I can't disagree with anything here. This was one of those productions I shall recall when I have forgotten the name of the bloody prime minster! I have a particular love for Penelope Wilton whom I think is the finest actress to grace the stage today. Forget all those Dames, Ms Wilton takes the buscuit! Margaret Tyzack, too, is a tour de force. The rest of the company perfectly compliment these stellar leads. Michael Grandage has directed it all to perfection. It is the production of the year so far and I would not be surprised if it doesn't clean up at the Olivier's. One thing stands out though, if a small but,not undistinguished, house like the Donamr is producing Enid Bagnold and so brilliantly why is our beloved NT turning out such dreadful productions as The Revenger's Tragedy? Maybe it's because the NT's artistic director has lost the plot? Anyway, answers on a postcard please to... Apart from that if you get a chance to see this superb production it will, I guarantee it, be the best thing you have seen all year -and that's a promise. - rds
19 Jul 08
This has got to win every award going.A seamless production with faultless performances all round. Margaret Tyzack has the energy of a firework and Penelope Wilton gives the performance of a lifetime, Sensational! - joesmith
18 Jul 08
The Chalk Garden is an odd choice for the Donmar, both the play and the unusually lavish design seem more appropriate to a proscenium playhouse like the Haymarket where it premiered in 1956. Despite that Michael Grandage's production is nigh on perfect, a drawing room comedy with hints of darker secrets. The acting is sensational from some stage veterans and relative newcomer Felicity Jones does very well not to be outshone in such august company. Penelope Wilton seems incapable of anything less than brilliance and Margaret Tyzack is extraordinary; hilariously eccentric with an occasional steely touch of old empire and a final poignant glimpse of a lonely old age. Two hours of pure unalloyed pleasure. - David Baxter
17 Jul 08
A marvellous production of flawed play. On the one hand you have the not quite believable characters uttering Wildean quips but without the kernels of truth that you find in Wilde, while on the other hand you have the chalk garden standing as a metaphor for what? Edwardian England, family or mother/daughter relations,the class divide,their barren lives or relationships, servants and master, take your pick, for the play does not make this at all clear. The cast are all superb, Penelope Wilton being truly outstanding as the interloper.The set is evocative and the performances finely judged.Michael Grandage's direction makes this play seem like a masterpiece.A great evening out. - kilburncat
02 Jul 08
Wonderful performances all round, and especially from Penelope Wilton - and Margaret Tyzack, whose comic timing is perfect... and yes, a West End transfer is an excellent idea. Clear away the dross and make way for something special. - Andrew B
01 Jul 08
Without a doubt the most amazing evening I've spent at the theatre for years.
The play feels and sounds like it was written yesterday - and should stand as a lesson for new writers - both in character creation and believable dialog - often hugely subversive - again new writers - listen and learn!The gardening metaphores come thick and fast - as do the laugh out loud moments, and genuine emotion displayed.
Mostly this is a cast to be watched in awe in their delivery and character empathy - Penelope Wilton was the reason I came to see this - she is one of the unsung Godesses of British Theatre - bring on Dame Penelope soon! Her performance ranks for me as one of the finest I have ever seen on stage. Margaret Tyzak was quite franky extraordinary - for these two perfomances alone you SHOULD NOT miss your chance to witness greatness up close! The rest of the cast rise to these towering prefomances.
Honestly the best you'll see all year - GO NOW - or pray for a west end transfer. Brilliant! - Cliff Grundy
20 Jun 08
A perfect enjoyable evening - I'd have loved another scene at the end because it was all so watchable, but the story came together well. - Nick
17 Jun 08
A real find and a little gem. How come we are subjected to interminable revivals of Checkov, Shaw and Pinter when there are treats like this just waiting to be produced? It's beautifully crafted with intelligent and witty dialogue. It's the Donmar, so we get another one of those terrific realistic designs which transport you to place and time. In an excellent cast there are truely star performances from Margaret Tyzak and Penelope Wilton. Michael Grandage's fresh and sparkling staging makes this play seem like it was written yesterday. Simply wonderful. More pleaase!!! - Gareth James
17 Jun 08
Absolutely brilliant--loved every minute of it. - Alnoor
13 Jun 08
Great set, interesting play and superb performances. Penelope Wilton is magnificent. I applauded until my palms stung. - addicted to theatre
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