REVIEW ROUND-UP: The Starry Messenger at Wyndham’s Theatre

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

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Kenneth Lonergan’s play starring Matthew Broderick and Elizabeth McGovern.

The Independent: ★★★★ “Broderick excels at communicating mountingly significant silences, and the troubled interplay between professional integrity and constitutional self-doubt.”

London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★★ “Sam Yates’ production is definitely a slow-burner, but the slow reveal of the play’s intricate patterns is deliberate, finding both the poetry and the drama in the seemingly banal.”

The Guardian: ★★★ “Sam Yates directs with due care but, for all its perceptiveness, I felt Lonergan’s play would work even better on the screen.”

Culture Whisper: ★★★ “Matthew Broderick is magnificent as mild-mannered Mark – an astrology professor whose academic ambitions have given way to teaching posts at the local college and New York’s Hayden Planetarium.”

Time Out: ★★★ “There is a smart, poignant existential drama somewhere inside The Starry Messenger that struggles to escape the black hole of Lonergan’s indulgent impulses.”

The Telegraph: ★★★ “A play that wistfully acknowledges the passage of time and onset of middle-age.”

Evening Standard: ★★★ “So, not a starry mess. But it’s hard to be sure what the play is really about, and the languid approach makes for three hours of nebulous theatre.”

Broadway World: ★★★★ “The play takes its name from Galileo’s 1610 treatise, in which he described startling observations made through a telescope that challenged the Church’s established order. The upheavals in Lonergan’s version are far more intimate, but still seismic, thanks to his compassionate portrait of lost souls grasping for love, meaning, or perhaps just a moment of belonging in a fleeting existence.”

There Ought to be Clowns:The Starry Messenger looks pretty in Chiara Stephenson’s elegant set, making much use of a revolve and Luke Halls’ video is inevitably used to evoke the cosmos. But the infinite wonders of the universe aren’t enough to save Sam Yates’ production here, as it serves its women so poorly and skirts the dividing line between ennui and boredom.”

The Times: ★★★★ “Star quality shows in this entertaining life lesson.”

The Reviews Hub: ★★ “One would hope that, at over three hours in length, The Starry Messenger would have more to say about the human condition than “middle-aged men can have affairs and get away with it”. But there seems little else to take away from this.”

The Starry Messenger will play at the Wyndham’s Theatre until 10 August 2019.

 

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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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