Review Round Up: Saint George and the Dragon, National Theatre

Lyndsey Turner directs this production of Rory Mullarkey’s new play now playing at the National Theatre. Here’s what critics have been saying about it:


A village. A dragon. A damsel in distress.

Into the story walks George: wandering knight, freedom fighter, enemy of tyrants the world over. One epic battle later and a nation is born. As the village grows into a town, and the town into a city, the myth of Saint George, which once brought a people together, threatens to divide them. Rory Mullarkey creates a new folk tale for an uneasy nation.

The Guardian: *** “While the play has much to say about our shifting national identity, the means seem disproportionate to the ends.”

Evening Standard: ** “Lyndsey Turner’s production, with a lovely chocolate-box design by Rae Smith, savours the writing’s oddities. But its charm wears thin. Too few of the characters are well defined, and its lack of focus makes it feel improvised and aimless.”

Time Out: *** “Ultimately ‘Saint George and the Dragon’ is a fairly preposterous play that I enjoyed quite a lot.”

Broadway World: ** “While entertaining, this just isn’t enough. This Saint George and the Dragon is a man, a myth, a mess.”

London ** “Rory Mullarkey offers an appropriately larky stage version of the legend of Saint George and the Dragon.”

Culture Whisper: ** “With an uninspired stage-set, underdeveloped stock characters and cheap-looking stage effects, George and the Dragon has a distinctly amateur feel about it.”

The Upcoming: *** “It’s a strange, inconsistent, overlong spectacle.”

WhatsOnStage: ** “Lyndsey Turner’s production can’t decide whether to send itself up or not; neither silly enough to raise riotous laughter, nor serious enough to push past naivety.”

The Telegraph: *** “The gags and drama aren’t in plentiful enough supply to justify the long first half, yet stick with it and the sting in the tale is sharp enough, with an obvious Brexity twist.”

British Theatre Guide: “Director Lyndsey Turner might have been well advised to consider whether the text could have been cut, since the plotting can get a little repetitive even though the messages about England in the past and more particularly today come across loud and clear.”

Gay Times: *** “Saint George and the Dragon provides a lightly comedic take on a historic story – with added serious points to consider. Although somewhat slightly repetitive, it’s detailed and fine performances, and set that’s easy on the eye, that makes the trip to the theatre worthwhile.”

City Am:** “Over-long and increasingly sanctimonious, it all sags terribly by the end.”

The FT: ** “this inconsistent dragon-drama runs out of puff.”

The Daily Mail: * “Is Mullarkey trying to say something about Brexit (I was not sure if he was pro or agin) and the ravages of progress? Clarity is not one of the evening’s merits. Nor is brevity.”

George and the Dragon continues to play at the National Theatre until the 2nd December. For more information visit:

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