Somehow this reminded me of Les Liasons Dangereus, for which its director is so famous - cynical, manipulative, highly stylised design (with pointless water surround), icey-cold mannered acting....but the play is rather distasteful and you can't really empathise with anyone. At the end I thought 'thank goodness they've gone'..... - Gareth James
11 Nov 08
As I left the Donmar the heavy rain came as a welcome relief to wash away the grime I felt from Strindberg's relentless cynicism. 90 minutes of intolerable cruelty and manipulation between a wife, her young husband and former husband made for a gruelling experience. Given his regular screen persona it's a relief that Alan Rickman did not cast himself as the tyrant Gustav, but he does direct three white hot performances from Owen Teale, Tom Burke and Anna Chancellor, who looked physically and emotionally shattered at the end. Very impressive but it would be hard to describe such a jaundiced view of marriage and relationships as enjoyable. Finally, what on earth was the most for? - David Baxter
06 Nov 08
I can sympathise with joesmith - last night being Hallowe'en, we were treated to a long burst of Michael Jackon's Thriller from the Bunker next door, during the closing scene...
As for the play itself, I'm afraid it rattled by at such a pace, and with such a measured, rythmic delivery, that much of it was lost on me - as I imagine it would be for most people unfamiliar with the text. The blocking was also inconsiderate, given the Donmar is played on 3 sides. On at least 5 occasions I was presented with nothing to look at but the back of one actors head, whilst his or her body completely obscured whoever else was onstage. And I don't mean for a moment - I mean for the duration of a lengthy speech.
The performances were worthy, the design beautiful (as it usually is at the Donmar) but I fear the story was not told with any regard for the audience. And thus, the primary purpose of theatre was ignored. - Thomas
01 Nov 08
Having seen the play twice, I have no idea what reviewer joesmith is going on about. He is obviously getting his plays mixed up for the direction of Creditors, as well as the acting, is superb -- it's subtle, understated and fiercely intelligent. I cannot praise this production high enough. Theatregoers capable of appreciating masterful, non-flashy, highly-nuanced direction and layered, powerful performances will leave the Donmar deeply satisfied and impressed. 5 stars.
02 Oct 08
Listless direction of a limp, bloodless adaptation of a masterpiece. The performances are superb and the set a hoot. One audience member actually fell into the moat around the stage and more are bound to follow. Even worse was the loud rock music from the pub in the basement which ruined the last fifteen minutes. What's the Donmar coming to? - joesmith
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