Arthur Darville stars in Nadia Fall’s production now playing at the Bush Theatre. Here’s what critics have been saying about it:
Isaac (Arthur Darvill) gets home from serving in the marines to find war has broken out back home. In a nondescript town somewhere in Central Valley – America, Isaac’s mom Paige (Ashley McGuire) is blowing up entrenched routines.
Fed up with domestic patriarchy, Paige has stopped washing, cleaning and caring for their ailing father, who recently suffered a stroke. She reigns supreme.
Ally to their mother’s new regime is Isaac’s sibling Max (Griffyn Gilligan). Only last time Isaac checked, Max was Maxine. Once the breadwinner, Isaac’s dad (Andy Williams) has toppled from the head of the household to the bottom of the pile – a make-upped puppet emasculated by Paige once and for all.
The Guardian: *** “Nadia Fall’s production is frequently savagely funny but she can’t quite find the right tone for a play that veers between kitchen-sink drama, sitcom and satire, and which often comes across as strenuous and shouty.”
The Stage: *** “But the darker the play becomes – and it goes to some pretty bleak and brutal places as Mac reveals more of the person Arnold was and is – the less sure-footed Nadia Fall’s production feels.”
WhatsOnStage: *** “At its best, Hir is an ambitious look at a family that represent the wider challenges and changes in America today, but often it just feels like a dysfunctional family drama, bent weirdly out of shape.”
The London Economic: “Like listening to anyone fighting for any amount of time, HIR is a bit exhausting. ”
The Times: * “The characters here are such makeshift vessels that it is hard to suspend your disbelief in any of this.”
Time Out: ** “Nadia Fall’s tonally uneven, heightened production, there’s much to admire but little to love.”
Theatre Fullstop: “Wonderful direction and smart writing make this production a sensationally subversive comedy, that somehow also finds a way to pull at our heartstrings.”
Victoria Sadler.com: “as a result, you do come away with the feeling that this production could have brought so much more.”
Culture Whisper: *** “While Hir is thoughtful, provocative and at times stirring, it might be that like the Connor family parts of it get a bit lost in the mess.”
The Telegraph: **** “Mac, 43, has ingeniously fashioned a piece that fits into the grand tradition of American dramas about family dysfunction while speaking to the confusions of identity, loyalty and belonging of the progressive age.”
Gay Times: “While Hir occasionally succeeds, overall it seems like a missed opportunity.”
Hir continues to play at the Bush Theatre until the 22nd July. For more information visit: https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/event/hir/