Tedious, vapid, pointless. The RNT Cottesloe seems to be the one major venue in London these days where you are guaranteed rubbish; sometimes patronising, often turgid, frequently a puerile stab at a worthy issue. SINNER ticks all the boxes and eclipses even PAINS OF YOUTH as the grimmest and most infuriating night out you can find for twenty quid. Who gives these plays the go-ahead? Wonderful to have paid a return visit to RUINED at the Almeida this afternoon: the best new writing on stage in the Capital; SINNER, in contrast, must be the worst. It's hateful. - Richard
03 Jun 10
It is true that this play offers no solutions to the conflicts within the Anglican Church (homosexuality, literalism), but it isn't meant to. The whites took Christianity to Africa and now have to live with the consequences of an irreconcilable clash of cultures. This is a very clever, multi-layered play, shot through with humour and wonderfully acted by a fine ensemble cast. I found Jonathan Cullen's Michael just a little too frenetic as he tried to convey his inarticulate sense of guilt over his affair with the young black porter, Joseph, beautiffuly played by Fiston Barek. Charlotte Randle as Michael's wife and Ian Redford as Stephen (presumably a bishop very much in the Rowan Williams mould) were outstanding. Loved it. - sc
02 Jun 10
'Puts the jizz into Jesus'? Oh Coveney, please.......personally, I found the play a lot of hot air. It took important themes and cheapened them. It added nothing to the debate about the church's attitude to homosexuality. As a personal drama it was histrionic melodrama. Each of the five scenes consisted of heated arguments which went nowhere. I felt sorry for the ensemble landed with such material and angry that the NT's new play process has yet again been found lacking. If you want to see new plays, go to somewhere like the Bush where they can spot them on the page before they put them on the stage. - Gareth James
02 Jun 10
What a load of fatuous old twaddle - I haven't been this angry at a play since 'Gethsemane'. Does no-one at the National actually read these plays? Incoherent, idiotic and weirdly acted, this is the sort of night at the theatre that makes me despair for publicly-funded drama. - addicted to theatre
22 May 10
A superb new play; thought provoking and ambitious, shot through with some great laughs. The performances are uniformly excellent with Jonathan Cullen, Fiston Barek, Charlotte Randle, Ian Redford and Scott Handy figuring particularly strongly. Just the standard of new writing one would hope to see at the National. - ajh
12 May 10
I also went to the preview last night and was underwhelmed. The script had some exciting and weighty themes running through it but not one was explored in the depth it deserved. If the writer had picked any one of them - homosexuality in religion - coming out to a partner - cheating - homosexuality issues in African countries - and actually explored it in depth it would have made for a great script. But alas, it ended up bitty and all over the place.
On a brighter note, the main characters played their parts exceedingly well - especially Jonathan Cullen, Fiston Barek and Charlotte Randle, who made the audience laugh effortlessly. And the cast overall were very good. - Mimi
12 May 10
I went to the premier yesterday and had a brilliant time. Very intelligent play, beautifully executed! - Elisabeth
12 May 10
Accomplished in all areas. One of the few plays I've seen recently that I would see again soon. And I will. - Lee Marriott
12 May 10
Went to the first night preview last night in anticipation of a great show. The conflict between homosexuality and the church never fails to make for a provocative and often fascinating debate - but Drew Pautz doesn't do it any justice.
The show plods along with turgid script which made the time we were there feel more like an uncomfortable and hideous ordeal than an interesting night out. Such a shame. - James
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