Katie Mitchell directs Alice Birch’s play, being performed at the Royal Court Theatre as part of the theatre’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme. But what have critics been saying about it? 

Culture Whisper: **** “Birch and Mitchell trace one story, following the tangle of genetics and trauma to show corrosion and recovery.”

Time Out: ***** “It’s Mitchell’s production – and her three extraordinary leads – that allows Birch’s ambition to be realised.”

The Independent: **** “Anatomy of a Suicide is a powerful, unflinching look at a family afflicted with severe depression and mental illness.”

The Stage: **** “Unexpectedly light and spry in its early scenes, Anatomy of a Suicide builds and builds to an incredibly powerful finale in which hope, while distant, can still be glimpsed.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “In the end, whether you admire Anatomy of a Suicide will depend very much on your tolerance for understatement and allusion.”

The Guardian: **** “The play is both riveting and static. Director Katie Mitchell’s distinctive trance style comes into its own.”

Exeunt Magazine: “Yet despite all the ink and hours given over to deconstructing and profiling the topic, very little of the art produced concludes on such a delicately profound note of hope as Alice Birch’s Anatomy of a Suicide.”

A Younger Theatre: “Alice Birch has created an impressively cohesive piece of theatre from the sprawling lives of flawed and hurting women.”

The Times: **** “At times it’s hard to watch, but this is a precise, cleverly staged and powerful drama supported by superb acting.”

The Telegraph: **** “anyone who has experienced the nightmare of handed-on familial sadness, let alone the horror of suicide, will surely find in this a therapeutic-cathartic release.”

Everything Theatre: *** “It’s radical storytelling at its finest, and maybe just on the cusp of greatness.”

Broadway World: **** “A rich, innovative and gripping piece that lingers long after its conclusion.”

The FT: **** “While the form limits more detailed interrogation of the theme, which is regrettable, this is a searing and tender piece.”

The London Economic: **** “Anatomy is creating new ground plays about such issues can stand upon.”

Evening Standard: **** “What a fiercely uncompromising, clinically emotional two hours this is.”

British Theatre.com: **** “The play may not be saying anything new about the inheritance of suicide but Birch has found an effective way to explore how the trauma of suicide eats into every moment of the lives that follow.”

Radio Times: **** “Anatomy of a Suicide is hugely impressive. Birch manifests the difficulties of living with suicide and asks how much is inherited, even when a person is too young to remember? Is nature or nurture to blame? While never giving a definitive answer, we are asked to consider whether, in still not fully addressing the problem, we will be inflicting lasting effects on future generations.”

London Box Office: **** “The complex style in which the play is written by Alice Birch is skilfully directed by Katie Mitchell as it smoothly transitions between the lives of three women who remain on stage almost throughout the entire play.”

British Theatre Guide: “The two-hour-long drama is a gripping and moving work presented in an unusual fashion that generally complements the writing.”

The Upcoming: ***** “Anatomy of a Suicide is a major work. It cements Alice Birch’s status as one of the UK’s leading playwrights, and exhibits Katie Mitchell’s genius in crafting subtly powerful, humanist work. It is a knockout – go.”

Plays to See: ***** “Anatomy of a Suicide is a tour de force: a brave and innovative piece of writing, diligently realised by perhaps the UK’s leading director, and with some truly stellar performances.”

The Play’s The Thing:  “Unsettling, disturbing but at the same time tender, funny and deeply human this is theatre at its best and will live under the audience’s skin long after its end.”

Anatomy of a Suicide will continue to play at the Royal Court Theatre until the 8th July. For more information visit: https://royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/anatomy-of-a-suicide/











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