Review Round Up: Europe, Donmar Warehouse

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Michael Longhurst’s production.

(c)Marc Brenner.

The Telegraph: **** “The EU referendum – with all its attendant political ructions – has arguably made it more imperative than ever to shine a theatrical light on the state of the continent. But does dusting down a work from a quarter century ago help bring matters into focus, or merely flag up the unfortunate dearth of more relevant recent endeavours in the field?”

The Upcoming: **** “The production itself is an absolute spectacle. Longhurst really goes out of his way to make this a memorable event – and he succeeds in doing so. From the subtle but effective sound design (with Ian Dickinson) to the absolutely perfect lighting design (with Tom Visser), everything just works. Add to this an effective cast – with an especially powerful Natalia Tena – and you know you’re in for a ride. A tremendous success throughout.”

London Theatre1: *** ” The production plods along steadily enough, but it’s the set (Chloe Lamford) that eventually, and quite literally, gives the show some fire. And it is, admittedly, quite a thought-provoking piece of theatre.”

The Guardian: **** “At a time when our theatre seems fixated with America, it is refreshing to discover a play that not only reveals a deeply European sensibility but that also addresses the vital question of whether the continent can ever live up to its visionary ideals.”

WhatsOnStage: **** “It’s a terrific, powerful night, a great contribution to the debate that rages outside this little theatre, but also a notable beginning to Longhurst’s tenure within its walls.”

The Stage: **** “Greig’s genius has always been his ability to merge the macro with the micro. With deftness and intent, Longhurst’s production demonstrates how prophetic a text this is – a diagnosis from the past, a warning.”

Culture Whisper: *** “Greig’s Europe is a considered and at times profound meditation on the myth of European unity. It’s a smart and clearly pertinent revival of an intricate play that unpicks what ‘Europe’ means to its inhabitants, a question that is undoubtedly at the forefront for today’s audiences.”

London Box Office: *** “Britain’s oddly fractious and uncomfortable view of itself as part of a larger continent could have been better interpreted into the on-stage mix, but disappointingly, this is never quite realised despite occasional nods e.g. through the acceptance of Northern and other regional English accents. The piece feels dated, unconvincing and largely flat as a result.”

Evening Standard: **** “Longhurst’s fluid, intelligent production guides us confidently through this, with a fine ensemble cast of eight from which the two women shine particularly brightly.”

Time Out: **** “Longhurst has assembled a wonderful technical team. Ian Dickinson’s sound design is phenomenal: it has to be when the entire first half builds to the noise of a train roaring past like an alien craft promising a wider universe. And Chloe Lamford’s design is brilliantly deceptive: for the most part the stage is a shabby hole, with bits of DIY-ish scenery drolly wheeled on and off. But in the last five minutes… well, let’s just say she probably spent most of her budget on the last five minutes.”

West End Wilma: **** “Greig’s writing is powerful and presented here with skill. There are some wordy speeches but it’s worth listening to what’s being said as each character here has something important to say and a powerful story to tell leading to the finale that is a mix of hope and despair.”

Broadway World: ***** “Thanks to sharp writing and brilliant casting, Europe is one show not to be missed this summer.”

Europe continues to play at the Donmar Warehouse until the 10th August.

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