Posted on 22 June 2017.

Posted in: Announcements


Another goodie from super-smart American Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, author of the brilliant 'An Octoroon'

holly williams, time out


'Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is taking London. The American’s earlier play, An Octoroon, is enjoying an extended run at the Orange Tree Theatre, he's got a commission for Nick Hytner's Bridge Theatre, and before that Gloria arrives with a strut.'

'A fast-talking, cynical look at office politics and the culture of creative ambition, Gloria isn’t in the same league as An Octoroon when it comes to formal experimentation; it sits comfortably in Hampstead Theatre’s regular diet of talky American dramas. But the dialogue is super-smart, it’s crisply funny in its relentless skewering of the pettiness and pretentions of a bunch of journalists, as well as offering – after a plot swerve I’ll try not to totally spoil – a more profound look at the way traumatic experiences may be packaged up and sold to the highest bidder.'

'Gloria is set in the offices of a beleaguered New York magazine. The privileged twenty-something employees snipe and sneer; there’s a relentless ambition for bylines and book deals, a desperation to get out – or at least get one over on your colleagues. The cast of Michael Longhurst's production are uniformly great: Ellie Kendrick is perfect as Ani, the 'pretty nerd' whose sweetness is tempered with a knee-jerk faux-friendliness. Kae Alexander is appropriately appallingly as Kendra, the snarking, self-promoting rich kid, who spars with Dean, a half-decent guy who drinks too much and is terrified he’s wasting away his life (admittedly, the sympathy does stretch thin at times…) He may be a bit of an smart asshole, but at least Dean – played with weariness but also warmth and wit by Colin Morgan – did actually show up to painfully empty party held by the office weirdo, Sian Clifford's creepily intense Gloria...'

'Gloria is always sharply entertaining.' 

To read the full review click here to visit Time Out online.


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