We round up the reviews for Polly Findlay’s production of Suzan-Lori Parks‘ play.
WhatsOnStage: **** “Polly Findlay’s taut production speeds through its almost three hours with control and concentration. There’s an awful lot to pack in and some of the plot developments – the publication of Ralph’s short story for example, and the suddenness of the shifts in affection between the women – stretch credulity. But the propulsion of the ideas is strong and devastating.”
The Telegraph: **** “Suzan-Lori Parks’s bold, unsettling play, here getting its UK premiere at the Bridge Theatre, hinges on a singularly provocative premise.”
City AM: “Much of the action occurs on Ralph’s shooting range, where guns both real and metaphorical are routinely fired. Lizzie Clachan’s dynamic set hints at the characters’ changing dispositions without feeling too forced, while Polly Findlay’s subtle direction helps the scenes clip along at times when a play of nearly three hours in length might have lagged.”
The Guardian: *** “Sharp, zingy and oozing a darkly witty energy, White Noise is snappily directed by Polly Findlay and holds us rapt, even if its central experiment feels sensationalist in spirit and too emphatically metaphorical as a plotline.”
Evening Standard: *** “The pace of Polly Findlay’s production ebbs and flow, but at its core is an icy determination to make us acknowledge our darkest thoughts and question our belief that we are among “the good guys”. Because we all think that, right?”
Broadway World: **** “White Noise is only the third play of Parks to receive a London production since 2003, and I hope to see many more, because she has the ability to craft plays that are packed with detail, nuance, clear intention, and imagination.”
Time Out: **** “It’s thorny and thoughtful, not nihilistic but possessed of a morbid fascination for the society it is dissecting. It’s also finely acted: Corrigan is hypnotically awful as Ralph, but it’s the sheer sense of damage that Ken Nwosu conveys as Leo that gives it its emotional heft, and Omole and Helena Wilson are great as Mischa and Dawn, both flawed and mercurial and less virtuous than they aspire to be, but also both representing a more nuanced middle ground between Leo and Ralph’s extremes.”
iNews: *** “Polly Findlay’s production is stylishly fluid, riffing cleverly off the audience’s predictably shocked reactions to certain lines. Prepare for noise.”
The Arts Desk: *** “”I can’t sleep”: So goes the fateful opening line of White Noise, the Suzan-Lori Parks play disturbing enough to spark many a restless night in playgoers who are prepared to take its numerous provocations on board.”
London Theatre1: **** “All four actors worked really well – with amazingly authentic American accents – and I really take my hat off to them for being able to bring such multi-faceted and layered characters out from the writing. The relationship between Nwosu and Corrigan as Leo and Ralph respectively, was particularly fascinating as they veered from “Bros” to “Master & Slave” not only in the same scene but sometimes in the middle of a sentence.”
The Stage: **** “Suzan-Lori Parks provocative play about race and power at London’s Bridge Theatre stars Ken Nwosu, Helena Wilson, James Corrigan and Faith Omole, and is directed by Polly Findlay.”
Theatre Cat: **** “Ken Nwosu is amazing as Leo, Helena Wilson every inch the liberal lawyer in a permanent bind of guilt, and Faith Omole beautifully evokes the irritation of a sophisticated black woman who, to get attention for her show has to “perform blackness” by playing the cartoonish bouncy diva her audience expect.”
The Times:** “It looks stylish and it’s extremely well acted — James Corrigan, Ken Nwosu, Faith Omole and Helena Wilson make a potent quartet of would-be free spirits — but Suzan-Lori Parks’s play about race and the limits of friendship (first staged at the Public Theater in New York two years ago) is also thoroughly exasperating.”
White Noise continues to play at the Bridge Theatre until the 13th November.