Review Round Up: Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle, Wyndham’s Theatre

Anne-Marie Duff and Kenneth Cranham star in Simon Stephens’ play of love and physics. Here’s Love London Love Culture’s round up of the reviews…


In this uncertain world, who can predict what brings people together? When two strangers meet by chance amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, their lives are changed forever.

The Guardian: *** “Both actors are excellent and the play has many moments of quiet pleasure. Yet I can’t help feeling it is an escapist fantasy.”

The Telegraph: *** ” if there’s something genuinely cherishable about the evening it’s the way Cranham beautifully charts his character’s shift from reticence to release, like a grumpy cat that warily rolls over to let its tummy be tickled by a stranger.”

Time Out: ** ” Marianne Elliott’s spare, vivid production, with its dazzling light-based set from Bunny Christie and occasionally overwhelming Nils Frahm score, is blessedly chintz-free. But she’s the one who programmed ‘Heisenberg’ as the opener to her new West End season of work – it feels like a peculiar opening statement.”

The Stage: *** “Cranham and Duff are both fine actors. His understated performance offsets her more frenzied presence and there’s a sense of connection between them.”

Culture Whisper: ** “It’s just a shame that this story of uncertainly, randomness and excitement ends in the most predictable way.”

The Independent: *** “Duff brilliantly suggests the deep hinterland of hurt behind the woman’s volatility –  the fiercely dogmatic and desperate way she offers divergent responses to key questions, such as those about impurity of motive. ”

WhatsOnStage: *** “It all adds up to a touching if low-key start to a brave new venture.”

Exeunt Magazine: “To be honest, if this was a play in a tiny studio by some emerging writer, I’d be more forgiving, be more taken up with praising the dialogue and the scientific underpinnings. But it’s two top-tier actors and the ridiculously talented Stephens, launching Elliott’s new venture in the West End, and it feels like it should come to more than this.”

The Times: ** “This is a very simple play posing as something more sophisticated: it’s desperate to be a cool science play but is really a dressed up version of boy-meet-girl. Sorry, but it’s true.”

Evening Standard: *** “But while her production is undeniably bold, revelling in the great swathes of primary colour that suffuse Bunny Christie’s minimalist set and in the haunting music crafted by piano-playing retronaut Nils Frahm, the play feels slight. It’s also oddly predictable — flecked with moments of charm, yet sometimes clunkily portentous.”

British *** “It all adds up to a very low key evening, a play that’s interesting than involving.”

London **** “Don’t be intimidated by the title: Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle. This isn’t a play about the German physicist, but adapts his theory to emotions.”

The Reviews Hub: **** “The more we watch the characters on stage the less we know where they are going, and Cranham and Duff are eminently watchable in this smart production.”

Broadway World:*** “Elliott lends texture to the 90-minute play with a strongly expressionistic production that illustrates the infinite strangeness of human experience.”

City AM: ** “When the set is the only saving grace of your production, however, you’re in trouble: Heisenberg may have had rave reviews on Broadway, but don’t be fooled: the only certainty here is that you should avoid it altogether.”

London Theatre1: *** ” it is satisfyingly amusing, and far more approachable and accessible than the show’s title would suggest.”

West End Wilma: ** “Just because you have theatre royalty on stage and an award-winning creative team doesn’t guarantee a successful result, as proven with Heisenberg.”

The FT: *** “The piece overall, too, feels moderately wacky by West End standards but restrained on Stephens’ terms, as if he were either testing how far he can take a mainstream enterprise or simply dealing discretely with two different constituencies, here and in his more characteristic work.”

British Theatre Guide: “Anne-Marie Duff is a delight to watch as she depicts the slightly unstable but rather lovable Georgie. With lesser material, Kenneth Cranham does a good, sensitive job of bringing understated Alex to life as her foil.”

Radio Times: **** “The theory might say you can’t know where you’re at or where you’re going at the same time, but you’ll know you enjoyed the journey.”

The Spy in the Stalls: **** “At ninety minutes I was left wanting more. But this, I am sure, is intentional. We are still uncertain.”

Theatre Cat: “For all the plonking significance it’s the good old two-lonely-people-odd-couple tale, which as rom-com writers know depends on charm. This Cranham bestows on his elderly character with ease; but Anne-Marie Duff is given a near-impossible job finding it in hers.”

Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle will play at the Wyndham’s Theatre from the until the 6th January 2018. To book tickets visit: Theatre.comTheatre Tickets, Love Theatre.comTheatre and Love London Love Culture



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