Review Round Up: Comus, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

John Milton’s play is brought to life and the stage again in a new production directed by Lucy Bailey – but what have critics been saying about it? 


The Guardian: **** “This is an evening of many different and unexpected virtues.”

The Independent: **** “Lucy Bailey’s witty and beguiling production manages to get the piece across with a subversive humour that feels perfectly consistent with a deep, not-uncritical respect for it.”

The Telegraph: **** “The result is highly entertaining and extremely funny, if a little light on meaning.”

The Stage : *** “Bold adaptation of a classic text that relies rather too heavily on its contemporary additions.”

The Financial Times: *** “though Bailey’s staging is delightfully done, it doesn’t quite overcome the fact that there is very little real dramatic meat here, and that what does exist is rather disturbing.”

The Times: **** “Rice’s first winter season opens with a rare treat: John Milton’s 1634 masque, in a buoyant adaptation by Patrick Barlow, staged with glittering exuberance by Lucy Bailey.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “this is a brave, funny, strong staging of a remarkable piece of work which definitely shouldn’t be forgotten.”

Exeunt Magazine: “the show often joyfully lets the language breathe and thrive through this clever staging.”

Broadway World: ***** “Comus is a debauched and dangerous cross between Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Rice’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which also provides a bold statement of female empowerment.”

Evening Standard: *** “A positive feminist message at the end is incongruous after all the earlier tomfoolery, and the exuberant approach to Milton’s writing accentuates rather than diminishes the impression that, despite its sublime moments, it’s an archaic hodgepodge.”

Theatre Cat:  **** “Lucy Bailey’s wickedly funny interpretation of Milton’s moralising work.”

Comus plays at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until the 19th November. For more information and to book tickets visit:

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