Alistair McDowell’s new play has officially opened at the Royal Court Theatre – but what have critics made of it? 

The Telegraph: **** Dominic Cavendish said: “McDowall has created a new genre, sly-fi: you make dismissive assumptions about what you’re watching at your peril.”

The Guardian: *** Michael Billington thought that: “For all McDowall’s acclaimed originality, he is actually a writer who has shopped around a lot.”

The Stage: ***** Tom Wicker was enthusiastic saying: “X is a play that will gnaw away at you. It’s sci-fi – and theatre – at its best.”

London * Mark Shenton was disappointed in the play saying that: “One thing I can say for it: the play’s title provides its own star rating.”

The Reviews Hub:**** (and a half)Maryam Philpott praised the production describing it as: “a masterclass in the building of suspense and the slow unveiling of character.”

Time Out:****Andrzej Lukowski summed up the production by saying: “clearly ’X’ is a play about disintegration and endings; the end of life, the end of memory, the end of technology, the end of civilisation, the end of maths. It also looks really cool. Space: the final frontier and a neato metaphor for the human mind.”

Theatre Cat: *** “this is full-on, trad dystopian sci-fi with a rising edge of psychosis and alienation.”

WhatsOnStage:*** Matt Trueman commented that: ” For all I admire the concept and daring, I was left thinking: Y?”

The Upcoming:**** Alexandra  Newson wrote: “Time-bending, mesmerising and darkly funny, X asks what it means to be human, and to be alone in the universe.”

London Theatre 1:  *** Patsy Trench found: “It is certainly bold, and original, and the performances are excellent. It is also baffling and slow, and rather long.”

Monkey Matters Theatre: “X is a play that bristles with possibility and often appears profound, but doesn’t engage and feels incomplete.”

There Ought to Be Clowns: “Perhaps predictably, X is a curious, slippery beast that wilfully toys with notions of audience satisfaction.”

She Sees Shows: “There’s some really good writing – witty, sharp and interesting. The performances are engaging and there’s plenty of intrigue as the evening progresses.”

British Theatre Guide: “Looked at in retrospect, X makes some worthwhile observations about a challenging subject. Therefore ideally you would need to see it twice to make the most of the experience.”

Evening Standard: Henry Hitchings commented: “The result is a slippery, challenging piece that is guaranteed to divide audiences.”

The Financial Times:**** Suzi Feay found that: “In the end, X is a piece to be experienced rather than analysed. Go with it, and you’ll be treated to some chilling and thrilling moments of existential dread.”

X appears at the Royal Court Theatre until the 7th May. For more information and to book tickets visit:





%d bloggers like this: