Opened 29 Sep 2008
Written: by David Joss Buckley. This play is a stage adaptation of Tracy Chevalier’s novel, which was subsequently made into a film
Cast: Adrian Dunbar (Vermeer), Kimberley Nixon (Griet) , Sara Kestelman (Maria Thins), Niall Buggy ( Van Ruijven), Lesley Vickerage (Catherina).
Synopsis: Johannes Vermeer is the greatest painter of his time. When he hires a young girl Griet to help in his house, it is not long before she becomes more than a servant - she starts to help him in his studio, learning the art of painting by watching the master. And then, secretly, Vermeer begins to paint her and Griet becomes model and muse for his greatest masterpiece 'Girl With A Pearl Earring'.
What the popular press had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Buckley...lays everything on with a heavy palette and thick brush." CLAIRE ALLFREE for THE METRO says, "Feels more interested in domestic relationships than that between muse, artist and art." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Worthy but uninspired play." KATIE COLOMBUS for THE STAGE says, "Its greatest achievement is its ability to mirror the mystery of the original painting." MICHAEL COVENEY for THE INDEPENDENT says, "As an exercise in painterly evocation, David Joss Buckley's adaptation of Tracy Chevalier's novel is fair enough. As drama, though, it's a non-starter." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Tracy Chevalier's book is an immensely subtle, compelling, first-person narrative about the obsessiveness of genius and a girl's disruptive impact on Vermeer's household: in David Joss Buckley's adaptation it becomes a conventional, thwarted love-story." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "The play is civilised, well-acted, and passes a couple of hours harmlessly enough. But somehow - and the same goes for the book and the movie - it left me feeling unsatisfied, even ripped off. The reason I think is that Chevalier's story falls so desperately short of the masterpiece that inspired it."