We take a look at what is being said about Sam Holcroft’s play, starring Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting), Tanya Reynolds (Sex Education) and Micheal Ward (Top Boy).
Broadway World: ** “Admittedly it’s refreshing to see risk taking theatre that is unafraid to explore in capital-P Politics in a fashion that doesn’t reduce itself to finger wagging agit-prop. But sadly all A Mirror can do is pose at being the real thing. For a theatrical dystopia, this is Orwell that doesn’t end well.”
WhatsOnStage: **** “The direction is similarly knowing, but also direct and clear. It would be easy to get lost in the intricate set of subtexts that Holcroft is building, but Herrin’s vision holds it all together, allowing meaning to emerge without forcing it.”
The Guardian: **** “Shaven-headed and with a startling stare, Jonny Lee Miller mesmerises as Čelik and his variations, while Tanya Reynolds’s Mei shows an extraordinary range from meek to commanding and delivers a single line from Macbeth in a manner that draws applause. Micheal Ward’s Adem and Geoffrey Streatfeild’s Bax offer visions of idealistic young and cynical old writers that have relevance in democracies as well as dictatorships.”
The Independent: **** “Playwright Sam Holcroft’s study of how oppressive regimes can impact creativity may be closer to home than it initially seems.”
Evening Standard: ** “This remains a cleverly wrought, thoughtful piece, its tricksiness well-served by Herrin. Miller, Reynolds and the slow-smouldering Ward are excellent. It made me want to pull my own head off in exasperation, though. If the Almeida is dedicated to truth and authenticity, they can put that on a poster.”
The Telegraph: ** “Jonny Lee Miller is on fine form in this study of art and censorship, but the play collapses under the weight of its own self-importance.”
Time Out: **** “As dystopias go, ‘A Mirror’ is on the less harrowing side; there’s a reason ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ wasn’t about arts subsidy. But as a work of subversive mischief, ‘A Mirror’ is a triumph, a gloriously ballsy biting of the hand that feeds, which builds to a bravura final scene that suggests totalitarianism can almost entirely be boiled down to men who have a fear of being laughed at.”
The Arts Desk: ** “Jonny Lee Miller stars in a problematically dystopian story of creativity and censorship.”
London Theatre.co.uk: **** “Jeremy Herrin’s lively production includes a key contribution from cellist Miriam Wakeling, and a loving spoof of the theatrical process – including the semi-staging of Bax’s play, complete with a desk as a military barricade and former soldier Mei twirling a mop like a rifle.”
West End Best Friend: **** “A Mirror is a bold and unique play about plays. It certainly keeps you guessing and makes you consider the value of theatre and the importance of free speech in society.”
The Stage: **** “Jonny Lee Miller heads a starry cast in this sharp satire about state censorship.”
All That Dazzles: **** “Remarkable in its execution and distinctly different to anything else that is out there, this production took a risk that paid off completely, leaving me with an unforgettable experience. A Mirror really is smashing!”
A Mirror continues to play at the Almeida theatre until the 23rd September.