Interesting direction, Richardson was a bit diffuse, Redgrave seemed like she was having a great time, Withers spoke much too hushed (I was sitting in the front row), but Davenport, Yelland and McCallum were all very good. Compelling score, nice set (enjoyed seeing what was going on behind the curtain). - USER: Whatsonstage.com
05 Jun 02
Absolutely apalling production although I can see why some people like it. Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson both give 'star turns' - Richardson posing and pouting to the audience and Redgrave, well, I really don't know what she was doing - she just looked like she had dropped some serious drugs from beginning to end. Peter Hall's direction is non-existent. The is no continuity between the furniture on the set, yet alone the individual scenes and acts of the play. This is the most delicate and profound of Wilde's plays and deserves much more respect than anyone in this production gives it. All the subtleties of Wilde's language are lost (I swear Jack Davenport said "I can resist everything 'cept temptation") and Wilde's dark ending has been given a kind of Hollywood gloss which makes the audience leave dazed and confused. This is the second turkey in a row that Hall has directed at the Haymarket. Time to call it a day Peter? - USER: Whatsonstage.com
18 May 02
This was my first time seeing any of the actors on stage, and I went to both a Friday night and Sat matinee performance for comparison. The acting was superb by all cast members except the guy who played the Austrailian - one could barely HEAR him, and I was sitting on the front row both times! Vanessa Redgrave had such stage presence; her voice, her facial expressions, and her body language changed depending on the mood of the character she played. I went half expecting Joely Richardson to be bad in her role as all the reviews indicated that ahead of time. But I was delighted to be surprised at how good she was in the title role. As her character,she portrayed a sense of vulnerability, rage and gratitude as well as any seasoned actress I have seen. And the rest of the supporting cast, with the one exception, played their roles to the hilt, obviously enjoying it. The play was written as a comedy and the audience responded wholeheartedly both times with well deserved laughter and applause. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
08 May 02
Last night was my first visit to the beautiful Haymarket Theatre. It was also the first time ever to see Vanessa Redgrave live on stage! Wow. The woman could read an advertisment and sound great! Ms. Richardson did seem a little nervous and weak, a surprise since she had supposedly played the same role before in another production. The supporting cast were superb. Would recommend this now, but am sure it will only get better and better with a little more time under its belt. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
03 Mar 02
Did we all see the same play with the same cast? What I experienced was a lead cast that emoted to the max, with varying degrees of intensity, according to what the scene required. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining night out. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
03 Mar 02
Great play. Superb acting by the leads. Makes Wilde's play enjoyable and fun. Went to see it 2 nights in a row! - USER: Whatsonstage.com
03 Mar 02
I saw this show in Bath, before it arrived in the West End, and was shocked at just how bad a production this was. Only the supporting company were worth watching - the scene in Lord Darlington's room revived my spirits after the interval only to have them dashed as the mother and daughter team once again took the stage.
In a preview week one can forgive the odd fluffed line, but not a single line from either Richardson or Redgrave had the slightest hint of colour or emotion. It is said of some actors that 'they phoned in their performances' - but these guys sent them in by EMAIL!
One of my companions in Bath noted that Richardson had left RADA before graduating - "before they'd taught her to act, clearly" he continued. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
26 Feb 02
I saw this play last Saturday evening in a full house at the lovely Theatre Royal Haymarket who keep getting great casts for they plays and this one is no exception.
I really enjoyed all the performances and thought Joely and Vanessa were excellent especially there scenes together in the second act and Joely very beautiful and reminded me of Princess Di.
Googie Withers and John McCallum gave such wonderful performances too as did Claire Swinburne and Jack Davenport.
The set is a bit sparse but colourful and the costumes are incredible.
I had a nice evening and from the great applause at the end so did everyone else. - USER: Whatsonstage.com
26 Feb 02
Its ironic that the two people whos names are being used to sell the show, give the worst perofmances ive EVER seen on a london stage. Joely Richardson looks great but cant act to save her life, Her Mother meanwhile has no stage presence, acting ability, shes also miscast, and says the lines in one bored tone of voice. Nice set though - USER: Whatsonstage.com
26 Feb 02
Went to see this last night- and what a huge dissapointment. I think that Peter Hall has lost his directing genius and instead is a master of putting ion shows with enticing casts then letting them flounder- (royal family). I saw VR in The Cherry Orchard at the NT a few years ago and was shocked at how awful she was- saying all lines in the same bored tone and acting very wooden. But i thought maybe she was just having an off day....but oh no- here she is again, giving such a bad performance that i felt embarrased for the supporting cast who were far superior. Her Daughter was terrible too- wooden and concentrating on saying the lines rather than feeling them. Its outragsous that the show should be sold on them, considering how dreadful they both are. Thank god for a great set, and googie withers and jack davenport who stop the show from being a laughing stock - USER: Whatsonstage.com
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