Saw the play on the 4th December. If previous audiences have been 'wowed' they did not pass on this fact to their friends - the lower area was not full and there was nobody upstairs at all.
The first thing to say was that it was very well acted. I never cease to admire the quality of the playing at the Orange Tree and usually thoroughly enjoy everything they put on. However 'Leaving' was an exception. We found it predictable, unfunny, unsubtle and occasionally silly. There were a couple of occasions, not including the sight of the naked young man (the purpose of which escaped us but I am not complaining) where you found yourself gazing at the ground in embarrassment. We seriously contemplated departing at the end of the first half but decided to stick it out - a mistake. To be fair, the reaction of the audience seemed to be quite mixed and we overheard a couple of people saying they thought it was very good. Perhaps we missed something and we still love the Orange Tree. - JanD
05 Dec 08
Enormous fun, with Havel at his playful best, hitting all sorts of targets. Most of the reviews seem a bit grudging, while the audience were wowed. The fascinating thing is how this play was essentially written two decades ago, before Havel became a politician, but still seems a sharp reflection on giving up power. (Blair's exit came to mind on more than one occasion). - Martin H
26 Sep 08
Not being Czech or Slovakian i didn't know what to expect! Especially as i would told Havel’s plays are 3 men sitting round a table talking politics. what i got was a brilliant acted, funny and intelligent play. A must see - Andrew Morris
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