FEATURED SHOW: What Shadows at the Park Theatre, ★★★★ reviews are in!

In Features, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays, Reviews, Sticky, Ticket recommendations, Touring by Press ReleasesLeave a Comment

Have you booked yet to see Ian McDiarmid in “the performance of the year” as Enoch Powell in Chris Hannan’s explosive new drama What Shadows? The world premiere production, transferred from Birmingham Rep, continues at London’s Park Theatre until 28 October 2017. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite review quotes and Twitter buzz for the show…

Ahead of the 50th anniversary of Enoch Powell‘s infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech, made in Birmingham in 1968, What Shadows tells the story behind the speech, bringing to life the community that inspired it and, 30 years later, its effects on a woman trying to make sense of her life.

Oxford academic and daughter of a Caribbean immigrant, Rose Cruickshank wants answers. Enoch’s controversial words about immigration shattered her childhood. Rose cannot find inner peace until she understands what led him to make the speech that defined a generation. Will a meeting with the man himself give her the answers she desperately craves?

Ian McDiarmid, playing Powell, is joined in the cast by: Amelia Donkor as Rose Cruickshank and Joyce Cruickshank, as well as Nicholas Le Prevost as Clem Jones, Paula Wilcox as Grace Hughes and Marjorie Jones, Waleed Akhtar as Saeed, Ameet Chana as Sultan and Doctor Sharma, and Joanne Pearce as Sofia and Pamela. The production is directed by Birmingham Rep artistic director Roxana Silbert and designed by Ti Green.

What Shadows continues at London’s Park Theatre until 28 October 2017.


Review highlights

★★★★★ - The Times
★★★★★ – The Times
Ann Treneman: “Ian McDiarmid gives a standout performance as Powell… This play does not mince words. Some are offensive, yet Hannan isn’t interested in political correctness but in getting to the core of a story, not just about Powell but of England.”
★★★★ - Telegraph
★★★★ – Telegraph
Dominic Cavendish: “How chilling to hear those [River of Blood] sentiments of foreboding as if new-minted… Does this re-enactment, which sits at the heart of Chris Hannan’s new play about the episode and its legacy, rank as the most provocative theatrical act of the decade? I’d say so.”
★★★★★ - Financial Times
★★★★★ – Financial Times
Ian Shuttleworth: “Chris Hannan is canny in offering no doctrinaire answers but asking the questions with impartial rigour, and Silbert and her cast make a talky play compelling.”
★★★★★ - Shaw Sheet
★★★★★ – Shaw Sheet
Adam McCormack: “Are we all racists? Or are prejudices born out of an identity that comes from our culture and background?… A play like this inevitably takes risks… These risks are navigated successfully… Timely.”
★★★★★ - Stage Review
★★★★★ – Stage Review
Anne Cox: “What Shadows is a remarkable, tough-talking political play that will divide opinions and arouse emotions – which is exactly what you want from a first-class drama.:
★★★★ - West End Wilma
★★★★ – West End Wilma
April Delaney: “There is something incredibly chilling about seeing Enoch Powell’s infamous speech performed…. We are still living with its impacts now… Much in What Shadows shocks – not least the awesome and enduring power of language itself.”
★★★★ - Love London Love Culture
★★★★ – Love London Love Culture
Emma Clarendon: “A hard-hitting production of a play that knows how to pack a punch and gets you questioning about your own thoughts and attitudes towards racism and identity.”
★★★★ - London Theatre 1
★★★★ – London Theatre 1
Chris Omaweng: “Gloriously raw… A complicated, provocative and uncomfortable play, it is not always easy to watch. But there are themes and topics of discussion that remain relevant, almost five decades after that belligerent speech.”
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Henry Hitchings: “Ian McDiarmid gives a remarkably nuanced reading of the uncompromising Conservative MP… McDiarmid’s central performance is intricate and surprising.”
TimeOut
TimeOut
Alice Savile: “Ian McDiarmid is fascinating to watch… A meaty, ambitious play that sheds light on how social politics shape our understanding of history and Britishness.”
Metro
Metro
Claire Allfree: “A compelling performance gives weight to every paradox of a bogeyman politician misremembered for a single soundbite… Hannan’s fair-sided approach implicates everyone in our nation’s increasingly toxic conversation about identity.”
Ham & High
Ham & High
David Winskill: “Powell is played with uncanny and sympathetic naturalism by Ian McDiarmid and his committed, vowel strangled, almost grotesque, delivery reminds us that the speech still has the power to shock.”
Mature Times
Mature Times
Robert Tanitch: “Ian McDiarmid could be playing Prospero or King Lear. It’s a crisp, sharp, impressive performance and he is given good support by Nicholas Le Prevost as Clem Jones, his best friend, a Liberal newspaper editor.:
Camden New Journal
Camden New Journal
Julie Tomlin: “At a time when Powell’s views seem less comfortably a relic of the past than they arguably did in 1992, What Shadows is an important – and gripping – play.”
Jonathan Baz
Jonathan Baz
“With Ian McDiarmid’s interpretation of the man, he has quite possibly achieved one of the finest performances to be seen in London this year… McDiarmid’s performance… is the beating heart of this play… Compelling theatre.”
Broadway World
Broadway World
Debbie Gilpin: “Undeniably thought-provoking… the events surrounding the central speech could not be more relevant now if they tried… Ian McDiarmid’s excellent performance is worth the ticket price alone.”
created in Publicate

Trending on Twitter


Press Releases on Twitter
Press Releases
MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Press Releases on Twitter
Press Releases
MyTheatreMates publishes a selection of daily press releases sent to us by publicists of the relevant show or theatre. We are not responsible for any inaccuracies contained within these materials.