What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank is a new serious comedy by Nathan Englander, based on his acclaimed 2011 short story in The New Yorker, directed by Patrick Marber.

From the director of the Olivier and Tony Award-winning Leopoldstadt, and the producers of 2023's The White Factory, What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank will open at the Marylebone Theatre 4 October to 23 November 2024, with a national press night on Monday 14 October. Tickets are on sale now below.

WHAT A serious new comedy.
WE Two Jewish couples; one secular, the other ultra-Orthodox.
TALK The argument none of them meant to have.
ABOUT Identity, Politics, Parenthood and Getting High.
WHEN Present day Florida.
WE A college dropout who claims to be a ‘Pastafarian’.
TALK Provocative, Hilarious, Painful, Honest.
ABOUT Gaza, Israel, the Holocaust, Nazis, Marriage, Sex.
ANNE A nice Jewish girl….
FRANK is not in this play.

American film and stage actor Joshua Malina – who recently appeared in the Broadway production of Leopoldstadt directed by Marber, will make his London theatre debut starring as ‘Phil’. He debuted on Broadway in Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men.

Notable screen credits include the role of ‘Will Bailey’ on The West Wing (NBC drama), ‘Jeremy Goodwin’ on Sports Night (ABC), ‘US Attorney General David Rosen’ on Scandal (ABC), and Caltech ‘President Siebert’ on The Big Bang Theory (CBS). He is also credited as a guest star in multiple TV programmes, which include Inventing Anna (Netflix), Shameless (Showtime), The Good Doctor (ABC) and American Horror Story (FX).

Nathan Englander’s short story collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank was first published in 2012, winning the 2012 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Nathan Englander said, " I first wrote What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank as a short story for the New Yorker Magazine in 2011 and I’ve been rewriting it in different ways ever since. I think my obsession with the piece is probably because the setup is something I see as an increasingly rare occurrence in our ever more polarized and personalized-algorithm driven lives. That is, two best friends, now on opposite ends of political, religious, and economic spectrums come together to talk and laugh and cry it all out—and to see if any of the love they’ve long felt for each other can survive.

As for working with Patrick Marber, it’s been a dream. We dove into a rewrite of the play more than a year ago and have not come up for air since. It’s been some of the most intense and joyous and depressing work I’ve ever done, and beyond symbiotic tackling the piece together. As relates to the difference in our own styles of communication, I’d like to take this moment to apologize to Patrick for interrupting every single sentence he’s tried to utter (but I highly doubt I’ll stop)."

Patrick Marber said, “I’ve loved Nathan Englander’s work since I read his astounding debut short story collection, ‘For The Relief Of Unbearable Urges’. I’m very excited to be directing this UK premiere of his new play. It’s a rare thing to find a comedy that is both hilarious and deeply serious. I’m greatly looking forward to rehearsals with this exceptional cast and with the remarkable Mr Englander in attendance.”
What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank will be directed by Patrick Marber, with design by Anna Fleischle, and sound design by David Gregory.

Full casting and creative team will be announced shortly.

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