Categories Media Print Media Review The Goat or Who is Sylvia? Theatre

West End Review: ‘The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?’ With Damian Lewis, Sophie Okonedo – April 6, 2017

West End Review: ‘The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?’ With Damian Lewis, Sophie Okonedo

by Matt Trueman – Variety – April 6, 2017

THE GOAT by Edward Albee, Directed by Ian Rickson, Designed by Rae Smith. The Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, UK – 2 March 2017 – Credit: Johan Persson

A married, middle-aged man falls in love with a goat. Edward Albee’s set-up might be simple, but it’s perfectly positioned – silly and shocking and, at its best, achingly sad. “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?” deserves far better than Ian Rickson’s stagey production starring Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo, which plays the joke ahead of the emotional truth. As such, a play that should feel like a brain glitch, one that tap dances over all manner of taboos, emerges instead on an even keel, too level-headed by half. Albee’s tragicomedy throws every convention into question. Rickson and his cast cling to them for dear life.

At a moment of crumbling liberal consensus, uncertainty raging like a wildfire, “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?” is all too pertinent. Martin (Lewis) is a world-renowned architect, long happily married to a bright, breezy woman (Okonedo). They’re perfect bourgeois liberals, an interracial couple with a gay teenage son (newcomer Archie Madekwe). Their brownstone, in Rae Smith’s design, is a bastion of good taste — Eames chairs and exposed brickwork, a Bauhaus book on the floor. Martin’s just turned 50. He’s a bit out of sorts. And he’s taken up with a goat named Sylvia. They’re in love.

Lewis makes abundantly clear that Martin means no malice and poses no threat. He’s an unworldly, sweet-hearted soul, as helpless as he is harmless. He’s almost too soft for society, an intellectual naïf whose wife steers him through life. Right now, he’s unable to recall simple names or dates, and greets his oldest friend (Jason Hughes) like a familiar face he can’t quite place. It’s as if his brain’s been rebooted. When Lewis pulls up a chair, it’s like he’s forgotten how to sit down. Everything, in other words, is up for grabs.

Continue reading West End Review: ‘The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?’ With Damian Lewis, Sophie Okonedo – April 6, 2017

Categories Hamlet Media Print Media Review Theatre

Prince Who’s Fit For a King: Paul Taylor Reviews Hamlet at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park – June 15, 1994

Prince who’s fit for a king: Paul Taylor reviews Hamlet at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park

by Paul Taylor – The Independent – 

There are some actors who approach the role of Hamlet via a rigorous apprenticeship in parts that have more than a smack of the Prince of Denmark: Konstantin in The Seagull, say, or Oswald in Ghosts. One such is Simon Russell Beale who is to play Hamlet, at long last, for Sam Mendes. At the opposite extreme are those actors who find themselves pitched in at the deep end early in their careers and prove that they can swim with precocious bravura.

At the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, there is now an egregious example of this latter type in Damian Lewis, who tackles the role in Tim Piggott-Smith’s otherwise patchy production. Lewis has all the stage presence and captivating instincts of a Michael Sheen. Long-limbed, in a black bum-freezer jacket, he reminds you a little of a Dickensian hero.

Continue reading Prince Who’s Fit For a King: Paul Taylor Reviews Hamlet at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park – June 15, 1994