Directed by Michael Grandage (who also helmed Ivanov and Twelfth Night) and starring an all-female cast including Judi Dench, Rosamund Pike, Frances Barber and Deborah Findlay, Madame de Sade centres on five women affected by the infamous debauchery of the Marquis de Sade, including his wife and mother. It continues to 23 May and is followed by Jude Law's turn as Hamlet, also directed by Grandage.
“A severe disappointment” was the verdict of Whatsonstage.com's Michael Coveney, and most of his critical peers were in agreement. Having enjoyed so many plaudits in recent months, this morning's largely poor notices mark something of a crash back down to earth for Michael Grandage. It wasn't all bad, a few critics highlighting some strong performances and the “stunning” design elements, but the conclusion of most was that no amount of impressive costuming and video projections could disguise a play deemed by the Guardian's Michael Billington “an example of the Higher Tosh”. Third time not so lucky for the Donmar.
- by Theo Bosanquet & Katie Blemler