Review Round Up: Dear Brutus, Southwark Playhouse

Playing at the Southwark Playhouse until the 30th December, discover what critics have been saying about this production of J.M Barrie’s drama here: 

DearBrutus_WEBportrait2

1917. In a remote English village there are rumours of an enchanted wood. One of the inhabitants – a mysterious old man – invites eight strangers to stay. They all have something in common. When, one evening, the wood miraculously appears the guests feel compelled to enter. What happens there has the power to change their lives forever…

Time Out: ** “I’m not sure if Jonathan O’Boyle’s direction really makes the best sense out of a play that’s all over the shop tonally – he’s so eager to pounce on the comic bits that he goes too far, hamming the play up rather than trying to rationalise it.”

The Stage: *** “Director Jonathan O’Boyle and his cast get to grips with the heightened quality, and frequent shifts in emotional tone, of the material.”

The Independent: **** “O’Boyle’s cast excel in a welcome and cleverly mounted revival.”

The Times: ** “It’s a curiosity, this 100-minute period piece that often comes across as whimsy gone mad, except that it has quite serious undercurrents about the human character.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “Director Jonathan O’Boyle deals admirably with the play’s tonal disparities. There are moments of whimsy, psychological dissection, high drama and pure pantomime, not to mention a strong resemblance to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But by giving into the disorder and letting his cast run free, O’Boyle brings out both the script’s gems and some solid performances.”
British Theatre.com: **** “With its mixture of magic and comedy, this is an assured revival that offers some entertaining escapism which, although set at midsummer, is a perfect antidote to midwinter.”
The Upcoming: ***** “Hilarious and poignant in equal measure, this is a fascinating production that delves deep into the heart of human character and our potential, or lack thereof, for change.”
LondonTheatre1: *** “Overall, the show was performed with great aplomb, but in the end, the idea of getting a second chance is just pure fantasy: life is never a dress rehearsal, as you know. Still, fans and followers of Barrie’s works will find much pleasure in this well-directed production.”
Exeunt Magazine: “Dear Brutus surprises in its weighty articulation of fate, will and loss.”
Broadway World: **** “A hundred years after its first premiere, the piece is still resonating with the crowd, asking tough questions while at the same time exciting curiosity in its spectators.”
The FT: *** “It’s a play that exemplifies both Barrie’s tendency sometimes to be a gentler Bernard Shaw and his more frequent propensity for letting us off perhaps too easily.”
There Ought to be Clowns: “Anna Reid’s playful traverse design supports the play well but the real star is the haunting mood of Max Perryment’s evocative sound design.”
Musical Theatre Musings: **** “directed very cleverly by Jonathan O’Boyle.”
The Spy in the Stalls: ***** “beautiful, bittersweet, moving yet very funny play, there is more to JM Barrie than the boy who wouldn’t grow up.”
Partially Obstructed View: “It is without doubt an utterly bizarre play, whose deliberate ambiguity is added to by its constant changes of tone, but O’Boyle’s production wrangles it all well.”
Dear Brutus will continue to play at the Southwark Playhouse until the 30th December. For more information and to book tickets visit: http://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/dear-brutus/

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