The astonishing true story of the man who made Hollywood's greatest divas beautiful.

Following a sold-out run at London’s Hampstead Theatre, Robert Lindsay stars as the legendary Jack Cardiff.

Jack has retired to the sleepy village of Denham, Buckinghamshire. His days of hard work - and play - on some of the most famous film sets in the world are now long behind him, as are his secret liaisons with some of the most famous women in the world... Surrounded by memorabilia from a lifetime of ‘painting with light’, the writing of an autobiography should be an easy matter - were it not that Jack would now rather live in the past than remember it.

Robert Lindsay is 'magnetic' (THE GUARDIAN), 'perfect' (THE TIMES) and 'glorious' (MAIL ON SUNDAY) in Terry Johnson's delightfully witty and poignant play based on the extraordinary life of double Oscar-winning cinematic master, Jack Cardiff.

Lindsay will be joined by Tara Fitzgerald (Shipwreck), Victoria Blunt (Macbeth), and Oliver Hembrough (The Hired Man). 

Multi-award winning Terry Johnson’s many hits include Hysteria, La Cage aux Folles, Mrs Henderson Presents and Dead Funny.

Double Olivier Award-winner Robert Lindsay’s theatre credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (West End) and The Entertainer (Old Vic Theatre). Television credits include My Family and Genius.

Written and directed by Terry Johnson.

Reviews of the 2017 production:

**** 'Robert Lindsay excels in this portrayal of this passionate, boozy character, who was famous for making his female stars look stunning on screen.' - The Sunday Times

**** 'a funny and absorbing play... who needs the movies when you've got theatre?' - The Times

**** 'Lindsay is amazing to watch. He evokes the casual charm that made Cardiff magnetic to the women he worked with as well as the professional obsessiveness that led him to experiment with prisms and seek to reproduce the textures of a Vermeer or Renoir on screen.' - The Guardian

**** 'Exquisitely achieved.' - The Independent

**** 'Robert Lindsay is in glorious, compelling form as the charmer who believed 'life is temporary, film is forever. His quicksilver performance lights up the stage.' - Metro 

Select Date to Book

Main Auditorium



Ticket prices include £1.50 Restoration Levy and £1.00 Booking Fee.


Running times

Approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes, including a 20 minute interval. 

Join our Friends

As a member you can enjoy some great benefits and make tremendous savings on the cost of your theatregoing!

  • Concessions on tickets
  • Priority booking
  • Discount in the restaurant

Find out More