Reviews round-up of Neville’s Island at the Duke of York’s Theatre
Neville’s Island opened last night (21 October 2014) at the Duke of York’s Theatre.
Tim Firth’s comedy transfers from Chichester and centres on four middle managers on a team bonding exercise that goes badly wrong!
The play stars Neil Morrissey, Adrian Edmondson, Miles Jupp and Robert Webb and is directed by Angus Jackson with design by Robert Innes Hopkins.
Critics didn’t love it, with their main criticism directed at the play itself rather than the production or performances.
What we thought
Strictly speaking the average rating should probably be 2, but we’ve gone for 3 based on the preview performance we saw – which we enjoyed a lot. I took my Dad (in his sixties, business man, perfect target audience!) and he loved everything about it. The action may be slightly stretched but this is more than made up for by some great performances from these four great comedy actors, each spiraling out of control in their own way. Neil Morrissey particularly brings an ever watchable and natural warmth to the stage that is hard to fake and great to watch.
REVIEWS ROUND-UP"Firth makes some sharp points about male insufficiency but I get the sense of a good 90-minute idea being stretched to fill the requisite two-act running time."
"The play is often very funny but there is something a bit ersatz and glib about the expertise with which it produces gales of laughter while efficiently moving towards its final vision of tragi-farcical futility. It's a vision that, while it's justified by the plot, feels unearned (to my mind) by the spirit of the writing."
"This is, of course, an ensemble piece but there is, alas, no sense of ensemble playing: each actor seems to be doing his own thing, and tries to make off with as many laughs as possible, and the result is a bit of a muddle."
"The performances are solid and there’s an impressively lush set by Robert Innes Hopkins — complete with pools of dirty water for the cast to splash around in. Yet Angus Jackson’s revival can’t obscure the fact that the play is inherently static. What’s more, three out of the four characters are unsympathetic and the other one is unmemorable. "
"Remote, uninhabited islands are monotonous places, as the West End transfer of this Tim Firth comedy starring Neil Morrissey proves."