Kerry Jackson reviews – National Theatre ★★

Reviews are in for Kerry Jackson at the National Theatre in London.

TV actor Fay Ripley (Doc Martin, Cold Feet) stars in the title role of April De Angelis’ (My Brilliant Friend) new comedy which is directed by Indhu Rubasingham (The Father and the Assassin, The Great Wave).

Billed as a comedy, the play centres on Kerry Jackson a woman following her dreams to open a tapas restaurant. Wearing her working-class roots as a badge of honour, Kerry navigates the local characters in a bid to make the business a success – without losing herself in the process.

The cast features Madeline Appiah, Michael Fox, Michael Gould, Kitty Hawthorne, Gavin Spokes, Kristin McIlquham and Neil Sheffield.

The creative team includes set & costume by Richard Kent, lighting by Oliver Fenwick, music and sound design by Nicola T. Chang, movement and intimacy direction by Lucy Hind, casting by Juliet Horsley with additional casting by Chloe Blake.

Kerry Jackson runs until 28 January 2023 at the Dorfman, National Theatre.

Average Critics Rating

The Evening Standard

"Fay Ripley’s new show is a very odd but enjoyable romp"

"Imagine the sitcom Miranda, but with prejudice, politics and savage wit on the agenda instead of whimsy, and you’re halfway to April de Angelis’s odd but enjoyable romp."

"You could tie yourself in knots forever over the complications and questions this play throws up, but it is ultimately a theatrical sitcom: engineered confrontations, sudden revelations, big laughs."

Nick Curtis, The Evening Standard
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The Times

"Less food for thought, more overcooked cliché"

"Ripley gives a performance that’s painfully lacking in subtlety. Everything in Indhu Rubasingham’s production, in fact, is over-emphatic; a fine supporting cast goes to waste. To be fair, I’m not sure any actress could have done much with Kerry’s character"

Clive Davis, The Times
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The Guardian

"Fay Ripley’s lively striver is riddled with working-class cliches"

"April De Angelis’s comedy about a leave-voting entrepreneur in a gentrified area has echoes of Abigail’s Party and Educating Rita – except all the characters are reduced to types"

"an interesting thought experiment does not always make for an interesting drama, as this production proves."

Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
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The Stage


"Part soap, part sitcom and irredeemably clumsy, this new play by April De Angelis is an absolute howler"

"In the absence of any real action, Rubasingham keeps the pace brisk, the volume high and the tone emphatic. But she can’t disguise the void beneath the play’s brash surface: ideologically incurious, it hasn’t a shred of genuine humanity."

Sam Marlowe, The Stage
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"Star Fay Ripley is the sole highlight of this bafflingly unambitious class comedy"

"April de Angelis’s new play is a class comedy insofar as it is recognisably supposed to be about class and it is recognisably supposed to be a comedy. What the actual point of ‘Kerry Jackson’ is, though, I’m not sure."

"But ‘Kerry Jackson’ threatens to be an incisive drama about class stereotypes and gentrification; unfortunately it settles for abject mediocrity instead."

Andrzej Lukowski, TimeOut
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The Telegraph

"Not even Fay Ripley can save this bafflingly lame comedy about class in modern Britain"

"Playwright April De Angelis wants to illuminate the rotten state of the UK and its toxic polarisations, but her play is crude and clichéd"

"Indhu Rubasingham’s production indulges all the usual clichés of this sort of sitcom drama. Granted, there is the odd good throwaway gag."

Claire Allfree, The Telegraph
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👤 📅8 December 2022
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📷 Main photo: Fay Ripley (Kerry) and Madeline Appiah (Athena) in Kerry Jackson at the National Theatre. Photo by Marc Brenner

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2 thoughts on “Kerry Jackson reviews – National Theatre ★★”

  1. I went to Kerry Jackson yesterday accompanied by my son (19) and daughter (16). We found it very funny and throughly enjoyed the play, and also some interesting discussions on the way back.
    Does that tell us something about us, or about the critics?

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