by Matthew Lopez
The Inheritance is a play by Matthew Lopez that is inspired by the novel Howards End by E. M. Forster. The play premiered in London at the Young Vic in March 2018.Matthew Lopez’s highly-anticipated two-part play, THE INHERITANCE, asks how much we owe to those who lived and loved before us, and questions the role we must play for future generations.
Brilliantly re-envisioning E. M. Forster’s masterpiece “Howards End” to 21st-century New York, it follows the interlinking lives of three generations of gay men searching for a community of their own – and a place to call home. This epic new play by Matthew Lopez marks the Broadway debut of one of America’s boldest theatrical voices, and is directed by visionary two-time Tony Award® winner Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, Netflix’s The Crown). THE INHERITANCE is a life-affirming journey of tears and laughter, through conflicts and connections, heartbreak and hope. A new play, generations in the making.
The Inheritance is a two-part play. (2 Performances)
Part 1: 3 hours 15 mins (with 2, 10 min intervals)
Part 2: 3 hours 20 mins (with 1, 10 min interval)
Commissioned by Hartford Stage in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, The play was produced in London at the Young Vic Theatre under the direction of Stephen Daldry in March 2018. The play was staged in two parts of over three hours each, intended to be viewed sequentially. It examines love between gay men in contemporary New York a generation after the AIDS epidemic. It asks what the current generation owes to its forebears.
The production transferred to the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End on 21 September 2018 and is produced by Tom Kirdahy, Sonia Friedman, and Hunter Arnold.
The Inheritance won Best Play at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018.
The Inheritance also won best new play, best director for Stephen Daldry and best actor for Kyle Soller at both the 2019 Critics’ Circle Awards and the 2019 Laurence Olivier Awards, also winning an Olivier for Best Lighting for Jon Clark.
The play will premiere on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on 27 September 2019 in previews, with the official opening on 17 November.
West End Cast
|Noel Coward Theatre
|Eric Glass||Kyle Soller|
|Toby Darling||Andrew Burnap|
|Adam / Leo||Samuel H Levine|
|Walter/ Morgan||Paul Hilton|
|Henry Wilcox||John Benjamin Hickey|
|Toby’s Agent||Robert Boulter|
|Young Henry||Hubert Burton|
|Jason 1||Michael Marcus|
|Young Walter||Luke Thallon||Jack Riddiford|
|Jason 2||Michael Walters|
Broadway Cast TBA
Produced by Tom Kirdahy Sonia Friedman Productions and Hunter Arnold
Written by Matthew Lopez
Music by Paul Englishby
Directed by Stephen Daldry
Scenic Design by Bob Crowley
Costume Design by Bob Crowley
Lighting Design by Jon Clark
Sound Design by Paul Arditti
Critical Response (London)
The reviewer for The Telegraph called the play “perhaps the most important American play of this century.” 
The Variety reviewer wrote the play is a “…vast, imperfect and unwieldy masterpiece that unpicks queer politics and neoliberal economics anew. In addressing the debt gay men owe to their forebears, it dares to ask whether the past hasn’t also sold the present up short.”
The Guardian reviewer wrote: “While Lopez’s play has a literary framework, it teems with life and incident…Lopez is also unafraid to periodically stop the plot and clear the stage for an impassioned debate: one of the most intense is about the status of gay culture which, having fought so long against oppression, now finds itself in danger of being co-opted.”
|Laurence Olivier Awards||Best New Play||Won|
|Best Actor||Kyle Soller||Won|
|Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Vanessa Redgrave||Nominated|
|Best Director||Stephen Daldry||Won|
|Best Set Design||Bob Crowley||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design||Jon Clark||Won|
|Best Sound Design||Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Music||Paul Englishby||Nominated|
- Serratore, Nicole. “”A Gay ‘Inheritance’ That’s Generations in the Making””. www.americantheatre.org. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
- Trueman, Matt (2018-03-29). “London Theater Review: ‘The Inheritance'”. Variety. Retrieved 2019-04-21.
- Collins-Hughes, Laura; Deb, Sopan; Trueman, Matt (2018-02-20). “3 Young People to Watch in Theater This Spring”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
- “The Inheritance (West End)”. Young Vic. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- Thompson, Jessie (2018-11-19). “Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018 – The Winners”. Standard. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
- Wiegand, Chris (2019-01-29). “The Inheritance wins best new play at UK Critics’ Circle awards”. The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
- McPhee, Ryan. “Two-Part, Gay-Themed ‘The Inheritanc’e Will Play Broadway” Playbill, June 6, 2019
- Cavendish, Dominic. ” ‘The Inheritance’, Young Vic review: perhaps the most important American play of the century so far” The Telegraph, 29 March 2018
- Billington, Michael.” ‘The Inheritance review’ – Angels in America meets Howards End The Guardiaan, 28 March 2018
- McPhee, Ryan (2019-03-05). “2019 Olivier Award Nominations: London’s Company and Come From Away Lead the Pack”. Playbill. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
Reviews from West End Production
‘Perhaps the most important American play of the century’ Telegraph
Following a sold-out, critically-acclaimed run at the Young Vic, Matthew Lopez’s major two-part world premiere The Inheritance lands in London’s West End for just fifteen weeks. Directed by multi Olivier Award winner Stephen Daldry, this ‘monumental and transcendent’ (Time Out) production questions how much we owe to those who lived and loved before us.
‘Witty, outrageous and piercingly vivid.’ Evening Standard
A generation after the peak of the AIDs crisis, what is it like to be a young gay man in New York? How many words are there now for pain and for love? Stephen Daldry’s ‘remarkably involving production’ (Independent) explores profound themes through the turbulent and often hilarious experiences of a group of young, ambitious New Yorkers. What is the legacy left to them by previous generations? What do they owe the future and each other?
‘An extraordinary epic event’ Sunday Times
Spanning generations and interlinking lives, The Inheritance is ‘an exquisitely truthful and funny modern classic’ (Telegraph) that brilliantly transposes EM Forster’s novel ‘Howards End’ to 21st century New York.