Review Round-up: Bennett Enjoys Plaudits at Last
Christopher Luscombe's current revival has flown in the face of Enjoy's previous failure, opening to widespread critical acclaim at the Theatre Royal Bath last year, and having enjoyed a hugely successful national tour prior to its West End transfer (See News, 22 Sep 2008).
The play is set in the playwright’s home town of Leeds, where an ageing couple living in the city’s last, and soon-to-be-demolished back-to-back are soon to be re-housed in a modern maisonette. When a sociologist comes to observe them in their daily life, normality takes a decidedly atypical turn. Alison Steadman and David Troughton lead a cast that also includes Carol Macready, Josie Walker and Richard Glaves.
The reaction of the overnight critics was in stark contrast to that of their forebears nearly 30 years ago. “Devastating”, “extraordinary” and “wonderfully funny” were among the superlatives chosen to welcome Luscombe's revival. It wasn't all good news, with some labelling the play “too long” and “forced”. But the “highly charged” performances of principals Steadman and Troughton helped compensate for any grumblings about what the Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer deemed a “modern classic”.
- by Theo Bosanquet