LAMDA at Large: Tomorrow's stage stars today?
The end of Journey's End

Did I get it wrong with A Woman Killed With Kindness?

5ee4c505b6eebc63c100d449f7b255f4_XL Whenever I write a less than glowing review about a play I've seen, there is always a certain amount of soul searching after I've published: Did I get it right? Am I being unfair?

I usually turn to other theatre bloggers and the professional critics for reassurance but although others views may make me appreciate a play differently I don't think I've ever gone back and added to an original review.

Katie Mitchell's A Woman Killed With Kindness gained only two stars from me and comments made and subsequent bloggers reviews seem to replicate how I felt about the play.

The play had it's press night yesterday so I was curious to see what the critics made of it and I admit that I've been a little surprised to see the three and four star reviews. (Blog and review links at end of post.)

Now either they've completely turned the play around since I saw it a week ago or I missed a major point.

A theatre friend on Twitter - Leena Hassan - saw the play on press night too and tweeted:

"Completely agreed with your Woman Killed with Kindness review. Lovely set but it was pretty dire overall. Didn't feel anything.."

Which implies the production still wasn't working for one person at least.

Did I miss the point? What the critics have had to say hasn't given me a great appreciation for the play and the production of A Woman Killed With Kindness I saw will be emblazoned on my memory for all the wrong reasons.

One thing I do agree with is that Katie Mitchell divides, this one just wasn't my Marmite.

Bloggers reviews:

WebCowGirl Walking out of the National after Tuesday night’s preview of A Woman Killed with Kindness, one question was foremost in my mind: what the hell did director Katie Mitchell think she was doing? No star ratings given

WestEndWhingers Have done a superb mock interview with Katie with is worth a read regardless of your view of the play and gave it two glasses of wine

Critics reviews:

Lyn Gardner in the Guardian This is not the first time that Mitchell has tackled A Woman Killed With Kindness (she directed it for the RSC in 1991), and although the evening – two hours with no interval – takes too long to engage, you can see why she returned to it again. Three stars

Dominic Maxwell in The Times (paywall) The 400 years fade away as Mitchell and her cast communicate a great sadness in great style. Four stars

Charles Spencer in The Telegraph Nevertheless, I find it hard to share Mitchell’s enthusiasm for such a cold and curiously unrewarding play, and staging this two-hour piece without an interval feels like an act of cruelty rather than kindness. Three stars

Fiona Mountford in The Evening Standard A robustly intelligent re-reading of a tricky play.     Four stars The reader rating is two and a half stars...

Picture by Steven Cummiskey