Stockard Channing and Laura Carmichael star in this new production of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s play at the Trafalgar Studios. Here is what critics have been saying about it:
Kristin Miller is a firebrand matriarch and eminent art historian. A birthday gathering should be a cause for celebration but the cracks in her family relationships are brought to the surface by the recent publication of her memoir. As the evening progresses questions are asked about the sacrifices she has made and about the price paid by those she loves.
Apologia is a witty, topical and passionate play about generations, secrets, and warring perspectives.
The Independent: *** “Stockard Channing’s performance is magnificent”
British Theatre.com: **** “Apologia is a powerful, emotionally charged portrait of a family where a woman’s dedication to political causes and her career have forced her to make sacrifices.”
Carn’s Theatre Passion: **** “A well written intelligent play which held my interest throughout and caused me to reflect on it long after the lights came up.”
The Stage: **** “Apologia is Campbell’s third play and it has the hallmarks of an early work. It sometimes puts too fine a point on things and can’t resist coming back to say it again. But, aided by Lloyd’s direction, it’s also funny, defiant and moving.”
The Guardian: *** “Channing is a serious, intelligent actor and even induces sympathy for the character of a seemingly monstrous matriarch. Yet her presence involves some necessary rewrites and can’t entirely resolve the contradictions in Campbell’s play.”
WhatsOnStage: ** “Channing, very much the star turn at the heart of things, riding her lines with a gimlet-eyed frostiness, delivering devastating put-downs with aplomb.”
Time Out: *** “It’s a solid production from an director who always entertains, but it’s not much of an apologia for the play itself.”
London Theatre.co.uk: **** “a smart, powerful and poignant play that earns its place in the West End.”
The Times: **** “Brilliant struggle with an age-old issue in a play that pits one generation against the other.”
The Reviews Hub: *** 1/2 ” Its conflicts frequently feel contrived, but the cast sometimes succeeds in bringing a few sparks of truth to the table.”
The Telegraph: **** “this absorbing, finely acted evening leaves a pronounced taste of standard-issue “progressive” seasoning in the mouth, there’s still plenty enough to chew on before that.”
Variety: “There’s too little spark, though, and, but for the wry asides of Desmond Barrit’s gay rights activist turned gardening enthusiast, too little reason for a revival.”
Evening Standard: **** “But this revival, though restrained by the standards of usually flamboyant director Jamie Lloyd, has a satisfying vividness. With Channing at the heart of all its richest moments, it has plenty of bite and some big laughs.”
Theatre Weekly: **** “Apologia is most definitely a hit for Jamie Lloyd and The Trafalgar Studios.”
Theatre Bubble: *** ” there are many questions at the heart of Apologia – it would have just been better to have them not so far distanced from the offset.”
Broadway World: *** “Jamie Lloyd’s production is uncharacteristically unobtrusive – suited to the naturalistic material, but perhaps lacking some of his provocative spark.”
British Theatre Guide: “Stockard Channing walks a fine line between strong-willed articulate woman and one alone in a world that is leaving her values behind. Her speech on Giotto and empathy is splendid.”
The Upcoming: ***** “It doesn’t merely achieve what it sets out to do, it raises the bar quite drastically on all theatre.”
West End Theatre Guide: ***** “Apologia is darkly witty and intensely gripping, with stark relevance to modern society. Indeed, this powerful work offers a vast amount of thought-provoking wisdom to anyone who is willing to listen.”
Apologia will play at the Trafalgar Studios until the 18th November. To book tickets visit: ATG Tickets, Ticketmaster.co.uk, Discount Theatre.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com , UK Tickets.co.uk and See Tickets.com.