Ralph Fiennes stars in this latest production of Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder at the Old Vic Theatre. But what have opinions been for Matthew Warchus’s production? 

Ralph Fiennes (Halvard Solness) in The Master Builder at The Old Vic. Photos by Manuel Harlan. (1)
Ralph Finnes in The Master Builder. Photograph by Manuel Harlan. 

The Telegraph: ***** Jane Shilling found: “Matthew Warchus’s beautifully controlled and intelligent production is all shifting nuance and finely calibrated detail.”

The Guardian: **** Michael Billington wrote: “But the joy of the evening lies in watching Fiennes at the height of his powers and relishing a play that offers one of the most searing self-portraits in drama.”

Londonist: **** Neil Dowden commented that: “Matthew Warchus’s excellent production achieves a nice balance between naturalistic and poetic.”

Time Out: *** Andrzej Lukowski said: “The director’s reputation is as a populist, but his ‘Master Builder’ feels more like a mad curio, albeit one that’s a resolute triumph for star Fiennes.”

Culture Whisper: *** “There’s much to fascinate, but not as much to really move you.”

The Independent: **** Paul Taylor praised Fiennes performance saying: “Fiennes delivers a terrifically compelling study of a man going out of his mind with fear and ineffectual remorse.”

The Stage: **** Natasha Tripney wrote: “In the end though, it’s the performances that make this production fly – that and the compelling nature of the play itself.”

London Theatre.co.uk: *** Mark Shenton commented that: “Set changes between each of the three acts require two intervals, which turns it into a long evening. But it is a rewarding one if you stick with it.”

British Theatre Guide: Philip Fisher said: “Theatrical nights out do not come much better than this gripping production of an Ibsen classic.”

Gay Times: ***** Chris Selman found that: “This is an outstanding production of a fantastic play – not to be missed.”

Official London Theatre: Matthew Amer wrote: “Stonking debuts and a surprising delicacy from Fiennes; The Master Builder breathes new life into Ibsen’s tale of grief and purposelessness.”

The Financial Times: *** Sarah Hemming thought: “it is carried through by a fine cast and Fiennes’s towering central performance.”

City Am: **** Steve Dinneen commented: “David Hare’s adaptation of the 1892 play feels remarkably light, displaying his customary deftness of touch and a beguiling, if troubling, eroticism.”

Overall verdict: plenty of praise for all involved with this production – even if the play itself can be hard going at times. 

The Master Builder continues to play at the Old Vic Theatre until the 19th March. To book tickets visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, Discount Theatre.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk



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