The Crown

The Crown
Alex as the Duke of Windsor

Saturday, April 06, 2013

"Untold Stories" reviews

Whatsonstage gives four stars and has this to say about Alex performance:

"Jennings affectionately inhabits his subject without ever slipping into Spitting Image territory. Bennett's soft Yorkshire lilt is so often imitated that it can difficult to listen past the voice to hear the words, but Jennings makes it easy. He skilfully plays with the quartet like a fifth instrument, at times involving the musicians directly to demonstrate his stuttering early attempts as a would-be violinist."

Full review at: Whatsonstage.

Fiona Mountford writes in the London Evening Standard:

"It's all there: the tweed jacket, the red tie, the pullover, the mop of blond hair and, above all, that gloriously Eeyore-ish delivery, if Eeyore spoke with the flat northern vowels of a Leeds upbringing. It’s almost as if the splendid Alex Jennings is more Alan Bennett than Bennett himself, playing the writer in this double bill of autobiographical “recollections” that transfers to the West End after a sell-out run at the National Theatre."

She also gives the show four stars.

Full review at: London Evening Standard.

Sarah Hemming of the Financial Times also gives four stars and writes: "In essence, this delicate double bill of short plays (which shares material with his book Untold Stories ) by Alan Bennett is a trip down memory lane. But few writers undertake such journeys as well as Bennett. Played superbly by Alex Jennings, who achieves an uncanny vocal and visual likeness to Bennett, the bespectacled author wanders the stage, summoning recollections of his childhood."

Full article at: Financial Times

Dominic Cavendish in the Telegraph gives five stars.

"Playing the author with sublime assurance once more is Alex Jennings. At first, in Hymn, you marvel merely at the impersonation. With fogeyish attire, blond hair and scholarly specs – a cross between schoolboy and schoolmaster – the actor almost looks the spitting image of his subject. You admire the Leeds accent and the mimicked mannerisms – the stooped gait, the gauche, hands-in-pockets delivery – but through a strange alchemy, this ceases to be an affectionate tribute act and it’s as if you’re in the presence of the man himself."

Full review at: Telegraph.

Kate Bassett of the Independent gives four stars and writes: "Nonetheless, he is a much-loved figure, and Jennings's impersonation is a delight – almost unnervingly spot-on. Bespectacled, with short back and sides, he captures Bennett's lilting and slightly bunged-up intonation without caricaturing. He leans forward fractionally at the ankles, flaps a hand inside his tweedy jacket pocket, or sinks into an armchair with his fingers interlaced over his chest."

Full review at: The Independent.

Peter Brown at gives five stars and says: "Mr Jennings brilliantly captures Mr Bennett's vocal characteristics, getting a laugh even with the first phrase he delivers. But he also bears a striking resemblance in terms of his physical appearance – the blond hair, glasses, the sports jacket with the inevitable jumper snuggling underneath, the tie, the slacks and tan brogues. It is the never-changing, sensible wardrobe of a neat librarian rather than a world-renowned author and playwright."

Full review at: LondonTheatre.

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