Little Foxes

Friday, 12 October, 2001

Written by Lillian Hellman
Director:Marianne Elliot
Producer:Donmar Warehouse
Starring: Penelope Wilton, Brid Brennan, David Calder, Matthew Marsh, Peter Guiness, Anna Maxwell Martin, Christian Dixon, Edward Hughes, Alibe Parsons, Michael Hadley.
Synopsis:The Hubbard siblings, Regina, Ben and Oscar are the locusts of 'The Little Foxes,. Morally corrupt, greedy and ambitious, they are as likely to devour each other are they are anyone else. The true nature of their avarice is revealed when Mr Marshall, a northern industrialist, offers them an irresistibly lucrative business deal. Coldest and most implacable is the sister, Regina, prepared to go to any lengths to obtain the life of luxury she craves. If it means blackmailing her weaker brothers and crushing the only decent people around her, her daughter Alexandra and her husband Horace , then so be it.

A round up of the press notices .....

The play has has received good notices from most of popular press......... BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, УThanks to Marianne ElliottТs strong Donmar production I enjoyed the experience but still couldnТt convince myself that, as plays about Deep South arrivism and avarice go, The Little Foxes is remotely as good as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.Ф PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, УA well-done Southern melodramaФ And describes Penelope Wilton as УexcellentФ. SUSANNAH CLAPP for THE OBSERVER says, УPenelope Wilton is magnificent.Ф MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, УWilton is finely supported by Matthew Marsh and David Calder as her brothers, and Brid Brennan as the abused Birdie. But the triumph of the evening is Elliott's acknowledgement of the play's melodramatic rootsЕ. while still suggesting the sadness and solitude that lie behind the elevation of money into a god.Ф BEN DOWELL for THE STAGE says, УIt is a tribute to the subtlety of Lillian Hellman's 1939 play and Marianne Elliott's direction that the truth about this family of both supremely good and supremely wicked people emerges gradually, culminating in the criminal determination to secure Marshall's dollars.Ф CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, УThe Little Foxes (1939) is undoubtedly a gutsy, gripping Left-wing drama, a truly great second-rate play. I say second-rate because the piece is so evidently written to an agendaЕФHe goes on to say, УThe great Penelope Wilton seems miscast. She smiles wickedly, broods malignantly, and exults triumphantly, but finally lacks the glittering malevolence the role requires. She's too subtle an actress for such a one-dimensional part.Ф NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, УMarianne Elliott's production, which is thick with atmosphere, turns the play realistically powerful.Ф He goes on to say, УHot theatre indeed.Ф JANE EDWARDES for TIME OUT says, УMarianne ElliottТs production reveals that thereТs more to Lillian HellmanТs play than melodramaЕ.Penelope Wilton is a revelation.Ф

Links to full reviews from newspapers...

The Times
Daily Telegraph
The Independent
The Observer
The Guardian
The Stage
Evening Standard

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