The reviews are in for Matt Hartley’s Eyam, playing at the Shakespeare’s Globe until the 13th October. Love London Love Culture rounds them up… 

Eyam

The Telegraph: *** “At its best, often in maniacal, wild-limbed dancing (with soulful music composed by Orlando Gough), the play communicates the strangeness and dread of those distant times. At its worst, and I’m afraid I include the interminable final roll-call of victims, it feels like glorified home-work.”

Please Mind The Blog: **** ” A celebration of the strength of human spirit in the face of seemingly impossible odds, highlighting the power & comfort of community – a stirring watch.”

The Times: ** “I won’t say avoid this like the plague . . . but”

Evening Standard: ** “Adele Thomas’s production delights in the earthy wildness of the people — Will Keen’s reformed drunk Sydall is especially thuggish. Giant crows haunt the landscape, and ferocious disputes alternate with rough comedy. But interweaving so many narrative strands and portraying more than 20 characters means there’s a lack of focus.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “Hartley’s text makes some salient references to the power of community in the face of adversity, when disasters can unify through shared experience, and it’s hard to deny that Eyam’s got a great history to tell. But as the end of act one goes from fevered (and feverish) paranoia into a grinding sullen stoicness (there’s enough gravedigging to put Hamlet to shame), as well as a wildly miscalculated final ten minutes, Eyam never feels like it gets it dead right.”

The Guardian: ** “One hour into Matt Hartley’s new play, the bubonic plague still hasn’t arrived. The signs are very much there: Hannah Clark’s set is drowned in darkness, and human-sized ravens stalk the stage. But still no Black Death. That’s a shame because with it lies the natural drama bound up within this sprawling play based on a true story.”

The Upcoming: **** “a stupendously wonderful production with superior writing, a high production value and a refreshingly subtle handling of its themes and politics.”

Exeunt Magazine: “The sheer strength of the real-life story warrants it being taken in a bolder direction, because it really is incredible. ”

Stage Review: *** “Director Adele Thomas provides focus to an otherwise sprawling narrative, bringing out the best from a promising script.”

The Reviews Hub: **** 1/2 “Eyam may be a little lost on people who don’t know its history and it’s hardly a feel-good romp, but it has powerful writing, great actors and it makes you think.”

Time Out: *** “Adele Thomas’s production doesn’t have the razzle dazzle to style out so much exposition.”

Pocketsize Theatre: *** ” This is a hard-hitting, adult and raw new play that makes you wonder about what would happen if our clean water supply suddenly stopped and we all needed to really help each other out.”

Londonist: **** “Not one for the weak-stomached, Eyam is a gruesome, yet at times comical, venture into the 1600s.”

Eyam continues to play at the Shakespeare’s Globe until the 13th October. For more information visit: http://www.shakespearesglobe.com/whats-on-2018/eyam

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