Couldn't agree less with Michael Coveney's review. The set was really the only thing worth looking at, and the play itself is turgid. The acting was acceptable, if rather overblown - perhaps the actors were trying to compensate for the lack of interest in their dialogue. I was tempted to leave at half time (something I have never done) but persevered, hoping for an improvement. It did not happen. After the highly enjoyable 'Country Girl' last year, this was a huge disappointment. - sc
08 Jun 11
Whilst watching The Country Girl last year I remember thinking that I needn't bother booking for Rocket to the Moon. Unfortunately I didn't follow my instinct. There's nothing really wrong with it but Odets takes such a long time to say anything that I just feel I have better things to do. - David Baxter
08 Jun 11
Enjoyed this very much last night. Maybe the performances have settled, but I found it well-acted and the subject matter interesting. The accents were considerable more stable than in 'Verdict' which I saw in Richmond the previous week. Never did place them... Anyway, I'd recommend this, and I enjoyed the well-drawn characterisations. - Nick
10 May 11
This is like looking at a 30′s Hollywood movie in 3D on a giant screen. The period detail is extraordinary. Unfortunately, in the first half at least, it’s a B movie without much of a story, a poor screenplay and three exaggerated central performances. It is fatally slow and even though it picks up after the interval, it’s too late to recover.
Having a dentist as your central character may be original but is hardly an enticing prospect (unless he is a sadomasochistic dentist like in Little Shop of Horrors, of course). This one’s a real wimp, with a nagging neglected wife, a manipulative father-in-law as benefactor and a tenant dentist who gets away with rent default. There’s another health practitioner in the building (I didn’t quite get his specialty, but it might be something to do with feet) and another neighbour with a fine selection of sharp ties. It’s an offstage character who might provide the clue to why the NT decided to stage this – a certain Mrs Hytner!
The dentist falls for his assistant, as does his father-in-law and the neighbour with sharp ties. His wife is prepared to forgive and forget. The father-in-law wants to marry her. The neighbour wants a less committed but equally close relationship. The dentist is a wimp…..
I really was puzzled why Joseph Millson, Keeley Hawes and Jessica Raine over-acted. This makes it easy for Nicholas Woodeson to steal the show when he comes on and lights up the stage, though to be fair Peter Sullivan, Sebastian Armesto and Tim Steed do well bringing life to their supporting characters. Anthony Ward’s design is lovely, though so huge the characters do seem a bit lost.
I recall finding it a good play when I saw it forever ago in the West End, so I kept wondering if it was indeed a better play than this production revealed. Director Angus Jackson has form as a plodder (Desperately Seeking Susan – the case for the prosecution rests); perhaps a director with more experience of the great 20th Century American dramatists (not that Clifford – a name subsequently requisitioned forever by Victoria Wood for the classic Acorn Antiques – Odets is one) like Howard Davies might have made more of it.
Today’s word is ‘indifference’…… - Gareth James
18 Apr 11
I agree about the excellent set-could have been a setting for an Edward Hopper painting.
Otherwise, I found the play rather stilted and am not surprised it has been rarely revived. - David Hudson
13 Apr 11
Great set and atmosphere. Unfortunately, it made me feel dozy. Some nice performances but Jessica Raine seems to be spending more effort on getting her accent right than communicating the part. - addicted to theatre
11 Apr 11
Very slow to get go going and far too long. Millson and Raine were excellent though and definitely worth seeing - Tom
31 Mar 11
Your reviews are becoming increasingly bizarre. You like terrible shows, and pick holes in good ones.
The set for Rocket Is fabulous, and Jessica Raine is downright sensational. - Jane
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