Review Round Up: Road, Royal Court Theatre

John Tiffany directs Jim Cartwright’s play about inhabitants of an unnamed northern road in Eighties Britain. Here’s what critics have been saying about it so far: 


“I feel like England’s forcing the brain out me head.”

A Road, a wild night, a drunken tour guide, a journey to the gutter and the stars and back.

“Why’s the world so tough? It’s like walking through meat in high heels.”

Jim Cartwright’s seminal play gives expression to the inhabitants of an unnamed northern road in Eighties Britain.

The Guardian: **** “Tiffany’s production highlights the play’s poetic lyricism.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “Cartwright empowers through eloquence and Tiffany raises people up and gives them a platform. For today’s dramatists, Road offers a road map. It’s far more than a trip down memory lane.”

The Independent: **** “A Road well worth taking.”

The Stage: *** “Tiffany is unable to successfully reroute Cartwright’s anti-Thatcher ire towards the obvious contemporary parallels with modern British life even though that must have been, in part, the point of reviving the play in the first place. It ends up feeling like a period piece.”

The Telegraph: **** “It’s a hard, occasionally transcendent evening and also, surely, a gauntlet to modern playwrights.”

Culture Whisper: **** “Its relevance is almost unquestionable, and with strong performances and slick direction, Road is sharp and stirring theatre.”

The FT: **** ” part of me wanted Road to be less effective now, but I wouldn’t wish one iota of its grim indictment away.”

Everything Theatre: ***** “Plays always have to try that much harder to hold the attention, but on this occasion Road deserves nothing less than the full Monty.”

Exeunt Magazine: “Tiffany’s production is purgatorial, caught between grounding itself in the past as a well-observed period piece but also half attempting to draw some sort of allegory with the current climate of austerity. Without an anchor, Road drifts by, losing so much along the way.”

Radio Times: *** “Road is a “statement” play. We are given only glimpses of individual lives but its message comes at us with a vengeance.”

London **** “This play is a little ball of anger from a snapshot in time.”

The Reviews Hub: *** 1/2 “There is a lot to like about this piece but, at two and a half hours, it does start to drag, the urgency slowly falls away.”

Time **** “John Tiffany shows that success hasn’t sent him soft. He wades in with a tough, sinewy production, full of the rude vitality, rough poetry and devastating loneliness of Cartwright’s wild writing.”

British **** ” The play needs to speak for itself, and too often here the direction and movement undermine the text. However if you’re new to the play, catch Cartwright’s masterpiece, and join me in yearning for a sequel.”

The Upcoming: **** “At a time when food banks are on the rise and a bloody difficult woman lurks at Number 10, the world of Road is merely a shoulder-padded version of our own current reality.”

Theatre Bubble: **** “Tiffany’s love for Cartwright’s piece and the nature of its veracity are evident, but it’s Chloe Lamford’s design that steals much of the show.”

The Times: **** “It may be a 1980s period piece, but Jim Cartwright’s tale of working-class life is still strikingly relevant.”

Broadway World: **** “Tiffany’s production is particularly strong in its understanding of how music can be escape and illumination”

British Theatre Guide: “John Tiffany clearly loves the work and its message, which he illuminates with much physical humour, improving the quality of what would anyway have been a politically charged but highly entertaining night out.”

Express: *** “A brilliant cast illuminate the short, sharp scenes and even mine humour from the darkness.”

Road continues to play at the Royal Court Theatre until the 9th September. For more information visit:








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