Sorry this is a poor production. The storyline goes no where, there is no real connection between any of the characters, most of whom seem pointless and the writing at times gets sensationalist to make a point. Poor choice by the Almeida. - Paul Wallis
07 Mar 11
Sorry, this was awful. Weak script with characters that had no depth and little or no connection to each other which meant the story went nowhere and had no point. Poor selection by the Almeida. - Paul Wallis
06 Mar 11
London is seeing the best of new American writing recently with Clybourne Park and hopefully a good LaBute shortly to open and Becky Shaw will deserve consideration as one of the best plays of the year. It is frequently very funny but has those penetrating insights into modern family dynamics that characterise the best American writing. It's slightly surprising to find Haydn Gwynne in a relatively small supporting role and the title itself is misleading as Becky is only a conduit for some of the maelstrom of emotions which she stirs up. At the heart of the play are Max and Suzanna, adoptive siblings with very confused feelings for each other, and both these parts are played superbly. David Wilson barnes reprises the role he created in Boston and off-Broadway and is strongly reminiscent of a younger and taller Kevin Spacey. Anna Madseley is Suzanna and, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, she again demonstrates that she is at the forefront of actresses of her generation. Nobody does frowning intensity better but it is good to see the lighter side to her personality. Every scene between Max and Suzanna crackles with energy and suppressed possibilities. Becky Shaw is an unusual but excellent choice for the Almeida and Gina Gionfriddo is clearly a name to watch. - David Baxter
17 Feb 11
Well above average - catch it while you can - james
12 Feb 11
After an awful lot of revivals, at last here’s the first good new play of the year – and an original, often surprising & often funny one it is too.
The first half’s two scene set up is a bit long, but the second half’s five scenes snap and crackle. We’re with a somewhat dysfunctional family soon after husband / dad’s demise. His widow has MS and a toy boy (who we never see) and her daughter a complex but close relationship with someone her dad took in after his mother died. After a whirlwind romance, she marries the opposite of her ‘friend’ (a penchant for younger men like her mum), then springs a blind date on the ‘friend’. At this point we meet the Becky of the title and begin a whirlwind of unexpected events which is where the play really takes off.
I suspect this production benefits from Director Peter DubBois’ experience with its original US production(s), because its slick but very believable. Jonathan Fensom’s set, with revolve borrowed from the NT (good to se Nicholas Hytner’s sharing strategy in action) enables the action to move between seven locations without slowing it down. The play flows well and there’s a roundedness about it that is very satisfying. As one might expect from a playwright (Gina Gionfriddo) who also writes about rock music, the snatches of music between scenes are well-chosen. American import David Wilson Barnes is excellent as Max (and a real double for Kevin Spacey), but he does have the best lines, and I loved Daisy Haggard’s hapless Becky. We don’t see much of Haydn Gwynne except in the first and last scenes, but she’s very good as the acid-tongued mum. Anna Madeley and Vincent Montuel do well with much drier parts.
It’s not in the Jerusalem and Clybourne Park league, but its a very good play and a return to form for the Almeida. I smell a West End transfer….. - Gareth James
27 Jan 11
Clever and witty, a play that you dislike all the characters but full of dry humour. Wonderful - James
24 Jan 11
really great..worth seeing, don't miss it! - jonathan
21 Jan 11
Saw the play last night and it was fantastic! A must see!! - simon
21 Jan 11
This deserves a West End transfer. It is excellent in every respect. - Kevin Darnell
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