Rob Brydon and Kenneth Branagh team up for Sean Foley’s production of Francis Veber’s The Painkiller. But are they a combination that works? The latest in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company season at the West End’s Garrick Theatre, The Painkiller continues until 30 April 2016.
The Guardian: ★★★★ Michael Billington found that: “It may not be to everyone’s taste but, in these sombre times, I found the show offered a restorative tonic.”
Variety: Matt Trueman said: “Branagh comes brilliantly, hopelessly, beautifully unstuck.”
The Independent: Paul Taylor wrote that: “The proceedings are enjoyable but rarely generate the requisite helpless hilarity and have a rather dated feel.”
British Theatre.com: ★★★★ Danny Coleman-Cooke summed the production up by saying: “With the dark nights still looming, it delivers an entertaining night with some of Britain’s best actors.”
Theatre People.com: ★★★★ “The surprise of the show has to be Branagh. He adds yet another string to his already long bow – this time as a master of slapstick.”
Radio Times: Claire Webb commented: “In the hands of adaptor and director Sean Foley, it’s still bleak but it’s also extremely funny because every sorry line is punctuated by a pratfall or comic misunderstanding.”
The Telegraph: ****Dominic Cavendish found that: “in the course of a delirious 90 minutes there’s not an opportunity for a gag, visual or verbal, that’s passed up.”
WhatsOnStage: **** Michael Coveney thought: “Branagh and Brydon play consistently, even ruthlessly, in character, and win laughs from start to finish.”
London Theatre.co.uk: ***Mark Shenton wrote: “It’s the opposites that work here. And it’s a lot of fun, though its undeniably also very slight.”
The Upcoming: *****Laura Ewing said: “The impeccable timing and liveliness that the cast and director have injected into this marvellous adaptation will keep viewers hooked until the very last minute.”
The Painkiller is playing at the Garrick Theatre until the 30th April. To book tickets visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, Discount Theatre.com, Last Minute.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com and Theatre People.com.