Review Round-Ups

Does Andrew Scott impress in The Dazzle?

Simon Evans’ production was generally well-received by critics

Andrew Scott (Langley) and David Dawson (Homer)
Andrew Scott (Langley) and David Dawson (Homer)
© Marc Brenner

Daisy Bowie-Sell, WhatsOnStage


"[Andrew] Scott excels in playing oddballs: there's been Moriarty, Max Denbeigh in Spectre and Paul in Birdland at the Royal Court. Here he's superb as Langley, he seems driven by an off-kilter rhythm or melody that nobody else can hear."

"In the script, the two brothers – much like the actors – barely need words, they seem so in tune with each other. It's a haunting study of familial love and mental breakdown written with a startling precision and wit by Greenberg, who has Langley and Homer speaking a kind of stylised, hyper-realistic dialogue."

"It makes you feel like a voyeur, perching on a box of books, looking into the junk-filled world of the Collyers. And it is a fascinating world to watch unravel."

Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard


"Scott, who is on mesmerising form, captures Langley’s capriciousness and instinct for a poetic turn of phrase."

"Yet despite the classy performances The Dazzle is frustrating. Greenberg’s writing is sometimes witty and sometimes unsettling, with more than a hint of Oscar Wilde in the first half and a strong note of Samuel Beckett in the second."

"Frequent flowery speechifying does not compensate for the flimsy plot and although Simon Evans’ production is intimate the characters remain psychologically opaque."

Michael Billington, The Guardian


"Scott, in contrast to his TV work as Moriarty in Sherlock, plays Langley as a wide-eyed Blakeian innocent who can find a world in a grain of sand. He mixes a child’s rapt wonderment with a native cunning."

"David Dawson, with eyes that constantly shift in their sockets like silver balls in a puzzle box, suggests Homer is an unhinged fantasist driven by an overpowering protective urge. Both actors are hypnotic and the exquisite Joanna Vanderham as Milly radiates a damaged sensuality."

"I only jib at Greenberg’s conclusion that rampant individualism, however crazed or eccentric, is inherently superior to social conformity."

Jane Shilling, Daily Telegraph


"This is a play as finely balanced as any precarious heap of found objects. A single incautious gesture by director or actors could bring the entire thing crashing down into sentimental chaos."

"Andrew Scott (Moriarty in the BBC’s Sherlock) as Langley and David Dawson as Homer give virtuosic performances as the fraternal duo, trapped in a shrinking world of love and madness, in which their essential humanity and sparkling wit retains a heartbreaking clarity, long after all hope of escape is gone."

"Simon Evans directs with a pitch-perfect blend of tragi-comic rigour and piercing tenderness."

Natasha Tripney, The Stage


"Andrew Scott is one of those actors who knows exactly what tools he has at his disposal and just how to use them. There’s a choreographic quality to every gesture, every eked out vowel and arched eyebrow. With the right material, he can be mesmeric."

"Richard Greenberg‘s play is something of a slow burner and the first half is fairly sluggish, frustratingly so."

"It’s a joy to watch actors of this quality in such close quarters, and good as Scott is, it’s Dawson’s masterful performance, delicate, controlled yet potent, which really impresses."

The Dazzle runs at FOUND111 until 30 January.