How does Sycamore Flint know that "Nigel Lindsay was Nigel Lindsay". Does she know him? I thought his performance was exquisitely judged and naturalistic opposite the sometimes hammy but occasionally excellent Ms Annis. The third section was easily the best written and best performed. - Kensal Rise
03 Oct 08
I was about to give one star but decided it just about lurched into the 2-star rating thanks to a relatively engaging 1st act from Chris O'Dowd & Lisa Dillon, bar a really silly unbelievable incident. The other 2 acts were terrible, the 2nd in particular an embarrassing mess. I'm all for differing opinions but this is one case where I genuinely don't understand what anyone can have liked about it. Tate was like a caricature from one her sketches and I agree that Rowan was badly miscast. Annis was annoyingly wistful and Nigel Lindsay was Nigel Lindsay. Themes relating to the teaching profession and war were shakily tacked on to dull scenes of uninteresting relationships being tediously discussed. A kind of story-arc was attached in a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey fashion. 90 minutes is shorter than many current productions but it felt a lot longer. - Sycamore Flint
19 Sep 08
I'm a bit puzzled why someone thought that these three short plays about the personal lives of six teachers in the 90's belonged in the West End in 2008.
The first two are OK, but its only the third that fully satisfies. On an empty stage, this is entirely due to the performances of Francesca Annis and Nigel Lindsay who turn the tale of a mis-matched couple into a heart-warming, charming and moving 40 minutes. It is in this play that we find out the tenuous link between the three. In the second play, Catherine Tate morphs into all of her characters and proves totally mis-cast and out-classed. It's hard to believe in a 30-something teacher who's speaking exactly like foul-mouthed Nan whilst trying to seduce a 30-something virgin, both of whom are drunk ! - Gareth James
19 Sep 08
Surprisingly interesting play with fantastic performances from the real actors, doing their utmost to make the mugging TV comics look good. Catherine Tate did all her lovable monsters, complete with knowing looks to the audience. You'd think she'd be more careful as she must already be on several death lists, after ruining an entire season of Dr Who. - Joesmith
01 Sep 08
Clearly not the sum of it's parts and not all of those parts were able to cut the mustard either. The final act was the best with the oh! so talented Fancesca Annis and the equally talented Nigel Lindsay valiantly struggling on to make something of it. I'm not really sure what the fuck the writer was trying to say, I missed the point completely. Maybe because it flagged so often! Moments of strained, almost embarrassing silence persisted, eventually leading to.....well..... nothing? Did I miss something? It looked good though and tonight the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves even if they were somewhat muted at the curtain call. I wonder sometimes how a play like this gets staged in the first place? It's a complete mystery to me. Is there some big omnipotent Angel out there somewhere in Soho ready to dish out the readies to any old person who comes a calling? I don't know, I wish I did? It seems a pity that such obvious talent, evident in some of the cast, is so under used in this seemingly banal play. Better luck next time then -one would hope so! - rds
26 Aug 08
A very enjoyable 90 minutes with a contrast of different storylines which were well linked. Great casting, good direction and a mix of emotions throughout. - Michelle
22 Aug 08
A very well acted play- in particular Chris O Dowd, Dominic Rowan and Catherine Tate deserve praise, particularly the latter in a scene that veers between funny and disturbing. That being said, the first scene drags on too long and is at times too frantic, and the third scene, while well acted tries too hard to give the piece a happy-ending, to the extent it feels tacked on. A case, one thinks, of the cast putting on a good show despite the material. - lbjb
22 Aug 08
Under the Blue Sky is a collection of tenuously linked half-hour scenes which happen to be about teachers but could be any middle class professionals. The first is a very ordinary sitcom but what followed was far from plesant. Catherine Tate is a hideously vulgar slapper, mentally torturing an inadequate colleague (a hopelessly miscast Dominic Rowan). 30 minutes in their company was about 29 too many but quite unexpectedly the final scene was a delightful vignette of a May - December romance. Exquisitely performed by Francesca Annis and Nigel Lindsay it was tender and funny and brought the play to a warm and happy end quite out of character with what went before. - David Baxter
21 Aug 08
I hate to say this, but in the words of one of Catherine Tate's best characters "What a load of old S%£* ! I honestly think that if Catherine Tate was not in this the show would fold after a couple of weeks, each of the three scenes is too long, no interval act makes for a very uncomfortable two hours and it's a crying shame that the producers fail, except in the flimsiest of manners, to bring all three scenes together at the end.
No less than 5 people walked out the night I was there, and that was from the royal circle that only has 6 rows!
Maybe their discomfort was compounded by the unbearable heat in the theatre, who knows, to which the management showed no interest in whatsoever.
I would be surprised to see this show last it's predicted run, I doubt even 2 big names can save it. If there had been an interval I would have been getting my money back ! (and I am normally pretty tolerant of poor theatre). - Tom Murray
25 Jul 08
Not entirely what I expected from the description but found this play quite engrossing. It was quite dark rather than a comedy. Impressed by the performances and I was completely drawn in. - Caroline
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