Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Lots of reviews of "Present Laughter" for you, which I'm going to see, so I'm enthusing beforehand. Unfortunately the reviews are uniformly tepid about the play, but uniformly complimentary about the performers, Sarah Woodward and Alex Jennings in particular.
I don't quite know how you can enjoy a performance and then not like the play, but what do I know, I'm not a theatre critic!
The Times, said it was funny, but not funny enough, the Evening Standard is similarly cool towards the play, but does include my favourite line about it so far: "Alex Jennings, who clearly adores flouncing around in one dressing gown and several piques".
The Guardian states that: "Alex Jennings offers a superbly executed re-interpretation." and is a "richly funny performance".
The Telegraph hated it apparently, calling it "Impossible to like or laugh at " and a "botched attempt at an overated play". Ouch! But heaps praise on Alex Jennings. It appears that the problems may be with Coward's play rather than the performers.
Whatsonstage.com call the play "oddly brusque and charmlessly monumental", which seems incredibly harsh! And includes my second favourite quote: "Gary should not resemble a tramp with a bad haircut and an ugly dressing gown worn over day clothes that might have come from an Oxfam shop".
On the other hand The Independent gives the most positive review: "a marvel of comic brio and farcical panache" and praises Alex Jennings, who "draws on similar talents and surpasses them. There's the electric wit and stage-filling charisma, as well as the boyishness that makes people want to mother and strangle him".
Better stop now, but I'll stick the weekend reviews on as well later.