Review Round Up: Once in a Lifetime, Young Vic Theatre

Harry Enfield makes his theatre debut in Richard Jones’s production – but what have critics been saying about it? 


The Guardian: *** “Enfield gives us a shuffling oldster who knows that his power lies in his position. His performance is one of the brighter features in a production by Richard Jones that puts visual bravura before verbal precision.”

The Telegraph: *** “Fun at the expense of Tinsel-town for the Christmas period, then, but it won’t stay with you for life.”

The Independent: *** “I may not be a massive fan of the piece, but I applaud this production as the best and least overblown account of it that I have seen.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “Once in a Lifetime tells the truth about the entirely bonkers nature of Hollywood.”

The Stage: *** “Despite the hard work of Claudie Blakley, Kevin Bishop and John Marquez, the production can’t quite compensate for the fact that the central trio aren’t all that appealing or well-defined.”

A Younger Theatre: “All in all, Once in a Lifetime is a diverting evening of entertainment with some excellent comic moments, but suffers from a lack of depth beneath its comic surface.”

Time Out: *** “in a season when even the pantos are banging on about Brexit and Trump, a piece of genuine escapism is no bad thing.”

Broadway World: **** “Once in a Lifetime is an entertaining two hours that will keep you chuckling after the curtain comes down.”

London ** “This is a play that should fizz with the excitement and energy of a freshly opened Prosecco but instead bubbles softly like day-old buck’s fizz.”

Gay Times: *** “this is a big-hearted and charming story with plenty of laughs. It may lack a bit of oomph, but it remains a funny and entertaining evening of theatre.”

Evening Standard: *** “As the madness escalates, Richard Jones’s production is full of visual flair.”

The Reviews Hub: *** “It feels like there is a brilliant satire here just aching to get out of the can.”

West End Whingers: “But it was (as ever) Amanda Lawrence as a fussingly efficient film studio secretary who shamelessly stole every scene she appeared in.”

Theatre Cat: *** “It’s a grand Christmas treat,  and there are some glorious moments especially in the second half.”

The Daily Mail: “if it is to move to the West End it will need a wider and deeper stage, less shaky sets and a greater commitment to at least a pretence that we will believe the storyline before its comedy-apocalypse end.”

Exeunt Magazine: “some will relish this spectacularly silly world of caricature and kitsch, but there’s a reason they don’t make ‘em like this anymore, particularly in Britain, and it’s because no-one like them. Tastes have changed.”

The Times: ** “eccentric yet curiously listless revival.”

British Theatre Guide: “this production dilutes the impact of what becomes a mildly pleasing rather than sensational night out.”

The Financial Times: *** ” With a little more oomph and the tactical deployment of an extra 10 decibels or so, this could elicit guffaws rather than chuckles.”

There Ought to be Clowns: “the comic plaudits of the night go to the ever-excellent Amanda Lawrence in a hilarious performance as the put-upon secretary Miss Leighton.”

Once in a Lifetime will play at the Young Vic until the 14th January 2017. For more information and to book tickets visit:




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