REVIEW ROUND-UP: Once in a Lifetime at the Young Vic Theatre

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

Harry Enfield makes his theatre debut in Richard Jones’ production of classic screwball Hollywood comedy Once in a Lifetime, running at the Young Vic Theatre until 14 January 2017. What have critics been saying about it? 

The Guardian:  “Enfield gives us a shuffling oldster who knows that his power lies in his position. His performance is one of the brighter features in a production by Richard Jones that puts visual bravura before verbal precision.”

The Telegraph:  “Fun at the expense of Tinsel-town for the Christmas period, then, but it won’t stay with you for life.”

The Independent:  “I may not be a massive fan of the piece, but I applaud this production as the best and least overblown account of it that I have seen.”

The Stage:  “Despite the hard work of Claudie Blakley, Kevin Bishop and John Marquez, the production can’t quite compensate for the fact that the central trio aren’t all that appealing or well-defined.”

A Younger Theatre: “All in all, Once in a Lifetime is a diverting evening of entertainment with some excellent comic moments, but suffers from a lack of depth beneath its comic surface.”

Time Out:  “in a season when even the pantos are banging on about Brexit and Trump, a piece of genuine escapism is no bad thing.”

Broadway World: ★ “Once in a Lifetime is an entertaining two hours that will keep you chuckling after the curtain comes down.”

London Theatre.co.uk: ★ “This is a play that should fizz with the excitement and energy of a freshly opened Prosecco but instead bubbles softly like day-old buck’s fizz.”

Gay Times:  “this is a big-hearted and charming story with plenty of laughs. It may lack a bit of oomph, but it remains a funny and entertaining evening of theatre.”

Evening Standard:  “As the madness escalates, Richard Jones’s production is full of visual flair.”

The Reviews Hub:  “It feels like there is a brilliant satire here just aching to get out of the can.”

West End Whingers: “But it was (as ever) Amanda Lawrence as a fussingly efficient film studio secretary who shamelessly stole every scene she appeared in.”

Theatre Cat:  “It’s a grand Christmas treat,  and there are some glorious moments especially in the second half.”

The Daily Mail: “if it is to move to the West End it will need a wider and deeper stage, less shaky sets and a greater commitment to at least a pretence that we will believe the storyline before its comedy-apocalypse end.”

Exeunt Magazine: “some will relish this spectacularly silly world of caricature and kitsch, but there’s a reason they don’t make ‘em like this anymore, particularly in Britain, and it’s because no-one like them. Tastes have changed.”

The Times: ★ “eccentric yet curiously listless revival.”

British Theatre Guide: “this production dilutes the impact of what becomes a mildly pleasing rather than sensational night out.”

The Financial Times:  ” With a little more oomph and the tactical deployment of an extra 10 decibels or so, this could elicit guffaws rather than chuckles.”

There Ought to be Clowns: “the comic plaudits of the night go to the ever-excellent Amanda Lawrence in a hilarious performance as the put-upon secretary Miss Leighton.”

 

 

 

 

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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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