REVIEW ROUND-UP: Mary Stuart at the Duke of York’s Theatre

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

Robert Icke’s production of this Schiller classic takes up residence at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre, following on from another Almeida Theatre production Ink. Juliet Stevenson and Lia Williamson once again play the two queens, with a toss of a coin each night deciding who is Mary Stuart and who is Queen Elizabeth. Here’s what critics made of the West End transfer. 

The Telegraph: ★★★★ “can’t help now applauding the boldness inherent in bringing this intellectually heavyweight evening to a wider audience. It also looks, sounds and feels better in its new home.”

Time Out: ★★★★★ “Williams and Stevenson are truly Amazonian in these roles, bringing depth and strength to Mary and tormented charisma to Elizabeth.”

Evening Standard: ★★★★★ “Icke achieves hurtling dramatic momentum right from the start of a lengthy evening.”

Culture Whisper: ★★★★★ “the modern, minimalist round stage rotates to mirror the dual perspective and show the action from both sides, without overshadowing the plot.”

Broadway World: ★★★★ “If occasionally overwrought, Icke has wrested a vital modern thriller out of Schiller’s 1800 play: one teeming with spies and assassins, breathless twists, moral and political quandaries, and all-too-contemporary issues.”

The Stage: ★★★★★ “Robert Icke’s own new version of the play pulses with contemporary nuance (as did his Oresteia), and is staged with a dramatic sweep and urgency on Hildegard Bechtler’s revolving disc of a stage that adds another brick wall in front of the Almeida’s existing one.”

The Times: ★★★★ “Historical tale fizzes with energy as battle royal comes to a head.”

Radio Times: ★★★★★ “a scintillating production, told on a bare, bleak ominously oppressive stage.”

London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★★★ “Icke’s production is also galvanised by stunning support from Rudi Dharmalingam as Mary’s ally Mortimer, Elliot Levey as her persecutor Burleigh and John Light as Leicester, romantically entangled with both women. An unmissable event.”

The FT: ★★★★ “Icke’s stark, sculpted staging has a wonderful integrity.”

British Theatre Guide: “This is a wonderful opportunity for West End audiences to enjoy a cracking, highly accessible, revival of one of the greatest plays in the European canon.”

The Upcoming: ★★★★ “Mary Stuart is a cold, searing production holding strong resonance with present issues like the refugee crisis, feminism, idolatry, and the violence of religion.”

The Gay UK: ★★★★★ “The stripped back set, pared back dialogue and emotional intensity combine with two killer performances to make this a nail-biting experience.”

 

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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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