Review Round Up: Bodies, Royal Court Theatre

Vivienne Franzmann’s new play exploring the human cost of surrogacy is directed by Jude Christian. Here is what critics have been saying about it: 


“We should have brought a gift.”

“We’ve brought a gift. It’s called 22 thousand pounds.”

Purchased from Russia. Developed in India. Delivered to the UK.

A global transaction over nine months that offers ‘a lifetime of happiness’ for all involved.

Vivienne Franzmann’s new play explores the human cost of surrogacy, and what we’ll overlook to get what we want.

The Guardian: *** “a decent play that ticks all the right boxes without fully achieving the emotional intensity the subject demands.”

The Independent: **** ” this is a richly humane and insightful piece”

The Telegraph: *** “The play confirms the valuable seriousness of intent that Franzmann, a former teacher, displayed with her breakthrough debut Mogadishu in 2011, but at an early scan someone should perhaps have detected that her precious bundle would be more securely delivered in an airier medium.”

Exeunt Magazine: “Franzmann proves again that she is one of the few white playwrights I can name who acknowledges the way the politics of race inform our interactions.”

The Stage: *** “It’s bold stuff, packed with ideas, but it’s ragged around the edges, taking too long to introduce its ethical crux and getting increasingly bogged down by the inelegantly realised hallucination device.”

WhatsOnStage:**** “An engrossing allegory for the modern age, where we consume things at the click of a button, this new work forces a consideration of what happens when we want something so badly that we try to pretend there are no consequences.”

Broadway World: *** “This is a powerful and intense play where Franzmann gets under the skin of the issue of infertility.”

Evening Standard: **** “Deftly directed by Jude Christian, Franzmann’s play packs a lot of challenging ideas into 90 minutes. It’s performed with sensitivity and conviction.”

British Theatre Guide: “Even if the play were not of the highest quality, which it is, the acting is outstanding across the board, with Justine Mitchell conveying the pain of love immaculately, even if Jonathan McGuinness deserves the greater plaudits for his bravery in ensuring that the play could go on.”

The Times: ** “great dialogue and is beautifully acted, but is hamstrung by metaphor and internalised debate.”

The Daily Mail: ** “Franzmann’s characters are not allowed to mount a serious challenge to Clem’s enervating fertility fantasy.”

The FT: **** “this is a piercing play about the way we live now, and it is ferociously well acted, not least by Jonathan McGuinness.”

Bodies continues to play at the Royal Court Theatre until the 12th August. For more information visit: .

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