April De Angelis' Jumpy opened to press last night (28 August 2012) at the Duke of York's Theatre, having transferred from the Royal Court where it premiered last year.
Starring Tamsin Greig and Doon Mackichan, the play explores the lost idealism that comes with middle age, as well as the difficulties of parenting - epitomised in Bel Powley, who plays Tilly, a difficult and rebellious teenage daughter.
Directed by Nina Raine, the production runs until 3 November 2012.
Michael CoveneyThe Royal Court season at the Duke of York's continues with Nina Raine's spot-on and sparky production of April De Angelis's Jumpy, the only play I know whose title refers both to the heroine's state of mind and a small cuddly toy... And it stars Tamsin Greig in glorious form as Hilary, a middle-class 50 year-old literacy support unit worker who is losing her job, and her mind, as her monstrous micro-skirted teenage daughter Tilly (brilliant, moon-faced Bel Powley) flops through her GCSEs while staying out late and shouting a lot. ... Under the cloak of flippancy, De Angelis is saying a lot that is serious, but the play is also delightfully entertaining...
Andrzej LukowskiAs a 31-year-old father of none, I will put my hand up and say that I'm probably not in the target demographic for April de Angelis's comedy Jumpy. Nonetheless, I don't think it's unreasonable to want a little more grit from a Royal Court transfer... This is not to say Nina Raine's production isn't enjoyable. Tamsin Greig plays to type brilliantly... what she nails, in her neurotic woman-child way, is that ongoing, unnerving revelation there is no such thing as 'growing up,' a mix of incredulity and horror that the world can be just as frightening and uncertain at 50 as any other age... So far, so good, but beyond its lead actor, Jumpy is unwieldy... It is sporadically chucklesome, but next to Posh and Clybourne Park - the Court's brilliant recent comedy transfers - Jumpy is a tame relation.
The male mid-life crisis is a stage staple, yet the word menopause is barely whispered in the theatre -- making April de Angelis's smart comedy a rare exception... The whole thing is glued together by a remarkable performance from Greig, who adroitly plays the role for laughs, but also movingly suggests a woman in mourning for her lost self. It's too long, however, and more convincing as an examination of liberal parenting (the best scene has parents gathered to discuss a teenage pregnancy) than of politics. Too often, also, it sacrifices credibility to comedy. But how often do you get a West End play that's intelligent, funny and puts contemporary mid-life women centre stage?
Jumpy is a sharp-witted play about midlife crisis and parental angst, packed with zest by its creator April De Angelis. In the lead role, Tamsin Greig is brilliant, her performance full of eloquent detail... She's well supported in Nina Raine's confident production, in particular by Bel Powley as the permanently pouting Tilly. As the ludicrous Frances, Doon Mackichan has one astonishing sequence involving a dance routine that she seems to think will revive both her acting career and her love life... The writing is perceptive, even if sometimes it feels as though it has traded nuance for comic breadth... Politically the play could pack more of a punch, but Jumpy is worth seeing for Greig alone.
Dominic CavendishWere it not for the fact that it has to make way for another Royal Court transfer in November... I can't see any reason why April De Angelis's Jumpy shouldn't run and run at the Duke of York's. It's the funniest new play the West End has seen in ages... Tamsin Greig joins the forefront of our finest stage actresses, finding understated hilarity and pathos... Bel Powley's Tilly, cringing with adolescent disapproval, has the tough task of sparring with Greig's fretful Hilary to a stereotypical degree, but manages to make her more than a bundle of scowls in a miniskirt... missing this show feels tantamount to ducking the pressing question of our image-obsessed age: what value life after youth has jumped ship?
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