15 years after it first appeared on stage, Simon Stephens’ play Herons returns to the capital in a new production directed Sean Holmes. But has it gone down well with critics?

Max Gill as Billy and Sophia Decaro as Adele in Herons Lyric Hammersmith. Photo by Tristram Kenton.jpg
Max Gill & Sophia Decaro.  ©Tristram Kenton. 

The Telegraph: **** Claire Allfree commented: ” This is an intentionally alienating production but it’s enriched by some terrific performances from a young cast.”

Evening Standard:*** Henry Hitchings wrote: “Sean Holmes’s taut revival feels less grubby than expected”

The Guardian: *** Michael Billington found that: “It’s an unremittingly powerful play, but Stephens’s point that it’s nurture as much as nature that makes these hard hearts gets somewhat lost.”

Whatsonstage: *** Matt Trueman said: “Opting for symbolism over subtext, Holmes goes against the strengths of the writing.”

Billy Matthews as Scott in Herons. Photo by Tristram Kenton.jpg
Billy Matthews in Herons at the Lyric Hammersmith .©Tristram Kenton.

The Stage: **** Tom Wicker said: “It’s a rebuking piece of theatre, well-acted and grippingly staged, accentuated by a starkly effective set design.”

There Ought To Be Clowns: “Holmes’ direction is full of interesting choices that you have to hope will inspire others.”

British Theatre Guide: Philip Fisher wrote: “Herons can hardly be classified as a cheery play but is deftly staged by Sean Holmes and presents a wonderful opportunity to a team of young actors.”

Time Out: *** Andrzej Lukowski commented: “It is a fizzing, pumped-up and beautiful watch.”

Sophie Stone as Mum in Herons. Photo by Tristram Kenton.jpg
Sophie Stone in Herons at the Lyric Hammersmith. Image by Tristram Kenton. 

Overall: the critics opinions seem mixed with regards to the production itself – but has plenty of praise for the young cast – with many predicting a strong future for many of them.

Herons is on at the Lyric Hammersmith until the 13th February. Tickets cost between £15 and £35, available to book through: http://www.lyric.co.uk/whats-on/production/herons/