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Mixed bag for Rebecca Gilman's Luna Gale

The production opened at Hampstead Theatre on 13 June

Sharon Small as Caroline

Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage

★★★

"Attenborough's well-acted production catches this mood of witch hunt, piety and paranoia in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to something like perfection"

"It seems that child abuse has been a national issue in the States for much longer than here, and the play worries about the scale of the problem, and the bureaucratic tentacles engulfing it"

Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph

★★

"The main question I was left with, though, after two hours, was what possessed Edward Hall, usually so on the ball, to programme this dud on the Hampstead main-stage"

"With the help of designer Lucy Osborne, director Michael Attenborough gives the evening an imposing look"

"The cast, including Corey Johnson playing a pastor so zealous he's almost zombie-like, adopt a laudably heads-down, earnest approach, as if concerted commitment alone will make the script hold together"

Michael Billington, Guardian

★★★★

"her play is less a social tract than a fascinating moral debate whose central question – to whom does a baby really belong? – put me in mind of Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle"

"Even if the play occasionally suffers from issue overload, Michael Attenborough's well-staged production makes you eager to know what happens next and is full of good performances"

"Sharon Small catches exactly Caroline's mixture of outward objectivity and private passion, Rachel Redford and Alexander Arnold are wholly plausible as the baby's messed-up but potentially salvageable parents"

Aleks Sierz, The Stage

★★★

"At its best, the play examines the way that abusive behaviour is handed down through families, and shows the dreadful effects of government cuts to welfare provision"

"the play is overloaded with plot and her characterisation is a bit superficial"

"A good play, but not a brilliant one"

Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

★★

"This latest from the much-admired Rebecca Gilman should have been the next link in a shining chain, but unfortunately a drama-by-numbers about social workers left me decidedly underwhelmed"

"The first half is particularly stolid in Michael Attenborough's rather pedestrian production"

"Redford is a feisty performer and there's good work from Arnold as the surprisingly try-hard Peter. Nonetheless, I struggled to believe in these characters as people with real lives and back-stories"


Luna Gale runs at the Hampstead Theatre until 18 July 2015.

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