FEATURED SHOW: Mrs Orwell transfers, catch up on the ★★★★★ reviews

In Features, Inspiring people, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Photos, Plays, Quotes, Reviews, Sticky, Ticket recommendations by Press Releases1 Comment

With its starry casting and avalanche of starry reviews, is it any wonder that Mrs Orwell has secured an immediate transfer to Southwark Playhouse after its just-finished sell-out world premiere season at the Old Red Lion? We think not! The Proud Haddock production will now run at Southwark Playhouse from 5 to 23 September 2017. A selection of some of our favourite review quotes is gathered below…

Set at University College Hospital, London, in 1949, Tony Cox‘s new play, starring Cressida Bonas and Peter Hamilton Dyer, is based on actual events.

George Orwell (Peter Hamilton Dyer) is in the last chapter of his life with a severe case of Tuberculosis. He still believes he has at least three novels in him so to keep his morale up he promptly proposes to friend Sonia Brownell (Cressida Bonas), a 30-year-old assistant magazine editor. When Sonia learns that she is his only hope, she must decide whether to succumb to the advances of Lucien Freud or enter a platonic marriage with one of the country’s most renowned writers.

The Proud Haddock production explores the private side of one of the most public icons of the 20th century. This theme of public and private contrasts is reflected in the staging which reveals a hospital corridor behind Room 65, the hospital room where the action takes place.

Mrs Orwell is designed by Rebecca Brower, with lighting by Simon Gethin Thomas and music by Jeremy Walmsley. The cast also features Edmund Digby Jones (as Lucian Freud), Robert Stocks (Fred Warburg) and Rosie Ede (Nurse).

Mrs Orwell runs at Southwark Playhouse from 5 to 23 September 2017. Mates co-founder Terri Paddock hosts a free post-show Q&A on Wednesday 13 September.

Review highlights

★★★★★ - Love London Love Culture
★★★★★ – Love London Love Culture
Emma Clarendon: “Deeply fascinating… This bittersweet play manages to hit the heart over and over again thanks to two strong performances from Cressida Bonas and Peter Hamilton Dyer.”
★★★★★ - Daily Express
★★★★★ – Daily Express
Neil Norman: “Bonas quickly sidesteps her celebrity to deliver a fine performance that captures the cool efficiency and pragmatism of a bluestocking It Girl of the post-war period… This is smart, concise work… Mrs Orwell is well worth seeking out.”
★★★★ - The Upcoming
★★★★ – The Upcoming
Guy Lambert: “Tony Cox’s new biographical and thought-provoking play, Mrs Orwell, delves deep into the emotional struggles of the great writer and those dear to him during his battle with illness… Leaves the audience in suspense and awe.”
★★★★ - Everything Theatre
★★★★ – Everything Theatre
Polly Allen: “Excellent… The touches of humour and the strength of Sonia’s character make it an absorbing final chapter of George Orwell’s life.”
★★★★ - The Londonist
★★★★ – The Londonist
Paul Ewing: “Cressida Bonas as Mrs Orwell is cool and conflicted as the great beauty and potential saviour… Tony Cox’s script brings to life a time and a place with a mix of realism and gossip to entertain throughout.”
★★★★ - Reviews Hub
★★★★ – Reviews Hub
Maryam Philpott: “Tony Cox’s play is a fascinating insight into the latter months of Orwell’s life… Mrs Orwell is a packed with lovely period touches and references to the artistic crowd of the day.”
★★★★ - I Thank You Theatre
★★★★ – I Thank You Theatre
“Mrs Orwell is thought-provoking and immersive theatre reminding you of George Orwell’s brilliance and the dramatic era he wrote through.”
Mrs Orwell review - Cressida Bonas is persuasive as Orwell`s...
Guardian
Mark Lawson: “Mrs Orwell is an entertaining and powerfully acted literary anecdote. Cressida Bonas as Sonia persuasively portrays a woman pursued for her beauty but admirable for her mind and spirit.”
Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph
Tim Auld: “Hamilton Dyer captures the powerlessness of a once alpha-male now at bay. Wild eyed and furious, as if every minute spent in aimless chat is a minute of hard-writing time wasted… [The play] makes me want to find out more.”
Time Out
Time Out
Theo Bosanquet: “Peter Hamilton Dyer skilfully conjures the author’s eccentric brilliance… He is rictus with anguish throughout, his hospital room a suitably Orwellian prison. This pain and sense of literary loss provide the real heart of the drama, as we witness the premature end of a brilliant mind.”
Islington Gazette
Islington Gazette
David Winskill: “Cressida Bonas is wonderful… Peter Hamilton Dyer’s portrayal of this literary genius is superb… A worthwhile and enjoyable addition to the Orwell hagiography.”
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Henry Hitchings: “Bonas is at her best as she conveys the mixture of fascination and horror with which Sonia reacts to his insinuating loucheness.”
Mail on Sunday
Mail on Sunday
Georgina Brown: “As Orwell, Peter Hamilton Dyer is a compelling presence. Cheeks blotched, eyes unnervingly bright, he is feverish , not only because he is an impotent, impatient patient, confined to a hospital bed with TB, but because he is a ferociously intense character.”
WhatsOnStage
WhatsOnStage
Alun Hood: “Based on fact, Tony Cox’s absorbing, meticulously well researched new play depicts a severely tubercular 46 year-old George Orwell… In Peter Hamilton Dyer, we get an Orwell that entirely convinces as the fiercely intelligent literary genius… He is superb.”
The Stage
The Stage
Dave Hollander: “An intriguing account of George Orwell’s marriage… Cressida Bonas’ diffident Brownell is coolly enigmatic and self-assured Peter Hamilton Dyer gives a fine portrayal of the gravely ill Orwell.”
Culture by Night
Culture by Night
Isabelle Fernandez: “The powerful and captivating performances mean that Mrs Orwell is thought-provoking and entertaining, often upbeat and has moments of true comedy.”
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
Francesca Angelini: “Peter Hamilton Dyer is strong as an acerbic Orwell, capturing with vim the author’s contradictory attitudes towards socialists, intellectuals and the latest fashion for scanty panties.”
British Theatre Guide
British Theatre Guide
Howard Loxton: “Mrs Orwell offers the always-fascinating opportunity to eavesdrop on the famous in private, a warts and all picture.”
Please Mind the Blog
Please Mind the Blog
“An unexpected insight into one of the most famous authors of the 20th century, and beautifully designed.”
View from the Cheap Seat
View from the Cheap Seat
“Not mentioned in Mrs Orwell, but seemingly still a part of it, is that Sonia was supposedly the model for Julia in Orwell’s masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four… Tony Cox’s play does her story justice.”
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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.

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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.