August: Osage County exposes the dark side of the middle American family. When the Westons unexpectedly reunite after dad disappears, their Oklahoman homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets, all overseen by the pill-popping and scathingly acidic matriarch Violet (Dunagan).
Original ensemble members accompanying the London transfer are: Deanna Dunagan, Rondi Reed (who both won individual Tonys for their performances on Broadway) Ian Barford, Kimberley Guerrero, Mariann Mayberry, Michael McGuire, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Jeff Perry, Molly Ranson and Troy West. They’re joined by fellow Americans and new company members Paul Vincent O’Connor and Chelcie Ross.
August: Osage County is directed by Anna D Shapiro and designed by Todd Rosenthal, both of whom also won Tony Awards for their work on the production. Author Tracy Letts’ other credits include Bug and Killer Joe, both of which were seen at London’s Bush Theatre in the 1990s.
The reaction of the London critics last night echoed that of their New York counterparts, with the majority concluding that August: Osage County more than justified the pre-transfer hype. The ensemble cast received a barrage of plaudits - “one of the greatest acting companies in the world” according to one critic and “superb in even the smallest roles” according to another. Despite minor grumblings from some regarding perceived “clichéd” character construction, the evening was neatly summed up by Whatsonstage.com’s own Michael Coveney as “one of the greatest nights in the theatre I can recall”.
- by Theo Bosanquet