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A reviews round-up Gloria at the Hampstead Theatre, London

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins spins a razor-sharp comic drama about ambition, office warfare and hierarchies, where the only thing that matters is moving up the ladder and selling out to the highest bidder.

A gritty workplace drama with biting satire and structural ingenuity that works well with the ferociously competitive bitching, Gloria was a well deserved finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2016.

Gloria is directed by Michael Longhurst and stars Collin Morgan.

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Read our round-up of reviews below.

Gloria runs until 22 July 2017 at Hampstead Theatre.

REVIEWS ROUND-UP

STAR RATING The Daily Telegraph

“Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s Pulitzer Prize-shortlisted play abounds with the sort of brutal straight-talk, honed by the illusion-dissolving acid of wage-slave experience, that’s calculated to make job-seeking millennials violently shudder even as they laugh.”

“The evening’s essential thrill is unmistakable: the sighting of a major new talent. It blazes bright, if not quite yet in excelsis.”

Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph

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STAR RATING The Guardian

“Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s tale of vicious infighting at a New York magazine should make most of us value our own workplaces.”

“Director Michael Longhurst navigates the poisonous shallows of office life with skill. Lizzie Clachan’s design is satisfyingly spot-on with all the essentials: water-coolers, photocopier, piles of cast-off paper. But as I watched, I felt I must lead a charmed life – the level of ambition, cynicism and viciousness is unlike any workplace I have encountered.”

“The play’s thesis is that we no longer like or really talk to one another at work. It takes a lot of talking to reach this cheerless conclusion.”

Kate Kellaway, The Guardian

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STAR RATING Evening Standard

“Slice of New York magazine life offers sharp satire and structural ingenuity”

“Colin Morgan stands out in a cast that is uniformly absorbin.”

“While a few exchanges lack real zip, the performances are absorbing. The pick of them comes from Morgan, the most nimble among a cast full of shape-shifters.”

Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard

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STAR RATING The Independent

“Michael Longhurst’s production communicates with scathing relish the ferociously competitive bitching”

“This gritty workplace drama about three ambitious editorial assistants in a national magazine office in Manhattan is another hit for American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.”

“Some of the actors reappear with aplomb in different but ironically matched roles and Longhurst’s production has a buoyancy that serves the play’s mordant verve well. Recommended.”

Paul Taylor, Independent

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STAR RATING Time Out

“Another goodie from super-smart American Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, author of the brilliant ‘An Octoroon’”

“The decline of print journalism provides a ripe setting – ‘why does it feel like we’re on the freaking Titanic?’ moans Kendra – and Jacobs-Jenkins is excellent on the cruel, cannibalistic cycles journalism, publishing and TV are spiraling into.”

“This is enhanced by the doubling of actors (with deliberately dodgy wigs), giving a vague sense of déjà vu. Still, if it’s a disheartening view of the way capitalism chews up human experience, and basic humanity with it, ‘Gloria’ is always sharply entertaining too.”

Holly Williams, TimeOut

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STAR RATING The Times

“It’s a slick production with dialogue that is Stanley-knife sharp, but it starts to lose its way”

“Office politics? Aren’t they the pits? But, also, if you don’t mind me asking, what do you think of so-and-so? I mean does she ever do any work? This play, by the young American playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, is about how modern office life makes you crazy. Intriguingly, his only taste of office life was when he worked for The New Yorker as an assistant/associate editor from 2007 to 2010. That strange job title, including the oblique, is his description, by the way.”

“This is the UK premiere for this play, a Pulitzer prize finalist in 2016. For the first third we are spying on three editorial assistants and an intern at an unnamed upmarket New York magazine. The trio are ghastly. Even the “nice” one…”

Ann Treneman, The Times

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STAR RATING The Stage

‘unsettling and invigorating office dramedy’

“The first half plays out like a darker, meaner episode of The Office. A trio of assistants and an intern bicker their way through the morning in the edit suite of a New York magazine publisher, fuelled by professional frustration, jealousy and coffee.”

“Gloria is just glorious, ultimately. It’s the second invigorating UK debut in as many months from an insightful, intelligent, impish and hugely welcome transatlantic voice.”

Fergus Morgan, The Stage

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