Theatre Review: The Gods Weep – Hampstead

I remember the first time I heard an extract from a Dennis Kelly play – my ears pricked up and an interest was aroused in me as if I was a shark smelling blood from two miles off. His writing is real and compelling – it takes the ordinary and shows it’s dark side. So, going to see the RSC’s production of The God Weeps at The Hampstead Theatre, my expectations were understandably high.

A little longer in length and maybe slightly more surreal than his normal style, this performance was phenomenal from the opening line. A fairly large cast of fifteen and with each bringing their own strengths, it is hard to pick out one that particularly stood out.

Of course Jeremy Irons was brilliant as the God-like man Colm; Nikki Amuka-Bird was a fantastically twisted and tortured Beth and Joanna Horton is a wonderfully innocent Barbara, struggling with an internal battle of mixed feelings of hate and perhaps pity, or possibly love. However, Jonathan Slinger as the sickeningly power-obsessed Richard portrays well how far some people are prepared to go and at what cost it entails.

Naomi Dawson must be applauded for set designed so well, that it could so easily be switched from outside to in, bedroom to boardroom, with effortless ease. Director, Maria Aberg, used every bit of space she could, and not one orifice of the auditorium was left untouched. As an audience, you could not see what or who would come next, and from where they might spring.

If you can do anything between now and April 3rd, sell your soul if you have to, but whatever you do just make sure you get a ticket. The God Weeps did not only fulfill my expectations, it went far beyond them.

The Gods Weep runs at Hampstead Theatre until 3rd April 2010

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  1. Yer sell your soul to get a ticket, then try and get a refund afterwards, oh too late, the devil’s got your soul, D’oh!

    Worst play I’ve seen in the last 5 years.

    Simon, Hampstead

  2. I’m very surprised to hear comments from Simon Smith above there. I was entralled. Orphans was a tough piece to beat, but I wholly believe Kelly topped it!

  3. I agree with the review. Seriously compelling and moving. Kelly is a fantastic writer. I was lucky enough to see the review where the piece was still at its 4 hour long phase. It was beautiful and I was saddened to hear they were cutting it. Kelly is a writer who takes however long it takes for him to make his point. This is wonderful theatre and I felt everyone offered fully their potential, from cast to crew. Theatre should make statements like this, and be as captivating as this. Loved it.

  4. Basically, I went to see Irons. As I have never seen him on stage I didn’t know what to expect… Well, I think I expected him to be a bit stiff, star-like etc. But I must say, he was brilliant, a born actor, equally good at comic and tragic acting. He was an absolute partner, really funny and human in the scenes with Barbara. At the end, when it was over, he jumped up on the stage and smiled as a happy kid. 🙂 He was just adorable.

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