Very disappointing. I loved the Weir but this was nothing on par.
The acting felt forced and the play is pretty boring really. - Pegasus
01 Nov 11
Really hasn't been a good year for the NT has it! THE VEIL is absolute diabolical awful crap of the highest order. this is why people think theatre is shit and why they don't go. unacceptable. avoid at all costs. - Cassox
31 Oct 11
Apart from the set a very disappointing play. We were bored throughout. Badly directed and acted. The National should do much better than this. - david
27 Oct 11
I wondered through most of the first half whether I would be leaving at the interval, but I was just about intrigued enough to stay. I'm not sure I'm glad I did! The plot is very slow to develop and I felt the writer was at his best when his characters were telling stories - as in The Weir - but the evening I went there were too many inappropriate laughs which I don't think were intended - at the defrocked priest and the demented old lady in particular, and which made me uncertain whether I was watching comedy, tragedy or what.
I think it wouild have been better if there had been a different director. There were some very good actors on stage, but they couldn't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. - Gill B
26 Oct 11
There are lots of interesting strands to this Conor McPherson play. It’s set in colonial Ireland in the early 19th century where the landowners and their tenant farmers are struggling, the former to maintain their aristocratic lifestyles and the latter to survive. Against this sociopolitical backdrop, there’s the story of one family’s solution to their economic crisis (marry off the daughter!) and the hopelessness of love across the class divide. Add to that a supernatural layer, and you have the recipe for what should be a very good play.
Where it goes wrong is that it doesn’t make enough of the sociopolitical background and over-plays the supernatural, with a touch of implausibility in the way it handles the infatuation of a member of staff for his mistress. A lot revolves around the defrocked priest and his chum, who come to escort the daughter to her wedding in England, but I never really believed in them. The daughter’s relationship with her mother also seems a lot less respectful than you would expect at this time, as was the over-familiarity between the staff and the family.
Rae Smith’s design brilliantly evokes the stately home in decline, just grand enough but just shabby enough too. The performances of Brid Brennan, Peter McDonald and Caoilfhionn Dunne as the staff are excellent, and Ursula Jones is terrific as the virtually wordless grandmother with a nice range of expressions from indignant to wicked and everything in between. The rest of the performances didn’t convince me though.
It kept my attention but it didn’t really satisfy me. This may be another case where the playwright should not be allowed to direct his own work – no challenge and all that. A bit of a disappointment, I’m afraid.
- Gareth James
19 Oct 11
Just seen it today and found it quite disappointing, though the set was stunning. I was expecting a chilling ghost story and found it to be nothing of the sort. Looks like The Woman in Black still has no rivals. - Ms Sweeting
12 Oct 11
A bit of a hotch-potch I'm afraid. Not scary enough to have you on the edge of your seat but neither the characterisation nor the social divisions developed enough to make you think or care about the outcome. - DCH
10 Oct 11
I agree with Coral. One of the worst things i've seen at the National. THe play constantly loses direction swinging from melodrama to comedy, satire to farce. The penultimate scene with the gun seemed messy and poorly controlled, and i felt the actors were doing their best to struggle with a script which tried to do too much, but actually achieved little. - Darrell
06 Oct 11
The wonderful Jim Norton looked strained and uncomfortable as a defrocked vicar and the dialogue at times jarred with the period. Coral, here, says "don't ever let writers direct their own work" in this case she is perfectly correct, but there are also issues with the text which needs resolving too. Not a patch on Seafarer. I haven't checked the schedule but I hope the NT haven't booked it in for a long run. - rds
05 Oct 11
Some good moments but lost in the strained dialogue and the overall feeling of inertia. The actors did well to bring some life to it. - Kevin
05 Oct 11
Does Elizabeth work on this show? - Cmac.
29 Sep 11
very fine ensemble play, with strong characters, quite spooky at times. Very touching.
28 Sep 11
'Acorn Antiques' without the fun but the actors do their best with the risible text and duff design. Don't EVER let writers direct their own work...this is interminable. - Coral
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