Review Round Up: The End of History, Royal Court Theatre

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Jack Thorne’s new play, directed by John Tiffany.

(c)Johan Persson.

WhatsOnStage: *** ” a play that is clearly heart-felt, yet curiously underwhelming.”

Exeunt Magazine: “It is clearly so personal to Thorne – and so strangely insular despite its nods towards Fukuyama, Greenham Common, and Brexit (mercifully only mentioned once), that it can feel like you are pressing a hot palm to a thick pane of glass, willing him to let you in, to crack the window for a second.”

The Guardian: *** “Thorne has written an alluring family saga. I simply wish his play had explored more fully the idea that, in the New Labour era and its aftermath, we have witnessed the slow death of radical England.”

Time Out: *** “Tiffany’s shimmering direction frequently distracts you from these shortcomings, with dreamy movement interludes from Steven Hoggett, a lovely electronic score from Imogen Heap and Gace Smart’s set, in which the comfortable kitchen becomes ominously holed and cracked as it reaches the rafters.”

Culture Whisper: *** “Thorne’s script is witty, wordy and full of wise nuggets on past political matters. It also successfully presents us with a dramatised version of the often observed shift in interests between the politically-engaged, outward-looking baby boomer generation and inward-analysing, ‘I, I, I’ millennials. Beyond that, though, The End of History… has little of relevance to say.”

The Independent: **** “David Morrissey beautifully conveys the maddeningly resilient side of the father, and he breaks your heart as he reads a bare, moving, Quaker-style list of his wife’s achievements before her funeral.”

The Telegraph: *** “The pity of the evening – directed with brisk precision as well as the odd bout of expressive movement, by John Tiffany (who also directed Cursed Child) – is that like Sal’s cooking, the characterisation remains slightly raw.”

Evening Standard: *** “At first the play feels like a flimsy comedy of manners, and it takes a while to become more absorbing, peaking when Morrissey delivers a moving speech about the sacrifices involved in sustaining noble ideals. His performance is brooding, and Sharp has a jittery verve.”

London **** “This tender, bracing and beautiful portrait of family life is a throwback in many ways: not just because it occurs across three time spans in the recent past – from 1997 to 2007 and 2017 – but also to the type of Royal Court play that reflects the tensions and disappointments of a lifelong socialist idealism and activism, and its multiple betrayals from Blair to Brexit.”

British *** “For me, the play needed more time to breathe and develop; maybe a full two acts with an additional scene could have taken us into the family dynamic more. But Thorne’s writing, as always, crackles with humanity and humour in many places, and see it for the sublime performances.”

Broadway World: *** “Yet for all its slick delivery, this is a play that makes its points erratically, and with too little support from character development. In some ways, it feels closer to a pilot episode or a pitch – more the beginning than the end.”

The End of History will continue to play at the Royal Court Theatre until the 10th August.

%d bloggers like this: