WhatsOnStage Logo
Review Round-Ups

Did the critics welcome Captain Fox?

Blanche McIntyre's production opened at the Donmar Warehouse yesterday evening

WhatsOnStage logo

Matt Trueman, WhatsOnStage

★★★★

"Anthony Weigh has transposed Anouilh's plot to the Hamptons in 1959 - a shift that elegantly enhances the question of escaping oneself."

"Anouilh's play is a witty philosophical teaser about identity, and Weigh keeps us guessing about who Gene really is."

"Weigh has a hoot with the snobbery of Hamptons high society, and Blanche McIntrye's production, with a sea breezy Mark Thompson design, gives it just the right comic gloss."

Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph

★★★

"Despite the evident commitment of director Blanche McIntyre and a crack cast, the new script doesn't land entirely comfortably on stage."

"It's the stylishly attired women who bag most of the evening's laurels. Katherine Kingsley is hilariously puffed up as the arriviste gorgon who brings family and putative son together while snarling at her cigar-chomping hubby (Danny Webb). Sian Thomas is on formidably icy form as Jack's unmaternal ma. Fenella Woolgar is discreetly amusing as his diffident but waspish sister in law and one of his forsaken flings."

"Passably entertaining, then, but eminently forgettable."

Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

★★★★

"Anthony Weigh has adapted Jean Anouilh's 1938 play Le Voyageur Sans Bagage and it works well in this Long Island set-up with the black servants, martini hours and predatory women."

"Most of Blanche McIntyre's cast are excellent: Sian Thomas as the snobbish chatelaine, Fenella Woolgar as her daughter-in-law... Katherine Kingsley and Danny Webb play the couple who bring Gene to the Foxes. They have a terrific scene of marital bitching, she all a-quiver, bosomy, lipsticked, he older and raddled by hatred for his wife."

"This almost farcical fantasy somehow combines Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? with Oscar Wilde-ish self-creation and the feelgood factor of It's A Wonderful Life. Thoughtful fun."

Ann Treneman, The Times

★★★★

"This is a great cartoon fun, an identity crisis comedy that seems the perfect thing for spring, a great way to shoo away the winter blues."

"Blanche McIntyre directs at a lively pace though it could have been smoother in places. The set by Mark Thompson feels as if it is something out of old Hollywood, all happy colours and bright vistas."

"The costumes, particular Marcee's sun-dress ensemble, are superb. The music has a swish to it."

Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

★★★★

"Keenan expertly conveys Gene's mixture of bemusement and opportunism — and Blanche McIntyre's elegant even if somewhat fidgety production relishes the strangeness of the story."

"There are gleefully outrageous performances from Sian Thomas, Fenella Woolgar and Danny Webb, while Katherine Kingsley sparkles as Marcee."

"The play may be overlong but its brand of witty cleverness is seductive."

Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out

★★★

"Blanche Mcintyre's production is brilliantly cast. As the bemused Gene, Keenan has something of the diamond in the rough charm of Sinatra's prime screen roles. Fenella Woolgar is magnificent as his scheming sister-in-law Valerie."

"It's an enjoyable caper that at its best mixes screwball silliness with an agreeably tart interrogation of the American Dream – that it is mostly selfish, yet may truly offer the possibility of redemption through reinvention. But for whatever reason Captain Fox! didn't really feel as funny as it should."

"Welcome Home, Captain Fox! is both a loving homage to the golden era of the American comedy and a smart adaptation of an older, more complicated French play – perhaps it's that odd combination that means it doesn't quite hit the funnybone."


Welcome Home, Captain Fox runs at the Donmar Warehouse until 16 April.

Loading...