We round up the reviews for the revival of Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer Prize nominated play.
WhatsOnStage: *** “Dominic Dromgoole’s classy, spare production features an impressive ensemble, completed by Tony Jayawardena as Tess’s devoted husband Jon. Together, they capture the sense of a family desperately seeking digital solutions to their very human suffering. Reid gives a superbly understated performance in the title role, and her chemistry with Carroll – heroically appearing after a bout of viral laryngitis – is particularly affecting.”
Evening Standard: *** “Though talky and static as a piece of drama, Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer-nominated 2014 play is an intriguing meditation on ageing, death and Artificial Intelligence.”
iNews: **** “The second factor is Harrison’s ability to layer ideas upon ideas so gradually that we don’t realise how many intellectual questions we’re absorbing. This is a play about how memory shapes our sense of self; about the costs of love; about our hold over our children – and yes, about artificial intelligence. In the age of ChatGPT, we’re bound to see more plays about AI. Harrison sets out the parameters of a new genre boldly and brightly.”
Time Out: *** “In the end, though, I don’t think compelling ideas are enough to see it through. It feels both too short and too static, a lack of meat on the characters’ bones running up against the glacial stillness of the scenes. For a sad play about people in mourning, it never really feels moving. It feels overshadowed in this respect by its most obvious comparisons, like ‘Solaris’ or Caryl Churchill’s ‘A Number’. Thought-provoking and full of ideas, but it’s lacking in heart and Dromgoole’s austere production doesn’t exactly help the medicine go down. If this is the future, it’s a cold place.”
Theatre Weekly: “Marjorie Prime definitely leaves its audience wanting more; extra time to explore the characters in more detail would have made the chilling conclusion even more thought-provoking. It feels as if the play has been written in response to the recent release of ChatGPT, but it was actually first performed almost a decade ago, which explains some of the older references, but demonstrates just how prescient Harrison’s writing is.”
Marjorie Prime continues to play at the Menier Chocolate Factory until the 6th May.