REVIEW ROUND-UP: Unreachable at the Royal Court Theatre

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

Writer and director Anthony Neilson’s latest work Unreachable, which stars Matt Smith and runs at London’s Royal Court Theatre until 6 August 2016, has been created while in the rehearsal room. Does this approach win critics over? 

The Guardian: ★★★ Michael Billington wrote that: ” But although Neilson’s play effectively makes the point that the movie business is a madhouse, it suffers from allowing one particular lunatic to take over the asylum.”

The Independent: ★★★ Paul Taylor found that: “It’s funny; it’s unbalanced by the egregious Ivan; it has yet to come together; and it feels oddly inconsequential.”

The Telegraph: ★★ Dominic Cavendish was disappointed, calling it: “a play about an obsessive film-maker which, entertaining gags aside, strikes me as a perfect waste of time and space.”

The Stage: ★★★★ Natasha Tripney was also positive saying: “Unreachable is intelligent and witty about art and ego, beauty and elusiveness. When it’s good it’s really very good – smart, sharp, hilarious – but it’s also a little choppy and abrupt.”

Time Out: ★★★★ “If anything this comedy about a bunch of dysfunctional weirdos trying to make a film is one of the more straightforward plays programmed at the Court in recent years.”

The Upcoming: ★★★★ “It’s a fitting way to mark the 60th anniversary of the Royal Court, the theatre that has always championed the experimental.”

Radio Times: ★★★ “Unreachable tips into panto, for some to love but which others will hate.”

Hollywood Reporter: “At heart, Unreachable is an enjoyably shallow satirical romp pitched at fans of Smith and Kinski, but not much more.”

Evening Standard: ★★★★ Henry Hitchings wrote: “The production feels as though it hasn’t yet bedded down, but that’s an inevitable consequence of Neilson’s impromptu methods, and the unevenness doesn’t stop it being packed with cracking one-liners and bursts of outrageous slapstick.”

Culture Whisper: ★★★★ “It’s rough and ready, with no doubt some ad-libbing, and even some corpsing, but so thoroughly enjoyable that it doesn’t matter hugely: this is a play brilliantly alive with its own conception.”

London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★★ Mark Shenton thought that: “it emerges as both a hilarious satirical portrait of the challenges of film-making and a metaphorical journey about obsession.”

London Box Office: ★★★ “The whole thing is irritatingly futile, self indulgent and devoid of depth but, my god, these actors are great and making themselves and their friends in the audience laugh.”

British Theatre Guide: “Unreachable makes a series of trenchant observations about the human condition and behavioural excess, as it draws laughs prior to reaching an unexpected conclusion.”

The Times: ★★ Dominic Maxwell found: “Unreachable is an ambitious oddity that is both full of wit and hard to believe a word of. It doesn’t feel finished.”

The Reviews Hub: ★★ “This is devised theatre at its most unappealing: shapeless, tone-deaf and superficial.”

Broadway Baby: ★★★★ “By far the best thing I have seen in The Jerwood Downstairs in a very long time.”

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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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