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A reviews round-up for Harlequinade / All On Her Own at the Garrick Theatre.

The Terence Rattigan double bill Harlequinade / All On Her Own opened alongside The Winter’s Tale this week and unlike The Winter’s Tale, critics have been divided on all but one thing – it’s a good dose of farcical froth. This never-before-seen double bill celebrates the contrast in Rattigan’s astonishing range and Zoë Wanamaker excels in her brief but powerfully atmospheric monologue All On Her Own and as Dame Maud an acidic old-hand in Harlequinade.

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REVIEWS ROUND-UP

STAR RATING The Guardian

“Zoë Wanamaker is in soul-baring form in Rattigan double-bill depicting the actor-manager tradition the Branagh season is designed to subvert.” Michael Billington

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STAR RATING Time Out

“This sparkling Terence Rattigan double bill is the strongest of the opening plays in Kenneth Branagh’s West End season” “Branagh is genuinely fantastic”
“Wanamaker’s performance is a miniature tour de force as she mercilessly drives herself to confront the failings of her marriage and her culpability for them.” Andrzej Lukowski

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STAR RATING Evening Standard

“Branagh brings a rich sense of the ludicrous to the preening, pompous Arthur Gosport, who mangles every Shakespearean phrase he utters and has the sword-fighting skills of a clumsy child. Raison revels in the egomania of his wife Edna, and around them swirl a succession of hapless bit-part performers, with the most enjoyable support coming from Tom Bateman as the stressed-out stage manager and Hadley Fraser as an extra intent on milking his chance of a moment in the limelight.” Henry Hitchings

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STAR RATING The Stage

“A double bill of lesser-known Rattigans doesn’t make for any entirely satisfying theatrical meal, though the individual ingredients are tasty enough” Mark Shenton

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STAR RATING The Times

“It’s an odd proposition, this double bill, one cameo and one play, without an interval. The link is the author, Terence Rattigan, and the actress, Zoë Wanamaker. Wanamaker is terrific, funny and vulnerable, slapstick and sad.”

“Harlequinade is amusing in its sit-com way, pleasant enough froth. But if I’d had a channel changer I would have used it a few times. Branagh sends himself up as Romeo (“Am I too old?” he preens). But it feels very odd watching this, having just seen him ham it up in The Winter’s Tale. I would try and figure it out, but I am not Freud.  It is Wanamaker who saves this one. She is Dame Maud, the dipso aunt who prances around in her motley fur and the wildest nun’s wimple ever. Branagh is lucky to have her.” Ann Treneman

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STAR RATING The Daily Telegraph

“farcical froth – An ensemble of 17 gallantly whip up the farcical froth: whether it’s Zoe Wanamaker as an acidic old-hand; Tom Bateman as the frantic yet unfailingly polite SM; or Hadley Fraser as the stage-struck halberdier, who only has one line and mangles it” Dominic Cavendish

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