September has kicked on in fine style with a mixture of traditional (Hedda) and modern (Three Sisters) takes on classics and wonderful Wilde (Judas). The press nights are now over so the critics review are in.
Always curious to see how their opinions compare so here's a round up:
Hedda Gabler, Old Vic
This was my first Hedda and a Brian Friel version of the play so I had nothing to compare it to. I loved it for the story and the complexity of the protagonist, the acting and the production but not all of the critics agreed and it seems that that Friel's tweaking of the text hasn't suited everyone's taste:
Paul Taylor, The Independent ***
"Sheridan Smith's high stake Hedda gamble hasn't paid off"
Charles Spencer, The Telegraph ****
"The productions real strength is the top flight cast led by Sheridan Smith in the title role"
Michael Billington, The Guardian ***
"That final moment, as well as Smith's accomplished performance, makes up for some of the production's textual infelicities."
Henry Hitchins, The Standard ****
"Mackmin's interpretation succeeds in feeling both Victorian and urgently modern. More than ever the play comes across as a study of a woman doomed to be a misfit. Smith’s admirable performance is its beating heart."
The Standard also allows readers to rate plays and the audience rating is *****
Michael Coveney, What's on Stage ***
"There’s a swing and facility to the script that might go better with the Irish inflections, but many of the great passages sound new-minted, and there’s a glorious elaboration of Tesman’s paean of praise to his own slippers that prefigures the burst of excitement with which he greets the discovery of the notes for Loevberg’s lost masterpiece."
The What's on Stage audience rating is ****
Rev Stan's rating 4/5 (average with other audience ratings 4.6/5)
Average critics rating 3.4/5
So one for the audiences not the critics then.
I really enjoyed this David Hare take on the Oscar Wilde/Lord Douglas love story although Rupert Everett in the lead didn't always 100% satisfy.
What's on Stage has gathered seven reviews with only the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts feeling 'meh' and giving it three stars but then he does seem to have rather bizarre/tactical taste in theatre. The rest of the critics seems to lap it up giving four star with one five star review.
Rev Stan rating: 4/5
Average critics rating: 4/5
Three Sisters, Young Vic
Thought this might divide critics as it certainly divided the four of us who saw in on Tuesday evening but in the company of Stan fav's Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinnear who were spotted at the Young Vic on press night yesterday (I'm hoping they went together) the critics seem to have been generally favourable.
Of the five reviews gathered by What's On Stage only The Times's Dominic Maxwell wasn't impressed and gave it two stars with the rest four stars and one five star.
Rev Stan: 4/5
Critics average: 3.8/5