REVIEW: The Libertine, Haymarket Theatre ✭✭✭

Book now for The Libertine starring Dominic Cooper at Theatre Royal Haymarket

The Libertine is an enjoyable, but rather unfulfilling play. The Earl of Rochester is an intriguing figure, and Dominic Cooper’s is a witty and energetic portrayal. Yet in spite of the high calibre performances and tremendous dialogue – I lost count of the number of phrases I felt “I must look up” – The Libertine is a rather aimless piece. For all the philosophising and avarice, at its heart are two incongruously conventional romantic narratives. In spite of good performances by Ophelia Lovibond and Alice Bailey Johnson, these fail to draw complete conclusions about Rochester’s desire to love himself and others, and reconcile how such a passionate man could let his thirst for life slip away like so many empty carafes.

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