Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the Regent Park Open Air Theatre’s revival of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play.
Time Out: ★★★ “Compared to the brilliant US production that ran at the Almeida in 2014, McDougall’s Our Town feels chillier and more cerebral – neither of which are bad things, but it doesn’t always feel like a great fit with the Open Air Theatre. Saying difficult work shouldn’t be presented here is wrong, but there is no denying that this production takes ages to get going, and offers little initial comfort to the casual viewer.”
The Arts Desk: ★★★ “In a time that fetishises fast-paced narratives and rampant individualism, Our Town represents a moving and thought-provoking antidote. The sense, however, is that this is a production that still has room to grow.”
Ham & High: ★★★ “The understated inconsequence of the doings of doctors and milkmen, housewives and schoolchildren at the turn of the 20th century can seem mildly diverting rather than engrossing.”
The Telegraph: ★★★★ “The summer season at Regent’s Park gets off to an intriguing, counterintuitive start with a 20th-century American classic that, in its own way, is filled with a strange sense of the supernatural.”
The Guardian: ★★★★ “Although his play is not without its homely truisms, McDougall’s production reminds us of their enduring emotional force.”
Exeunt Magazine: “The result, in general, is simply one of boredom. It’s extremely hard to remain engaged when listening to the ins-and-outs of Grover’s Corner’s existence.”
Evening Standard: ★★★ “Though ultimately poignant, Ellen McDougall’s revival is short on energy. It’s faithful to Wilder’s stipulation that his work should be performed ‘simply, dryly and sincerely’. Yet in striving for an understated style, it slips into a rather sluggish vagueness.”
The Times: ★★ “The key to this play is to create an engaging sense of community, but that’s not so easy in a big London park.”
Broadway World: ★★★ “Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is possibly my favourite theatre venue – however this play doesn’t sit quite right in the space, and the intimate bond that the audience should feel with the characters is a little lost.”
Our Town continues to play at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre until 8 June 2019.