Stevie: ★★★★ from the Independent

Posted on 17 March 2015.

Posted in: Theatre Reviews

Stevie: ★★★★ from the Independent

Stevie, Hampstead Theatre, review: Zoe Wanamaker gives a penetrating performance
By Paul Taylor, Independent

How many times have you seen a production of a bio-play about an author where the leading actor has managed to persuade you of virtually everything but the crucial fact that he or she could have written the works?

It would be an understatement to say that this is not a problem with Zoe Wanamaker’s wonderfully penetrating performance as Stevie Smith, the Bard of Palmer’s Green, in Christopher Morahan’s lovingly detailed and designed revival of the 1977 Hugh Whitemore play.

She looks spot-on – quirkily elfin with the pageboy hairdo and the shapeless crimson pinafore dress. But it’s the wry, astringent self-awareness that Wanamaker radiates and a kind of defiant drollery in the face of despair that convince you here is the woman who wrote “Not Waving But Drowning”.

Sporting a great leonine mane of grey hair, Lynda Baron is very funny and touching as the beloved no-nonsense Lion Aunt, Stevie’s life-time companion in Avondale Road. And Chris Larkin is effective in a variety of roles including that of the fiance whose crassness about their sexual encounter crystallises Stevie’s sense that her rhythms are those of friendship not marriage.

It’s a tribute to the play and to Wanamaker that the transitions between poetry and dialogue are startlingly seamless.

Click here to visit Independent online

Back to top
Most viewed
Latest from Twitter:
  • Hampstead Theatre @Hamps_Theatre

    🚨 Calling all Lighting Extraordinaires 🚨 We're looking for an exceptional individual to deliver all lighting, sou… https://t.co/5uJ9znX0Sv

    2 hours ago
  • Hampstead Theatre @Hamps_Theatre

    In light of the recently announced lockdown, we regretfully confirm that rest of the programmed run of The Dumb Wai… https://t.co/GKxHkOXkZC

    10 days ago
  • Hampstead Theatre @Hamps_Theatre

    Thank you for all your support and encouragement this year. We can’t wait to see you in 2021 - until then, take car… https://t.co/fJrQPyG8hL

    1 months ago

KEEPING YOU SAFE AT HAMPSTEAD

1 Social Distanced 2

SOCIAL DISTANCING

2 Reduced Audience Capacity 1

REDUCED AUDIENCE CAPACITY

3 MASKS REQUIRED 1

FACE MASKS REQUIRED

4 TEMPERATURE CHECKS2

TEMPERATURE CHECKS

5 STATE OF THE ART VENTILATION2

START OF THE ART VENTILATION

6 ENHANCED CLEANING2

ENHANCED CLEANING

7 CONTACTLESS TICKETS2

CONTACTLESS TICKETS

8 HAND SANITIZING STATIONS 1

HAND SANITIZING STATIONS

9 CASHLESS PAYMENT3

CASHLESS PAYMENT