We round up the reviews for Trevor Nunn’s 60th anniversary revival of Samuel Beckett’s Play.
The Guardian: *** “The fear and foreboding of the second half never quite feel sufficiently full-bodied, perhaps because of the big shift in tone from the first. Dwan’s performance is compelling, but there is the sense that there is a weightier, more potent Winnie lying further down, deep within her.”
WhatsOnStage: **** “The Bloodlands performer is as riveting here – her voice simultaneously hoarse and dry, while also being infantile and chipper. She strays from Irish lilt to clipped British twang, both haggard and full of joie-de-vivre(-dans-un-trou).”
The Telegraph: **** “Lisa Dwan, a formidable interpreter of Beckett’s work, has the audience spellbound in this 60th-anniversary production.”
The Independent: ***** “Trevor Nunn’s beautiful, deeply considered 60th-anniversary production offers a shock to the system in new and unforeseen ways.”
Theatre Weekly: **** “Happy Days, as is always the case with a playwright like Samuel Beckett, will not be to everyone’s taste, the abstract and complex themes often threatening to bury everything else. But this is an accomplished production, with an astonishing lead performance from Lisa Dwan that has to be seen to be believed.”
The Stage: **** “Captivatingly performed production of Samuel Beckett’s infinitely rich play, directed by Trevor Nunn and starring Lisa Dwan”
iNews: *** “Dwan’s portrayal of a woman in extremis is just as good as you’d expect from a Beckett specialist of her quality.”
Broadway World: ***** “This is a wonderfully engaging and deeply disquieting version of one of Beckett at his most challenging. It’s a glorious and compelling revival.”
The Arts Desk: ***** “Just when you thought you couldn’t take any more one- or two-handers, online or in the theatre, along comes the supreme masterpiece to jolt you out of any fatigue.”
The Reviews Hub: **** “Dwan seems less concerned with milking the comedy than with mining the tragedy, her every syllable dripping with a sense of rage at her character’s hopelessness. Her performance makes Nunn’s interpretation of the play much darker than many that have gone before, but, blessed with a rich Irish accent, she could well have found the voice that was in the playwright’s head when he wrote Winnie’s words.”
The Times: *** “With the country still semi-frozen, this revival opens at an appropriate moment. But then Beckett’s language is so elliptical that you could apply just about any metaphor to it.”
Happy Days continues to play at the Riverside Studios until the 25th July.