"Richard Nelson's extraordinary play...combines a command of realistic detail with a sense of suffering and loss that genuinely evokes the Russian masters ... There is not a lot of plot: simply a mesmerising record of a group of people all in flight from their own unhappiness ... Roger Michell's exquisite production also fulfils the play's mission of interesting us in characters because of who they are as much as what they do. Ben Chaplin has just the right air of thwarted idealism as Granville Barker ... Jason Watkins as the peripatetic Dickensian burying his sadness under a Pickwickian exterior and Tara Fitzgerald as the hopelessly lovelorn Beatrice are also first-rate. And although Jemma Redgrave, as the widowed manager of the Williamstown boardinghouse, spends much of her time laying and clearing tables, everything she does reveals her unhappiness in a way that Chekhov would have approved."
"Ben Chaplin captures, with much thoughtfulness, the sense of desolation that Granville-Barker experienced when he slipped away from the theatre, fame and the hypnotic power of the Bright Lights. You witness his inner anguish and the inevitable fact that theatrical ideas are still spinning in his head ... There are some neat performances, in particular that of Frank (Jason Watkins), who takes his one-man Charles Dickens show around America ... Tara Fitzgerald...excellent as the young actress-cum-lecturer Beatrice ... Young student Charles...a neat performance by William French ... Jemma Redgrave is a suffering Dorothy ... Hers is one of the most beautiful voices on the English stage and she uses it cleverly with its sad cadences. Roger Michell directs firmly in this sad picture of English expats in safe America during war-torn 1916."
"A sweet, sorrowful, defiant play about the cultural bond of drama ... Jason Watkins gives a beautiful performance as the nobly discreet husband of an ill wife ... Ben Chaplin combines a bewitching inner stillness with an almost balletic quality when he moves. We never see the production of Twelfth Night (thank goodness). Instead, we meet its nervous director (done well by Louis Hilyer, all jerky hand movements) ... Andrew Havill, playing a lonely chump, is as good as the rest of the cast. Director Roger Michell schools them well but should maybe ask them to speak louder ... It is perfectly credible this lot would miss English plays ... There may be something a little thespily self-indulgent about the enterprise yet the characters are shrewdly written, prettily caught and the whole thing classily staged."
- Amy Sheppard