The Wonderful World of Dissocia

The Wonderful World of Dissocia Reviews at Theatre Royal Stratford East ★★★★

Reviews are in for The Wonderful World of Dissocia at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Written by Anthony Neilson and directed by Emma Baggott, Neilson’s cult play is a poignant and comical delve into the nature of mental illness.  

Neilson has said in the past about the play that “if you like Alice in Wonderland but there’s not enough sex and violence in it, then Dissocia is the show for you”. 

Leah Harvey leads the cast as Lisa, with Archie Backhouse, Leander Deeny, Michael Grady-Hall, Dominique Hamilton, Daniel Millar, Phoebe Naughton and Tomi Ogbaro.

Did the critics enjoy this revival? Here are reviews from the Standard ,Guardian and more.

More reviews to follow.

The Wonderful World of Dissocia runs until 15 October 2022 at the Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Average Critics Rating
★★★★

The Evening Standard
★★★★

"Deliciously free, bordering on random"

"This play of two halves offers witty jokes and a profound second act"

"A profane, madcap, Alice-in-Wonderland trip morphs into something much more profound in Anthony Neilson’s weirdly compelling 2004 study of mental instability. I’ve rarely seen a play made up of two such tonally different acts: and here a succinct and moving second half contextualises and clarifies the ragtag, playful first. Emma Baggott’s revival is grounded from beginning to end by a fine central performance from Leah Harvey, focused and magnetic amid external and internal disorder."

Nick Curtis, The Evening Standard
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The Guardian
★★★★

"Whimsical and brutal"

"At first, Anthony Neilson’s play is a bewildering affair, but its sombre aftermath imparts understanding with crushing effect"

"Anthony Neilson’s 2004 drama about dissociative identity disorder is a reminder to never judge a play at the interval. It is certainly tempting to write the whole thing off as we are dragged through the irrational and kooky first half. Everything changes in the short, stark, second act and radically transforms our experience."

"This revival more than stands the test of time in its portrait of mental illness – it is original, brutal, memorable."

Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
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The Stage
★★★★

"Exuberant riff on Alice in Wonderland"

"Energetic and engaging revival of Anthony Neilson’s surreal, irreverent exploration of mental illness"

"First performed in 2004, Anthony Neilson’s play is surprising, surreal, at times brutal. It’s an exuberant, foul-mouthed riff on Alice in Wonderland tropes that poignantly explores the extreme mechanisms we sometimes adopt to survive trauma."

"Director Emma Baggott gives the piece a clear, coherent staging. Keeping a tight rein on scenes of escalating panic and disorder, Baggott methodically ramps up the show’s anarchic elements, then pulls off a flawless tonal handbreak turn into the intimate naturalism of the second act."

Dave Fargnoli, The Stage
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📷 Main photo: The Wonderful World of Dissocia. Photo by Marc Brenner

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