REVIEW ROUND-UP: The Wild Duck at Almeida Theatre

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

Robert Icke offers a new interpretation of Henrik Ibsen’s play examining the nature of truth. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews… 

The Guardian★★ “Ibsen was a better dramatist than Icke and, since we see this play so rarely, I feel audiences deserve the real thing rather than this parasitic rewrite.”

The Times: ★★★★ “Yet I cannot remember an evening that starts out so irritating and ends up so riveting. He has his wild duck and eats it too.”

The Stage: ★★★★★ “The combination of the nuanced performances from the whole cast, Bunny Christie’s design, a couple of moments of genuine shivers-down-your-spine theatrical magic and a real-life actual duck make this another exceptional production from a director (and adaptor) of incredible skill and insight.”

The Telegraph: ★★★★ “As an adaptor/director Icke’s form with reinventing the classics, most notably Aeschylus’s Oresteia and Schiller’s Mary Stuart, has made him one of the most feted talents in modern theatre. And despite the self-consciousness, the whiff of a lecture, here again the evening builds to a climax of immense emotional power.”

Evening Standard: ★★★★ “Icke’s triumphant march through the theatrical canon continues.”

Time Out: ★★★★★ “Toss in across-the-board great performances, a nifty soundtrack, a deceptively simple set from Bunny Christie with one tremendous surprise, and an actual live duck and Robert Icke has only gone and done it again – another classic not so much ‘updated’ as fully realised for our times.”

Broadway World: ★★★★ “I’m not sure Ibsen intended the comic to be quite as subterranean as Icke’s adaptation buries it, but we’re seeing a play for today and not for the 19th century, as we’re told at the very start.”

Exeunt Magazine: “Watching the earlier parts of The Wild Duck is deliberately frustrating. It feels like Icke is holding a big bag of sweeties labelled ‘theatre’, but he’ll only give you one jelly baby at a time, sometimes snatching away the rest of the body just as your teeth sink into the head. ”

Radio Times:  ★★★★ “The performances are uniformly superb. Ibsen was an early pioneer of naturalism, and the sense in which the people up on stage seem to be among us is palpable.”

The Upcoming: ★★★★ “Here Henrik Ibsen’s classic becomes wrapped in commentary, a combination of actor’s workshop, director’s cut DVD extra and lecture. And while that sounds insufferable on paper, as with seemingly everything Icke does it blossoms into something rather revealing.”

The Wild Duck continues to play at the Almeida Theatre until 1 December 2018.

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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 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.