Longing: ★★★★ from The Telegraph
Posted on 8 March 2013.
Posted in: Theatre Reviews
By Charles Spencer, The Telegraph
Nina Raine’s production captures Chekhov’s distinctive mixture of heartache and comedy and Lizzie Clachan’s lovely autumnal design of a decayed summerhouse in an autumnal country estate conjures the Chekhovian mood perfectly.The best scenes involve Iain Glen as the lawyer, who like Chekhov himself seems terrified of attachment, and Tamsin Greig as the doctor friend who has long held a torch for him. Their scenes together create a truly Chekhovian atmosphere of rueful longing and the cruel inequality of love.
Eve Ponsonby is also touching as the young Natasha who feels pressured to make a lucrative marriage to save the family from disaster.
Nina Raines’s production achieves some virtuosic flourishes during a riotous party in the summer house, at which the feckless husband, played with a memorably toxic mixture of pomposity, foolishness and malice by Alan Cox, gets disastrously drunk, while John Sessions suggests much of the rough vigour of the wealthy engineer.