REVIEW ROUND-UP: Apologia at Trafalgar Studios

In Features, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Emma ClarendonLeave a Comment

Stockard Channing and Laura Carmichael star in Jamie Lloyd’s new West End production of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s 1999 play Apologia, which runs at Trafalgar Studios until 18 November 2017. Here is what critics have been saying about it: 

The Independent: ★★★ “Stockard Channing’s performance is magnificent”

British Theatre.com: ★★★★ “Apologia is a powerful, emotionally charged portrait of a family where a woman’s dedication to political causes and her career have forced her to make sacrifices.”

Carn’s Theatre Passion: ★★★★ “A well written intelligent play which held my interest throughout and caused me to reflect on it long after the lights came up.”

The Stage: ★★★★ “Apologia is Campbell’s third play and it has the hallmarks of an early work. It sometimes puts too fine a point on things and can’t resist coming back to say it again. But, aided by Lloyd’s direction, it’s also funny, defiant and moving.”

The Guardian: ★★★ “Channing is a serious, intelligent actor and even induces sympathy for the character of a seemingly monstrous matriarch. Yet her presence involves some necessary rewrites and can’t entirely resolve the contradictions in Campbell’s play.”

Time Out: ★★★ “It’s a solid production from a director who always entertains, but it’s not much of an apologia for the play itself.”

London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★★ “a smart, powerful and poignant play that earns its place in the West End.”

The Times: ★★★★ “Brilliant struggle with an age-old issue in a play that pits one generation against the other.”

The Reviews Hub: ★★★1/2 ” Its conflicts frequently feel contrived, but the cast sometimes succeeds in bringing a few sparks of truth to the table.”

The Telegraph: ★★★★ “this absorbing, finely acted evening leaves a pronounced taste of standard-issue “progressive” seasoning in the mouth, there’s still plenty enough to chew on before that.”

Variety: “There’s too little spark, though, and, but for the wry asides of Desmond Barrit’s gay rights activist turned gardening enthusiast, too little reason for a revival.”

Evening Standard: ★★★★ “But this revival, though restrained by the standards of usually flamboyant director Jamie Lloyd, has a satisfying vividness. With Channing at the heart of all its richest moments, it has plenty of bite and some big laughs.”

Theatre Weekly: ★★★★ “Apologia is most definitely a hit for Jamie Lloyd and The Trafalgar Studios.”

Theatre Bubble: ★★★ ” there are many questions at the heart of Apologia – it would have just been better to have them not so far distanced from the offset.”

Broadway World: ★★★ “Jamie Lloyd’s production is uncharacteristically unobtrusive – suited to the naturalistic material, but perhaps lacking some of his provocative spark.”

British Theatre Guide: “Stockard Channing walks a fine line between strong-willed articulate woman and one alone in a world that is leaving her values behind. Her speech on Giotto and empathy is splendid.”

The Upcoming: ★★★★★ “It doesn’t merely achieve what it sets out to do, it raises the bar quite drastically on all theatre.”

West End Theatre Guide: ★★★★★ “Apologia is darkly witty and intensely gripping, with stark relevance to modern society. Indeed, this powerful work offers a vast amount of thought-provoking wisdom to anyone who is willing to listen.”

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on RssEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.

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