Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the revival of Mike Bartlett’s play at the Almeida Theatre.
The Guardian: **** “Hamilton gives a tour de force but she is not the only fine performer. Nicholas Rowe offers light relief as her ineffectual husband; Helen Schlesinger is both likable and offputting as Audrey’s accomplished friend; Angel Coulby, as the girlfriend of Audrey’s dead son, and Daisy Edgar-Jones, as Audrey’s daughter, are engaging.”
The Telegraph: **** “Rupert Goold’s finely acted production combines rosy-tinted pastoralism – lots of dappled light and lilting folk music – with flashes of characteristic showy excess”
Time Out: **** “Maybe there’s something here about how Brexit voters are willing to risk everything for a romantic obsession with a Britain we’re losing. There’s a heightened atmosphere, brought out in the clumsy hints of magic in Rupert Goold’s heavily stylised production, that makes it all feel like a fable for the heady days after the Brexit vote, rather than for the years of disillusionment and deepening social divides that have followed.”
WhatsOnStage: **** “no denial that it’s Hamilton’s Audrey who constantly holds the piece together, a whirligig of jingoistic enthusiasm that never for a second masks the underlying melancholy that shimmers below. It’s hard to fault the Critics’ Circle for celebrating her performance back in 2018.”
Everything Theatre: *** ” there was something tangibly disquieting about how this production appeared to reinforce the theatrical hierarchy of class and exclusion, failing to reflect the diversity of the city the venue resides in.”
British Theatre.com: **** “But if the overall impact of this Albion does not quite ring true, then we should look outwards for explanations: agreed, it is not easy to write like Chekov, but it is very much more difficult to have to live – and to try to make something worthwhile of oneself – in a once-great empire experiencing its final stages of decay.”
Exeunt Magazine: “Hamilton’s Audrey is captivating and hilarious, that particular well-off mix of frightfully polite and unbelievably rude. Sometimes she emphasises a single word (like “vital”) with such violence it’s as if she draws in all the air from around her in one go.”
Londonist: *** “Albion tries to follow the bone structure of a Chekhov but lacks the same finesse. Ultimately it’s more Doctor Foster than Uncle Vanya.”
Broadway World: **** “Buether’s exquisite set consists of a single stately tree and countless flowers, and, with Neil Austin’s tender lighting, evokes the garden that means so much to some and not much to others. It’s a plot of land where the past can be revived, ghosts summoned, and grief lessened. But it’s also where friendships dissolve, bonds melt away, and new lines are drawn. It’s a tricky place, but rest assured that Bartlett’s masterful play knows how to cultivate it.”
Evening Standard: **** “Goold has again assembled a strong cast, but it is again dominated by Hamilton who seems to have invented a whole new range of vocal, facial and physical mannerisms for Audrey. She’s a magnificent, monstrous creation, and this is a landmark performance.”
Albion will play at the Almeida Theatre until the 28th February.