I can't believe I saw the same production as the previous reviewer. It hurts me to be unkind about the Royal Exchange, as it really did use to be the most exciting space in Britain, but I'm afraid it is now the blandest, reduced to an endless succession of frocks and furniture shows, and I'm sorry, this just is not good enough. I have never seen such a dull Hedda, or a more inaudible one. You'd think it hard to be inaudible in a space like this, but even four rows back the first scene came across as dumbshow. Even in this theatre some projection is still necessary. Extroardinarly clumsy blocking, no sense of any rhythm or worst of all in this play, not sense of danger. A ridiculously fussy set that pretty much alienated the audience. And some very dull acting indeed. This is a very lazy production. Dammit, the Royal Exchange needs some new blood, as the recent productions have been very predictable and deadly dull...and I'll happily say this to their faces, in the hope that it might kick start them to attract an audience for those under 40 (not many of those in the performance I saw). I used to get excited just being in this theatre, now I feel almost a duty to go there.
We do deserve better than this, much better.
Barry Purves - USER: Whatsonstage.com
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