Bennett takes us inside the head of three protagonists who are all in some way trying to postpone a bleaker future. Their passions for order or for simple continuity are both pitiable and at times hilarious . . . It is a testament to Alan Bennett’s acute observation that it is possible to believe a single biscuit in the wrong place could possibly mean the difference between a job lost or an unwanted referral to a home. How our lives are so precariously poised!
“Fox Junior (Jack), acting with his pa, was able to use the curious blood chemistry of father and son to bring a genuine warmth to the role, which takes him through writer, Charlie Mortimer’s life with dad’s letters as signposts . . . As a touching portrait of a particular take on humanity through the description of a father-son relationship it will undoubtedly find an audience to entertain. ”
“This compassionate and delightful romantic comedy from the Pulitzer Prize, Tony and Oscar-winning author of Doubt will win many hearts. The great appeal in John Patrick Shanley’s play lies in one woman’s fight to overcome spectres of isolation and barrenness by staring down what stands in her path, and in its final message of tender reconciliation . . . Set in rural Ireland, Outside Mullingar is, at heart, an essay on the redeeming qualities of love and forgiveness . . . “
“…as theatre, Jonathan Munby’s production is superb. Visually it is stunning with a simple, flexible, monochrome box set by Mike Britton that adapts brilliantly to what is required of it with the sides sliding in and out in a multitude of configurations. There is even a stream of water running along the front of the stage to represent the omnipresent River Seine which figures so largely in the story…for the most part, it was very good indeed, bordering on brilliant.
“…the tale is, as Danny Braverman describes it, “bitter-sweet, funny in parts, poignant in others”. It tells the story of the Jewish experience in London from the 1920s, through the Second World War, and on to the 1980s, and yet has a wonderfully universal feel, intertwining history and culture and family in the way that really great storytelling can do…”
“This is a farce, devised and written by members of the cast, which invites and gets its fair share of belly laughs and is probably destined to become a firm favourite…In this production by Mischief Theatre, which will be transferring to the West End after its UK tour, the bar has been set satisfyingly high.”
“…Natalie Imbruglia does a good job of presenting the sweet and mild Nikki in this her stage debut – most convincing when mewling excuses for not having sex with the hot-bloodied Hamish, her ‘Big Bear’…. ★★★★☆
TIME OF MY LIFE Alan Ayckbourn’s Ensemble, as the name may suggest, is not one, but four plays: Arrivals and Departures, Farcicals (The Kidderminster Affair and To Chloë with Love), and Time of My Life, each showing on a different night. The busy Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, in association with Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, with…