Discover what critics have had to say about Jennifer Tang’s production of Zinnie Harris’s play with our review round up…

(c)Marc Brenner

Broadway World: ** “Despite the direction working against them, the performers garner strong chemistry even if they struggle to acclimtise to Harris’ deliberately jarring vernacular. The first act may feel more like a rehearsed reading than an actual performance, but the second half gathers more momentum aided by trippy lighting and sound that organically undulates to evoke the play’s elemental focus. Further than the Furthest Thing is not quite duller than the dullest thing, but it’s not far off.”

The Guardian: *** “Director Jennifer Tang’s revival of Zinnie Harris’s play captures both the timeless quality to the island and its seclusion.”

Evening Standard: **** “Tang’s production is full of enough subtle moments to resist sentimentality. It’s a fascinating attempt to understand an almost-lost way of life, full of characters that are stubborn and smart enough to resist the tides of change.”

WhatsOnStage: ** “Jennifer Tang’s production is equally chilly. It looks wonderful, set by Soutra Gilmour in the round, with Prema Mehta’s clever lighting and Ian William Galloway’s projections representing the sea and the island in the first act, and a harsh, revolving circle of benches evoking the losses of the second. The simplicity of the costumes – heavy cut cloth for the islanders, a white suit for Mr Hansen – is carefully and cleverly revealing. But for all the care and attention lavished upon it, for me, the play remained stubbornly lifeless, as covered in ash as the island that it attempts to conjure.”

London Unattached: “The narrative of Further than the Furthest Thing could have centred on any one of these issues and provided a satisfying dramatic structure. But instead, the writing focuses on the relationships between the characters. There is no central sense of jeopardy to the drama and so the audience is left disconnected from what’s playing out on stage.”

North West End: “The Light design by Prema Mehta, scenographic design by Soutra Gilmour, video design by Ian William Galloway and sound design by George Dennis was breathtaking in recreating the ocean and the machine inside the factory. However, it was used very cautiously in the whole composition. Sometimes it was felt that it was too neatly distributed in the story. The parts with heavy aesthetics did not flow into the scenes with characters and drama. It was as if we were watching two shows that did not complement each other.”

British Theatre Guide: “The rich theatricality of such evocation is paired with a stark simplify in director Jennifer Tang and designer Soutra Gilmour’s staging.”

(c)Marc Brenner

Time Out: *** “For all that, it’s an eventually gripping almost true tale, the odd clunky moment easily compensated for by the dreamy poetry of Harris’s writing.”

The Telegraph: *** “First seen in 2000, Further than the Furthest Thing takes its fable-like tale of marginalisation to the Young Vic.”

All That Dazzles: *** “Ultimately, Further Than The Furthest Thing is a perfectly adequate show. An incredible cast, a beautiful production and some interesting topics made this a great show to sit back and enjoy. It’s just unfortunate that while it continually bubbled over, it never quite managed to explode like I had hoped. This production does have some great things going for it though and has a lot of potential, should the relevant tweaks be made. It’s closer to success than it might seem and a great show coming out of this simply ok production really wouldn’t be the furthest thing.”

The Arts Desk: *** “Although Tang and the cast struggle sometimes to find the music in Harris’s text, every performer makes a memorable contribution.”

Culture Whisper: *** “A sunken stage in the round recalls the island topography of Tristan, where Bill (Cyril Nri) first feels the volcanic tremors while swimming in the caldera. Ian William Galloway’s video design evokes the sometimes harsh external forces of the island, while, a bit predictably, long strips of fabric stand in for water. Director Jennifer Tang smartly creates a character out of the island through live vocals from the talented Shapla Salique, and allows Ruth Chan’s bare, aching music to texture the landscape.”

Reviewsgate: *** “The play survives the production but it is a close run thing. The individual performances are fine – Gerald Kyd is splendidly sinister as Hansen, who adapts to running things in civilisation splendidly, Cyril Nri as Bill creates a sad man baffled by a life he not only does not understand but wants no part of and Jenna Russell is a determined matriarch who will not be denied as Mill. The climate change risks are clearly enough set out and there is some gorgeous singing to create the mood from Shapla Salique but the seating is hideously uncomfortable and it does drag on and on. Island life is not for the faint hearted and neither is this production interesting and well acted though it certainly is.”

The Upcoming: *** “The pace ebbs and flows gently, at times becoming somewhat stilted and drawn-out. This is a safe version of Harris’s play, which competently captures the commentaries of the work. With the world being a very different place to when it premiered, however, one cannot help but feel its themes could have been further dredged.”

Further Than The Furthest Thing will play at the Young Vic Theatre  until the 29th April.