Posted on 7 September 2018.

Posted in:


The Humans, Hampstead Theatre review - a riveting family portrait


'Transatlantic theatrical traffic is busier than ever, and now here at the Hampstead is not just Stephen Karam’s Tony-winning play, first seen in 2015, but director Joe Mantello and his full Broadway cast. It seems fitting that they should travel together, sinceKaram’s work is so dependent upon a company – as they do here – capturing the intricate rhythms of family, until the rich naturalism begins to convey something profound.'

'The chilly, duplex Chinatown apartment – superbly conjured by David Zinn’s two-level design – similarly works as the realistic backdrop for squabbles that often stray into real estate, money and New York itself, as well as reflecting the family’s psychological turmoil and a foray into the ghostly.'

'Birney and Houdyshell (both Tony winners in these roles) pull off the theatrical magic trick of total but understated sincerity – you groan at and sympathise with their well-meaning pair, until you’ve reached a level of investment that makes the latter part of the play acutely painful. A very funny Houdyshell lifts the veil of Deirdre’s stubborn certainty to show how small barbs sting, while Birney builds his textured portrait to a climax of emotional might.'

'There’s superb work, too, from Beck as wry Aimee, determined not to be defined by illness, and yet even more ravaged by loneliness; Steele as the assured, outspoken Brigid, whose quick mind doesn’t help her to understand or connect with her parents; Klein’s remarkably nuanced performance as Momo, scattered speech echoing the familys miscommunications; and Moayed’s Richard, the would-be peacemaker whose kindness nevertheless tips into condescension.'

To read the full review click here to visit The Arts Desk online


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

    Bake Off fans - Lottie Bedlow used to work as our Line Producer from 2014 - 2017 and we can confirm her cakes are I…

    2 days ago
  • Hampstead Theatre @Hamps_Theatre

    We stand together in solidarity with the people of Belarus in their fight for freedom and democracy and join the ca…

    1 months ago
  • Hampstead Theatre @Hamps_Theatre

    6 plays, 6 weeks of epic drama. Thank you to all the artists - on & off stage - for allowing us to share your stunn…

    5 months ago