Review Round Up: Force Majeure, Donmar Warehouse

We round up the reviews for the stage adaptation of Ruben Östlund’s film.

(c)Marc Brenner

Exeunt Magazine: “Longhurst’s production gets at something about the couple’s alienation from each other, the plush grimness of the setting, and Tomas’ increasing desperation, in flashes which deviate from the naturalism of Tim Price’s mostly faithful script to something more expressionistic.”

The Arts Desk: *** “This tragicomedy about the consequences of a husband and father running away from his family when an avalanche seems about to overwhelm a ski-resort restaurant has been adapted for the stage by Tim Price and staged, with plenty of on- and off-piste panache, by the Donmar’s artistic director Michael Longhurst. It’s done well, on its own terms, but the real question is, should it have been done at all?”

Time Out: **** “Really, though, I supposed it’s less a story about masculinity than family: the roles we force ourselves to take on in a family unit, the compromises we make not to kill each other, the huge gulf between the people we are and the people we have to pretend to be for our children. It’s brilliant stuff, smartly articulated by Price; he’s not tinkered a huge amount with the original, but I’m reasonably sure he’s subtly updated it to increase the role of screens and screen time in the family dynamic.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “the play makes its mark as a study of all the complex interactions of family relationships. But in shrinking itself to theatre-size, it never quite finds the intensity to replace those mountain tops with a journey into the heart of a man.”

Pocketsize Theatre: *** “Kinnear is of course as is in many of his work faultless. He controls his moments on stage with vigour. Marshall grows into her character and allows us to both sympathise and empathise with her through the performance of a wife and mother both broken and holding it together simultaneously.”

The Independent: *** “The play trades in the original film’s darkly comic outlook for a more straightforward humour.”

All That Dazzles: **** “With a fantastic cast acting their thermal socks off coupled with some truly clever staging, Force Majeure really is a tour de force. Theatre at its finest – if you’ve ever wanted to experience being smack bang in the middle of an avalanche, this is the show for you. Wrap up warm and get yourself a ticket.”

Mature Times: “Michael Longhurst’s production, designed by Jon Bausor, is visually arresting and one of the pleasures is watching actors skiing on the sloping stage, swooping down from the wings of the theatre and off through the audience.”

Everything Theatre: **** “The language in the script seems directed at a younger audience, or aims for a less meaty but straightforward dialogue. It is witty and has an edge of darkness to it that would appeal to a light-hearted audience. There’s occasional foolishness, which I imagine not everyone would take to and might potentially find frustrating. In short, it feels like a Marmite situation – you either love it or hate it.”

London Theatre Reviews: *** “Whilst delivering a spectacle, the Donmar has stylishly delivered this thoroughly silly piece of text with deep undertones.”

Broadway World: **** “Nevertheless, director Michael Longhurst and designer Jon Bausor, have done a fine job in solving the not inconsiderable problems of bringing a film set on a large mountain and in a gigantic hotel to a small stage, adding much to the intensity of the central relationship, now hemmed into a space as small physically as it is psychologically.”

The Stage: *** “Tim Price’s thoughtful stage adaptation methodically explores fragile egos and unhappy family dynamics.”

The Reviews Hub: ** 1/2 “Full of colour, the Donmar Warehouse’s production looks good, but Force Majeure is basically an old-fashioned play about marriage where the drawing-room is swapped for the ski-slope.”

Evening Standard: **** “Longhurst’s production is as easy on the eye as it is emotionally merciless.”

iNews: **** “It’s bilious bourgeois crisis impeccably observed, an exuberantly enjoyable collision of snark and spectacle.”

Force Majeure continues to play at the Donmar Warehouse until the 5th of February.

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