Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the Bridge Theatre’s production of Caryl Churchill’s play starring Roger Allam and Colin Morgan.
The Independent: **** ” Caryl Churchill’s A Number, which tackles the very modern debate over cloning and genetics, is revamped by Polly Findlay in a brief and unsettling performance at the Bridge.”
WhatsOnStage: **** “a fine and superbly acted rethinking of a provocative and powerful play.”
The Guardian: *** “Churchill’s linguistic tics – of interruptions and half-finished sentences – create a hyperreal effect and enable Salter’s obfuscation, or withholding, of the full facts around family life. Morgan is outstanding in his switches between the three brothers, bringing a different energy to each one, while Allam plays Salter as a stuttering, deflecting, morally evasive man. But together their performances don’t quite fizz into the full-on chemistry needed to crank up the tension between them.”
The Stage: *** “Though Findlay successfully draws out the horror of the scenario, the domestic setting jars, perhaps not in the way intended. It weighs down a play that contains so much already, dampening its disquieting power.”
The Telegraph: **** “Now the superior A Number (2002), which came two years after Far Away at the Royal Court, gets a near-superlative hour-long reprise from Polly Findlay. Churchill conjures an ominous near-future in which human cloning is a fact of life, albeit in its infancy.”
Evening Standard: **** “This is the nature versus nurture debate minted anew. It’s almost exactly an hour long and the ending is abrupt, but Churchill packs more ideas and feeling into that time than most dramatists manage at twice the length.”
London Theatre.co.uk: **** “Director Polly Findlay’s meticulous and moving production fills the large space of the Bridge with a constantly changing parade of rooms in the family home (designed by Lizzie Clachan, who did similarly instantaneous resettings for Far Away at the Donmar).”
Time Out: ***** “Findlay’s production smartly avoids heightening the situation: it’s devastating because it feels so familiar.”
The Upcoming: **** “There is the sense that the production is trying to justify the use of the snazzy Bridge Theatre. The play itself doesn’t require a lot; the argument could be made that the less the better. So, it’s a problem that Clachan’s set pointlessly rotates between scenes, acting as an unnecessary metaphor for the play’s shifting perspectives. “
iNews: **** “It can be tempting to applaud the play as an exercise in formal experimentation with moments of absurdist comedy folded into the mix, but Findlay and her supremely nimble cast ensure that A Number lands with brute, knockout force. At the end, one emerges as ever stunned by the sheer breadth of Churchill’s imagination.”
A Number continues to play at the Bridge Theatre until the 14th March.