I wrote last night about my personal response (including misgivings) to Matthew Perry‘s playwriting debut, and return to the West End stage, in The End of Longing which I saw last week. And now the national newspaper critics have all filed their verdicts, which are – on the whole – so savage that the news pages have reported on their reviews too.
To be honest, I haven’t been able to bring myself to read them all in full. I don’t enjoy seeing anyone or any show panned, I really don’t enjoy it when the panning is for a piece that is so personal, and, as I explained last night and all those of the Friends‘ generation will understand, I really really don’t enjoy seeing it happen to Matthew Perry.
I hope that he doesn’t read them in depth either or become too disheartened – but rather that he takes on points of constructive criticism and keeps writing.
For posterity, though, as I try to do with big West End openings, I have rounded up the key overnight reviews below.
The End of Longing continues at the West End’s Playhouse Theatre until 14 May 2016.
DAILY MAIL – ★★★
Quentin Letts: Friends on the rocks. Matthew Perry, who played amiable but slightly dull Chandler in TV’s Friends, has written and stars in a new West End play. He has roughed himself up…
GUARDIAN – ★★
Michael Billington: Matthew Perry is a likeable actor who brings with him a fund of goodwill from his 10-year stint as Chandler Bing in Friends. In writing, and starring in, his first play he has stuck closely…
TELEGRAPH – ★★
Dominic Cavendish: Those who’ve followed his career, and his struggles with alcohol and drugs, might counter that Perry’s involvement is what makes it worth seeing him play Jack, a drunken, abrasive, louche…
INDEPENDENT – ★★
Holly Williams: When you hear that Matthew Perry – Chandler in Friends – is starring in his own playwriting debut in the West End, the words “ego trip” float before the eyes as inevitably as pound signs…
EVENING STANDARD – ★★
Henry Hitchings: The fact that Matthew Perry takes the lead in his grandly titled debut play makes it sound like a dubious vanity project. But this is actually a heartfelt, solidly acted look at fear and…
FINANCIAL TIMES – ★★★
Ian Shuttleworth: I’m Ian. I’m a pussycat, really, as reviewers go: I don’t ignore flaws, but more often than not, I forgive them. But sometimes there’s so little weight to a play, so little analysis to…
THE STAGE – ★★★
Mark Shenton: When was the last time a playwright made their debut in the West End with a brand-new play, without a prior try-out production elsewhere? The last one I can think of is Kate Betts, whose…
MY THEATRE MATES > THEATRE CAT – ★★★
Libby Purves: Its fame rolls before it: a debut play, premiered in London by Matthew Perry. To a generation of young adults (and to many far younger, thanks to ceaseless repeats) he is “Chandler from…
NEWS ON THOSE REVIEWS
Poor reviews for Matthew Perry play The End of Longing
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So proving to be a seasoned vet, Lindsay Lohan looked great on Thursday evening at the world premiere of The End of Longing. Posing for pictures at London’s Playhouse Theatre, the…