Review Round Up: The Inheritance, Young Vic Theatre

Stephen Daldry directs Matthew Lopez’s play inspired by E.M.Forster’s Howards End. Here’s what critics have been making of it…


The Telegraph:***** “Stephen Daldry’s fleet, astute production, deploying an often bare-foot ensemble of 13 on and around a simple raised (subtly convertible) platform, is sparing in its visual elements and ‘big’ moments so that when they land, they land hard.”

Variety:  “Lopez has, in effect, written the great American novel as a stage play, and it allows him to double down on Forster’s famous maxim: “Only connect!” He retains the individual empathy of literary fiction, taking us into his characters’ inner lives, alongside the collective experience of public performance.”

The Times: **** “This is an epic work, a world premiere that manages to be both a panoramic story about being gay in New York a generation on from the Aids crisis, and a love letter to EM Forster.”

The Independent: **** ” Stephen Daldry’s lucid, remarkably involving production.”

The Stage: **** “Daldry and his cast, for the most part, makes the narration-heavy piece come alive on stage. It has that compulsive Netflix quality that makes you want to keep firing up episode after episode – to travel with these men as their stories unfold.”

Culture Whisper: **** “Though this storytelling format here occasionally offers too much exposition, the plot remains unpredictable and engaging into Part 2, held together with touching, heartfelt and often volatile performances from the excellent cast.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “You root for these characters as individuals, but their stories interlock with each other – and with the past – to form something like an embrace. It feels all-enveloping, and deeply generous.”

Exeunt Magazine: “The cast are, without exception, brilliant. Soller’s Eric is the guiding protagonist and is exquisitely endearing, and Andrew Burnap’s Toby is maddeningly pompous but somehow still charming. Samuel H. Levine gives nuanced and compassionate performances of his two mirror-image characters, Adam and Leo.”

The Hollywood Reporter: “Daldry’s direction is equally economical, focused on the movement of the actors as their characters conduct their awkward romantic dances. If only the same economy could be applied to the script. There’s a good play inside this.”

The FT: ** “All in all, though, this is far too much time spent saying far too little of any substance. David Lan’s just-ended artistic directorship of the Young Vic was magnificent in all kinds of ways, but this piece of legacy programming threatens to conclude his time here on a down beat.”

Time Out: **** “Despite being very long, it’s a jolly good watch. And yet Lopez does pull something transcendent out of the bag, a vision of a long, sad tragedy, of an inheritance lost,but also a firm belief that we can learn from what remains.”

Broadway World: **** “Lopez’s script mostly sparkles: it’s by turns sharp, hilarious and truly affecting. To be honest if you find nothing here to make the tears fall, it might be time to question your humanity.”

London ***** “Stephen Daldry’s masterly production, mostly performed on a bare wooden platform of a set that occasionally opens up to other vistas in Bob Crowley’s beautiful design, is stunningly moving.”

British Theatre Guide: “a deeply thoughtful and thought-provoking piece of writing that attempts to and frequently succeeds in getting to the heart of what it means to be young, gay and American in Trump-era New York. As such, this work must be regarded as a limited success that is worth seeing for the performances and its intellectual ambition.”

London Box Office: **** “If I can’t award it the full five stars it’s because of my profound disappointment that Lopez doesn’t use the opportunity to conclude anything more radical.”

There Ought to be Clowns: “As it is, I adored The Inheritance in all its sprawling, shimmering ambition and in that final scene of Part One, a moment of theatre I will never forget.”

Johnny *****  “It would be hard to imagine a play about young gay lives that speaks more eloquently to older gay men than the moving, informative and often hilarious The Inheritance at the Young Vic.”

The Inheritance continues to play at the Young Vic until the 19th May. For more information visit:



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