Review Round Up: Belleville, Donmar Warehouse

Amy Herzog’s acclaimed play is getting its UK premiere, directed by Michael Longhurst. Here Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the production: 


Americans Zack and Abby are bright, young and recently married. He’s a doctor combating infant disease. She’s an actress, also teaching yoga. It’s just before Christmas and they’re living the expat highlife in bohemian Belleville, Paris.

It’s all a little too perfect.

The Independent: *** “Herzog has an excruciatingly good ear for marital strains; the acting is terrific; and Michael Longhurst paces the show absorbingly.”

The Stage: ** “Norton and Poots execute the steps of the familiar dance of deception, double bluff and crack-up with skill and conviction – both are queasily absorbing. But they’re more than this dull-edged psychodrama deserves.”

Time Out: *** “Herzog and director Michael Longhurst give us a brilliantly acted but uneven psychological thriller.”

The Telegraph: ****  “Set in the run-up to Christmas, the timing of the play’s arrival in London feels apt and yet it’s hardly going to spread much comfort or joy.”

Radio Times: **** “It could be taken as an indictment of indulged, self-obsessed millennials, but it’s also a heart-wrenching, stomach-churning portrayal of a marriage in crisis.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “Because that’s what this is: a millennial mental health horror. Herzog captures it with empathy and eloquence. A couple stuck overseas, trapped in a bad marriage, rejecting their parents’ lives yet cracking their security – that’s a perfect encapsulation of a generation caught between crises.”

A Younger Theatre: “If Herzog had doubled down on one of the themes more than the others, we would have a play which has a more concentrated point to it, and subsequently hits harder.”

The Times: **** “Herzog is better than good at building tension.”

Exeunt Magazine: “James Norton and Imogen Poots are razor sharp at capturing the couple’s nihilism, flipping from winsome charm to brutalising barbs in the blink of an eye, and they are eminently watchable to boot.”

British **** “It starts slowly, and you may wonder what the point is. But you realise that writer Amy Herzog has planted the seeds very cleverly, and the skilful actors gain gasps from the audience as the mood intensifies.”

London *** ” It’s an anxious, edgy but perplexing play about characters dancing around the abyss of their lives and failing relationship together.”

Culture Whisper: *** “Though there are some pertinent questions raised, especially over issues of freighted masculinity and vulnerability, the play feels hollow. ”

The Upcoming: ***** “Michael Longhurst has crafted a well-rounded piece centred on the experience of two Americans living in Paris.”

Evening Standard: *** “Instead of exploring the complexities of the central relationship, Belleville becomes a melodrama, albeit a pretty jagged and twisty one.”

Stage Review: **** “Imogen Poots is emerging as a hugely watchable stage actress.”

The Metro: *** “But the apparent point of Herzog’s play — that no one ever really knows anyone, no matter how close they are — is hardly revelatory. And while the Paris setting might have given the play an exotic sheen for American audiences, here it comes across as affectation.”

Belleville continues to play at the Donmar Warehouse until the 3rd February 2018. For more information and to book tickets visit:

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