Review Round-up: Did Critics Laugh at Little Dog?
Jamie Lloyd directs the Broadway transfer, which centres on up-and-comer Mitchell (Rupert Friend), a charismatic and ambitious young actor who intends to keep his homosexuality hidden from the public. Things grow complicated, however, when he falls for a sexually confused male prostitute (Harry Lloyd), who at the same time must decide what to make of his non-platonic lady friend Ellen (Gemma Arterton). All the while Mitchell must navigate his way through difficult career decisions, for most of which he seeks consultation in the form of his brazen and ruthless lesbian super-agent Diane (Tamsin Greig).
Most overnight critics agree that Greig’s performance represents the production's high-water mark. The Independent’s Paul Taylor states that her performance “shows you a woman who has a well-thumbed movie-industry directory where her heart should be,” while the Guardian's Michael Billington, in a four star review, notes that “the play belongs to Diane,” as Greig “brings the right demonic energy and well-tailored control-freakery to the role.”
Elsewhere, there were a few grumblings regarding Beane's script, and indeed the wisdom of the transfer. The Times’ Benedict Nightingale goes so far as to say the plot has “very little sense of struggle, let alone depth,” with the Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts adding that if it were not “for glorious Tamsin Greig, the West End's latest American import would be a disaster. The Little Dog Laughed would die.”
- by Alex Mangini