Ruth Wilson will star in The Second Woman this May

One Woman. One Scene. One Hundred Men. One Electrifying 24-Hour Performance.

The Second Woman is an internationally acclaimed, extraordinary feat of endurance theatre. Originally programmed for LIFT 2020, when tickets for the performance sold out in just three hours, The Second Woman has been pending for us ever since.

We’re thrilled to finally be bringing The Second Woman, starring Golden Globe and two-time Olivier Award winner Ruth Wilson, to London audiences this May. This will be the show’s European premiere.

This production is a collaboration between LIFT and the Young Vic, bringing together two of London’s most innovative cultural institutions with one of the world’s most celebrated actors.

Ruth Wilson said:

“I have a feeling that The Second Woman will challenge all norms of what it means to be actor and audience, to be performer and observer. I’m interested in what happens in that space between us all; if we form a bond as we watch and anticipate the next play partner. This is a one-off, 24-hour experience of pure, spontaneous interaction. It will never happen again.”

Stella Kanu, LIFT’s Executive Director, said:

"We are fortunate to have some amazing partners and not many come close to Young Vic's commitment, verve and unbridled joy working with us tirelessly to bring this show to London since 2019! Audiences are in for a real treat - Ruth Wilson will blow everyone away when she shines her awesome talent on this role of a lifetime - 100 men, 24-hours? We are all going to need a lie down after!"

Kris Nelson, LIFT’s Artistic Director and CEO,  said:

"The Second Woman is an epic performance with a legendary reputation. We thought is was going to be one of the ones that got away from our cancelled 2020 festival, we're thrilled it's not slipped us by. This May, you'll get to witness an incredible performance - a mesmerising, incredibly crafted concept by Sydney-based artists Nat Randall and Anna Breckon that's all about power, gender and the negotiations we make within a couple. Over 24 hours Ruth Wilson will reveal why she's one of the country's most mercurial and astounding performers."

About The Second Woman


One Woman. One Scene. One Hundred Men. One Electrifying 24-Hour Performance.

Golden Globe and two-time Olivier Award winner Ruth Wilson (Luther, His Dark Materials, Hedda Gabler) stars in The Second Woman, an internationally-acclaimed feat of endurance theatre and live cinema.

Over a full 24 hours, 100 different men are invited to star opposite Ruth Wilson, as she performs over and over a scene between a man and a woman in a relationship that has lost its creativity and romance.

In an epic endurance performance inspired by John Cassavetes’ film Opening Night, none of the 100 different Martys have met or rehearsed with Ruth Wilson’s Virginia and most of them are non-actors.

Whether you choose to stay for 24 minutes or the full 24 hours, The Second Woman is a unique, cinematic theatre experience in which the stage offers the audience a wide-angle view of the action, while multiple cameras capture and share live close-ups.


The Second Woman is a LIFT and Young Vic co-production, produced in association with Ruth Wilson.

Creators: Nat Randall and Anna Breckon
Direction: Anna Breckon and Nat Randall
Video and Camera Design: EO Gill and Anna Breckon
Lighting Design: Amber Silk and Kayla Burrett
UK Lighting Design: Lauren Woodhead
Music Composition: Nina Buchanan

Presented in proud association with House of Oz. The Second Woman is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and originally supported by Next Wave 2016.

Special thanks to Anglo Asia Education Foundation, Craig Hassall AM, Martin Harrison, David Kaskel and Chris Teano, and to those who have chosen to support anonymously.


The Second Woman will be in the Main House at the Young Vic theatre from 4pm on Friday 19 May, to 4pm on Saturday 20 May.

Tickets will go on sale in March.

To be in with an extra chance of getting tickets, consider becoming a LIFT member. When the show went on sale in 2020, tickets sold out in just three hours! LIFT members have priority booking for all of our shows.

About House of Oz

The Second Woman is presented in proud partnership with House of Oz.

House of Oz is a platform to showcase the depth and breadth of Australian talent from the emerging to the veteran, in a venue with a distinctly Australian flavour. Born at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2022 as part of the UK/ Australia Season, House of Oz featured a diverse program spanning genres and generations, quality food and beverage options and an atmospheric courtyard bar, and in this inaugural year, won an award for Best Fringe Venue. More than just four walls, House of Oz provides the production, producing, marketing and PR support for Australians to showcase their work in its best possible light, in a way that makes them proud.