Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Collaborators: The First Reviews
The Guardian's Michael Billington has the following to say about Alex's performance:
"While I may question Hodge's arguments, his play has a nightmarish vivacity well captured in Nicholas Hytner's freewheeling production on Bob Crowley's zig-zagging traverse stage. And, if Bulgakov is seen as a reluctant victim of a brutal system, Alex Jennings memorably endows him with an extra-textual complexity. He plays him as a man ineluctably drawn into a pact with the Devil, who slowly awakens to the horrors of the bargain he has made, and who is filled with a sense of self-betrayal."
Billington gives the production three stars out of five.
Full review at: the guardian
The Daily Mail's Quentin Letts feels Simon Russell Beale's Stalin dominates the production but:
"Bulgakov is done with amiable dreaminess by Alex Jennings. Mr Jennings is always lovely to watch, even if he lacks some intensity."
Full review: Daily Mail
In the Telegraph Charles Spencer feels "this production will be best remembered for its dream-casting of Alex Jennings as the harassed, haunted Bulgakov and Simon Russell Beale as a Stalin who delights in playing cat-and-mouse games with him.
Jennings’s sweaty anxiety as Bulgakov finds himself traped by his tormentor’s devious wiles is superbly caught. Better still is Russell Beale’s Stalin, all peasant joviality, man-of the world practicality and sudden moments of unctuous flattery, until his eyes suddenly go dead and you see the cold calculating monster that lurks beneath the façade.
This is a truly tremendous double act which thrills chills and makes you laugh out loud - even though you know you shouldn’t."
He gives the production four stars out of five.
Full review at: Telegraph