Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Anne Washburn’s adaptation based on the television series.
Broadway World: ★★★ “It’s certainly a show that needs to be met halfway, as well as not taken too seriously. Even if it does tackle social issues and ingrained human fears, the aesthetic elements of the play take over in a delightful display of theatrical artifice. Once the magic tricks start rolling and the slight silliness of it all is accepted at face value, The Twilight Zone is as enticing as it is captivating.”
Time Out: ★★★★ “But, for all its silliness, the stories in The Twilight Zone re lavishly, hilariously presented. Illusion, trompe l’œil and trickery abounds, caked in deadpan humour.”
The Telegraph: ★★ “From the outset, though, Jones and Washburn treat their version largely as a chuckle-inducing exercise in arch parody. Amid stories about cryogenically enabled space travel, missing children and vanished astronauts, all performed adroitly by an ensemble cast, stage hands in gas masks and boiler suits twirl umbrellas emblazoned with the show’s signature imagery and throw knowing winks at the audience, while aliens with massive heads deliver dead pan asides. It’s a riot of retro, kitschy sci-fi camp.”
North West End.co.uk: ★★★ “Trying to please original fans of the show and drawing in new audiences is always a precarious balancing act. Anne Washburn’s adaptation feels loyal to the roots of the show and as a newcomer to the franchise I can’t help feeling prior knowledge is a prerequisite to get the most out of the production. However, despite feeling on the outside, I want to get inside and so I’m now going to track down some original episodes of The Twilight Zone. I may not have fully understood the play, but it left me wanting to.”
A Younger Theatre: “Everything in The Twilight Zone is well thought out and highly impressive, it’s just unfortunate that the story couldn’t match this level of excellence.”
Londonist: ★★ “In a parallel universe, Anne Washburn’s adaptation of the classic US television programme The Twilight Zone is one of the best things to see in the West End. 1. It’s an evening of spooky short stories spliced together using bold stagecraft. 2. It’s all about politics, human irrationality, and fear of the Russians: as relevant now as it was during the Cold War. 3. It’s got that music. 4. Best of all, it’s funnier than the telly original — with magically-appearing cigarettes, alien costumes, and a barmy gag that nobody quite gets involving a ventriloquist’s dummy.”
Sardines Magazine: ★★★★ ” Suffice to say, Washburn’s occasionally tongue-in-cheek adaptation picks apart a number of stories from Rod Sterling, Charles Beaumont and Richard Matheson and interweaves them in such a way that one cannot help but get drawn in.”
Evening Standard: ★★ “But this interpretation, baffling more often than chilling, lacks momentum, focus and much sense of claustrophobia.”
The American: “As you’d expect from any production directed by Richard Jones the visuals and production values will be stunning and here Paul Steinberg and Nicki Gillibrand’s monochrome designs are lush. The costumes oddly combine both the elegant and the ill-fitting, reflecting the uneasy tone of the piece and the sound design and use of some of the great original scoring is also spot-on.”
Theatre Full Stop: ★★★ “The play is good fun, fan-service galore, with a cast of individuals that make you laugh, question the unknown and sometimes touch on something a little sincere, I just had hoped it would touch on it a little more.”
The Twilight Zone continues to play at the Ambassadors Theatre.