Robert Lindsay stars in Terry Johnson’s new play based on the life of cinematic master Jack Cardiff. Discover what critics have been saying about it with Love London Love Culture’s round up of the reviews: 


Legendary cinematographer Jack Cardiff has retired to the sleepy village of Denham, Buckinghamshire. His days of hard work – and play – on some of the most famous sets in the world are now long behind him, as are his secret liaisons with some of the most famous women in the world… Surrounded by memorabilia from a lifetime of ‘painting with light’, the writing of an autobiography should be an easy matter – were it not that Jack would now rather live in the past than remember it.

WhatsOnStage: *** “The saving grace of Prism is Lindsay’s performance as Cardiff. The play was partly his idea and the role is a gift, giving full rein to his charm, effortless dramatic timing and remarkable ability to convey fleeting and complicated emotion.”

The Times: **** “There’s more light than shade in this gently funny life story of a Hollywood maestro.”

The Metro: **** “the transition from Jack’s confused present to his triumphant past is superbly realised with the cast doubling or even trebling as Hollywood greats.”

The Independent: **** “Prism was written with Robert Lindsay in mind and he gives a superb performance as Cardiff, communicating the effortless charm that was so attractive to women and the fanatical professionalism that sent him on his experimental quests.”

The Arts Desk: “Despite its imaginative flights and the almost reckless levity which Lindsay brings to the central role, Prism’s journey darkens as the final curtain nears”

The Telegraph: *** “I found myself wishing for a touch more multiplex, less in the way of art-house from the script: a simpler, more comprehensive overview of Cardiff’s remarkable career.”

The Guardian: **** ” While Johnson’s play is a bit bumpy, it movingly records the fragmentation of Cardiff’s Alzheimer’s-affected memory and yields a riveting performance from Robert Lindsay.”

Broadway World: ***** “Delicate performances and attentive direction make this play a must-see.”

Time Out: *** “The play works less as an introduction to the man and more as a series of in-jokes and footnotes for the initiated.”

Evening Standard: *** “. The play seems slightly apologetic about not having a powerful narrative engine, but it’s a nice vehicle for Lindsay, who serves up a finely detailed study of querulous uncertainty and fidgety charisma.”

British Theatre Guide: “even those who were unaware of Cardiff’s existence a couple of hours before will have become acquainted with a lovable rogue and enchanted by a marvellous play that is surely destined to transfer to the West End very soon after this short run at Hampstead.”

Live Theatre UK: ** “The Hampstead Theatre takes risks with new writing and does love a biographical play. But Prism, like several Dodos before it, tarnishes its reputation rather than adds lustre.”

Prism continues to play at the Hampstead Theatre until the 14th October. For more information and to book tickets visit:



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