Jesse Eisenberg’s new play officially opened in London last night – but does it impress the critics? 

The Guardian: *** Michael Billington wrote: “Eisenberg can write and has inherited Woody Allen’s comedic gift for exploring neurosis. But, at the end, I still found myself asking why we should be asked to care about the travails of a privileged New York brat.”

WhatsOnStage: **** Matt Trueman was enthusiastic about the production saying: “at its sharpest, Scott Elliott’s production has the car-crash quality of cringe comedy, with a real crackle to the performances – not least Nayyar’s nerdy Nepali and Brayben’s sympathetic, horrified Sarah.”

Evening Standard:*** Henry Hitchings commented: “while Eisenberg makes Ben intriguing, it’s a risk to focus for over two and a half hours on someone who, despite moments of vulnerability, is so resolutely loathsome.”

The Telegraph: **** Dominic Cavendish said: “Eisenberg is by turns tactile and needy, aloof and attention-seeking, flipping between cynical jest and highly-strung earnest.”

The Stage: **** Mark Shenton summed the production up by saying: “Eisenberg’s play coasts on a gentle wit that’s never truly laugh-out funny, but Scott Elliott’s production conveys its clumsy feeling and awkward friendships through a spellbinding cast.”

The Upcoming: ***** Jim Compton-Hall gave the play a huge recommendation by writing: “The Spoils is one of the year’s must-see shows: a perfect example of writing and acting, incredibly funny and dramatically beautiful.”

The Reviews Hub: ***  “For observational comedy The Spoils is a great play, but for a meaningful analysis of the lives of the spoilt rich, even with a wonderful cast of talented actors, it only skirts the surface and looks less than convincing when it tries to dive in.”

The Arts Desk: “But the antisocial network’s endless self-analysis makes for a flat theatre experience, dictating a response rather than trusting the audience to reach their own conclusions.”

Time Out: *** “Eisenberg emerges with credit, albeit more as an actor – he has a fascinating energy that’s all his own.”

The Spoils plays at the Trafalgar Studios until the 13th August. To book tickets visit ATG Tickets, Ticketmaster.co.uk, Discount Theatre.com, Last Minute.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk

 

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