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The Tell-Tale Heart

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

Now playing
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! You can find out more in our Help centre.


Talks and events

Murder on Stage Thu 13 Dec, 6pm
Tales of Terror (film screening) Mon 17 Dec, 5.30pm
Director and Writer Anthony Neilson Mon 7 Jan, 6pm
Exploring the Gothic in Culture Wed 9 Jan, 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


The Tell-Tale Heart | Short story

Listen to the cast of The Tell-Tale Heart read Edgar Allan Poe's original short story.

More info

Fear on stage | Previous NT productions

The Tell-Tale Heart | Inside the rehearsal room

More info

The Tell - Tale Heart | Teaser Trailer

More info


Production team

Photography by Graham Pearson.

Help Centre

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets

For general ticket information

Browse the frequently asked questions for tickets