Following its sold out run as part of Bristol Old Vic’s 250th Anniversary season, Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville reprise their roles in Richard Eyre’s acclaimed production of Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterpiece, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. The Tyrones’ summer home, August 1912. Haunted by the past but unable to face the truth of the present, the Tyrones and their two sons test the bonds of a family caught in a cycle of love and resentment. As day turns to night and the family indulge in their vices, the truth unravels leaving behind a quartet of ruined lives. One of the UK’s leading and critically acclaimed actors, Academy, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winner, Jeremy Irons returns to the London stage for the first time in over ten years. He is joined by BAFTA and Olivier Award-winner Lesley Manville, one of Britain’s most respected actresses, who is reunited with director … Read more
O’Neill’s play has lost none of its power or resonance. It still feels as shocking and new today as no doubt it did in 1922. Jones’ revelatory and evocative production is not just beautiful to look at, easy to follow and enthralling – it also reminds that the questions of oppression, disparity and injustice which concerned O’Neill then are still pertinent. The world may not turn to the tune of industrialists quite so much in the 21st Century, but there is still a clear, powerful and rich elite and workers whose lives are made hideous while the rich get richer.
The combination of sand, water, and romantic moon makes for a touching image towards the end of the play. It is beautifully lit by the talents of Charles Balfour and, for that one moment, it seems as though the shifting, gritty presence of the comatose sand has been worthwhile. Dominic Rowan’s rascally Sid is full blooded and he makes the most of what the part offers. George Mackay is impressive as Richard, vibrant, compelling and suitably obsessive.
Ah, Wilderness! Young Vic 4 stars In his 1932 play Ah, Wilderness, Eugene O’Neill returns to familiar themes such as family life, alcoholism and thwarted idealism but it stands out among his work for having a lightness of touch and event moments of comedy. Set in Connecticut on July 4 in 1906, it is a nostalgic family drama that is said to be O’Neill’s reinvention of his own less than happy childhood brought up by a distant, drug-addicted mother. In Ah, Wilderness!, the central character of 17-year-old Richard Miller is roughly the same age that young Eugene would have been in 1906. But, instead of a dysfunctional family, there is a sweet, loving mother and a father who is stern but a big softy underneath, both proud of their poetry-loving son. The play’s charm is beautifully captured in a new, trimmed-down production directed by Natalie Abrahami at the Young Vic. … Read more