29 September 2010, Opened 4 October 2010, Closed 5 November 2010 at the Menier Chocolate Factory

The cast featured Timothy West as 'Salter' and Samuel West as 'Bernard aged 40'/'Bernard aged 35'/'Michael Black'.

Directed by Jonathan Munby, with designs by Paul Wills, lighting by Oliver Fenwick, and music by Olly Fox.

Timothy West and Samuel West are real-life father-and-son.

This production was originally staged at the Sheffield Crucible Studio - previewed from 19 October 2006, opened on 24 October 2006, and closed on 11 November 2006 - with the same cast and creative team, with the exception of lighting by Hartley T A Kemp.


2015 London Revival at Young Vic

Previewed 3 July 2015, Opened 7 July 2015, Closed 8 August 2015 at the Young Vic Maria Studio

The cast featured John Shrapnel as 'Salter' and Lex Shrapnel as 'Bernard 1'/'Bernard 2'/'Michael Black'.

Directed by Michael Longhurst, with designs by Tom Scutt, lighting by Lee Curran, and sound by Richard Hammarton.

John Shrapnel and Lex Shrapnel are real-life father-and-son.

A transfer from the Southampton Nuffield Theatre - previewed from 6 February 2014, opened on 11 February 2014, and closed on 22 February 2014 - with the same cast and creative team.


2020 London Revival at Bridge Theatre

Previewed 14 February 2020, Opened 19 February 2020, Closed 14 March 2020 at the Bridge Theatre

The cast featured Roger Allam as 'Salter' and Colin Morgan as 'B1'/'B2'/'Michael'.

Directed by Polly Findlay, with designs by Lizzie Clachan, lighting by Peter Mumford, music by Marc Tritschler, and sound by Carolyn Downing.