Opened 2 Aug 2006
Written: James Joyce
Directed: James Macdonald
Produced: National Theatre
Cast: Adrian Dunbar, Thomas Grant, Dervla Kirwan, Peter McDonald , Marcella Plunkett
Synopsis: Back in Dublin after nine years abroad, Richard and Bertha have to confront two other people who love them, and ask themselves questions about guilt and responsibility. Will infidelity hold them together?
What the critics had to say.....
RHODA KOENIG for THE INDEPENDENT says, "A production that is a poem and a revelation. For three hours we experience that rarest quality on the contemporary stage - stillness - and it never loses its grip." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "MacDonald's production sacrifices Exiles' governing mood of perverse and agonised sexual confusion, which McDonald, Miss Plunkett and Dervla Kirwan's troubled Bertha powerfully transmit, in favour of Dunbar's misguided, winsome perkiness. James Joyce is accordingly done down." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Fine revival...Some may dismiss this as a novelist's play; to me it emerges as a neglected landmarks of modern theatre that explores the byzantine complexities of marriage with the honesty of genius." ALEKS SIERZ for THE STAGE says, "It’s an interesting rather than a dazzling play...restrained production." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Even in 2006 this is a play that asks sharp, searching questions about the power of mind over body, the difficulty of emotional honesty, the limits of tolerance in vital relationships and, above all, the sheer complexity of our sexual feelings. " DOMINIC CAVENDISH for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Fascinating, finely judged but finally only half-persuasive."
Production photo by Stephen Cummiskey