Review Round Up: A Very Very Very Dark Matter, Bridge Theatre

Matthew Dunster directs Martin McDonagh’s new play at the Bridge Theatre. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews…


WhatsOnStage: ** “without the brutal hubris or the brutal humour, the problematic nature of McDonagh’s play, often excused in his other work, has nowhere to hide.”

The Independent: *** “this determinedly dark and twisted fable is sadly lacking in emotional and intellectual nuance.”

The Telegraph: *** “The preposterous scenario of A Very Very Very Dark Matter, the latest play by veteran troublemaker Martin McDonagh, is nigh-on calculated to provoke howls of outrage. In fact the consternation he caused with his ingenious early mockeries of his fellow Irish, culminating in his satire on Republican terrorism The Lieutenant of Inishmore, may be as nothing compared to the ire he stirs up with this.”

The Stage: ** “What is clear, and this maybe the show’s biggest fault, is that it’s nowhere near as funny or entertaining as anything he’s written previously.”

Broadway World: *** “The play works best when it focuses in on that level of detail, and Dunster’s vivid production provides evocative elements, particularly through James Maloney’s music. But overall, this work – which Waits’s narration suggests we could call “a puzzle, or…a poem” – is too generalised, and its satirical methods too blunt.”

Time Out: *** “All this accepted I kind of enjoyed ‘A Very Very Very Dark Matter’: in part because of the Grand Guignol lunacy of Matthew Dunster’s production and Anna Fleischle’s gothic set, in part because Broadbent’s Andersen is kind of brilliant, a feckless, infantile buffoon with a hysterical sense of entitlement (considering his entire career is based upon an enormous lie) who is, nonetheless, perversely loveable in his sweetly naive complacency.”

British **** “Boldly directed by Matthew Dunster, this gothic fable is told against the haunting backdrop of Andersen’s attic, filled with near life-size puppets, all strikingly designed by Anna Fleischle and uncannily lit by Philip Gladwell. It contributes to an unforgettably grotesque vision that borders on nightmare, leaving you unsettled and uncomfortable despite the pleasure of the play’s broad comedy.”

The Guardian: **** “It’s a play you will either like or loathe. For me, it confirms that McDonagh is a genuine original with a talent to disturb.”

Evening Standard: ** “The highlights of Matthew Dunster’s energetic production are Anna Fleischle’s impressively detailed design and newcomer Johnetta Eula’Mae Ackles, who brings a discerning dignity to Mbute. Otherwise, despite a handful of smart jokes, this strenuously dark matter proves unsatisfying — and too obviously eager to test the boundaries of what audiences find offensive.”

Monstagigz: *** “Our problem with A Very, Very, Very Dark Matter is that, while McDonagh could be argued to be skewering the lazy racism of 18th Century Europe of the time, it makes for a very uncomfortable and politically incorrect watch in 2018.”

Daily Mail: “Save your shillings. This one’s a stinker – suitable only for theatrical rubber-neckers.”

British Theatre Guide: “As the title suggests, this is hardly a light and breezy play, although it has some extremely funny moments. The drama itself can be difficult to interpret but it delivers some very strong messages about man’s inhumanity to man, genocide, prejudice and very much more, all with an unusual literary veneer covering its brittle surface.”

A Very Very Very Dark Matter will continue to play at the Bridge Theatre until the 6th January 2019. For more information visit:




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