Ingmar Berman’s masterpiece is brought to the Old Vic stage, starring Penelope Wilton. Here’s what critics have had to say about it…
The Ekdahls are a family of the theatre. Their lives are as messy and passionate as the characters they play onstage. Children Fanny and Alexander have grown up in this loving chaos surrounded by laughter. But when their widowed mother remarries the brutally cold local bishop, their world is turned upside down. In a battle of wills between freedom and repression, a story unfolds about the power of imagination and the endurance of a family’s love for each other.
Radio Times: *** “Director Max Webster’s production is cleverly and slickly staged but at three and a half hours, it suffers from a flabby script and too many set changes.”
Broadway World: *** “Webster’s three and a half hour creation is a huge achievement, and he and his creative team have really worked hard to capture the wonder of Bergman’s film. It may not always be wonderful, but one thing’s for sure, it’s certainly never dull.”
The Guardian: *** “But, while the production offers a fast-moving family saga and dispels the myth of Bergman as a monastic gloom merchant, it only fleetingly captures the magic of the movie.”
The Stage: *** ” Even if it can’t match the film’s lingering potency, this is a touching family drama, and a profane hymn to dreamers, players and tellers of tales.”
WhatsOnStage: **** “In celebrating the power of stagecraft, Beresford and Webster have made a truly effective slice of theatre.”
Time Out: **** “It’s an unusual show in many ways, but steadied by a first rate cast, I think we can call it one of the more successful creations of the Matthew Warchus regime at the Old Vic.”
Evening Standard: **** “Yet it’s when Penelope Wilton is at the heart of the action that this three and a half hour show gets closest to the expansiveness and enchantment of its famous source material.”
The Telegraph: *** “That the source material is rich and astonishing, you’re left in little doubt. Why it cries out for this format isn’t fully answered.”
London Theatre.co.uk: *** “as impressive as Webster’s staging is on Tom Pye’s set that is required to morph into multiple locations, it feels both episodic and earnest. But there’s also elegance and eloquence, too, in its portrait of this deeply damaged family’s life.”
The Daily Mail: **** “I swung between enjoyment and bouts of thinking it was all becoming a touch pretentious, with references to Shakespeare and the theatre world pushing it dangerously close to a sort of self-reverence not much better than that of the nasty bishop.”
British Theatre Guide: “Stephen Beresford’s adaptation works well on the stage and should appeal not only to Ingmar Bergman diehards but also anyone with a heart.”
Fanny & Alexander will play at the Old Vic Theatre until the 14th April 2018. To book tickets click here or visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, See Tickets.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Last Minute.com, Love Theatre.com or Encore Tickets.