Pedro Calderon de la Barca’s 17th-century Spanish classic, in a new version by Helen Edmundson, examines the conflict between free will and fate by following the travails of banished heir to the Polish throne Segismundo, who still dreams of palaces, empires, freedom and revenge.
West is joined in the Donmar company by Kate Fleetwood, Rupert Evans, David Horovitch, Lloyd Hutchinson, Sharon Small and Malcolm Storry. The production is directed by Jonathan Munby and designed by Angela Davies.
Overnight critics all commended West for such a “brave”, “inspired” and “wonderfully strange” choice of role in which to make his more than “satisfying” stage comeback; as the “ferally charismatic” Segismundo, he “impresses throughout”. The other “standout” in a strong cast for critics was the “intriguingly predatory”, “sexy and touching” Kate Fleetwood, while David Horovitch, Malcolm Storry and Lloyd Hutchinson also earned numerous plaudits for their work in Jonathan Munby’s “gloriously impassioned”, “vigorous” and “witty” production of Calderon’s forward-looking 17th-century “masterpiece”.