The Last Cigarette
Opened 28 April 2009
Written: adapted by Hugh Whitemore and Simon Gray from Gray’s The Smoking Diaries.
Directed: Richard Eyre
Cast: Felicity Kendal, Nicholas le Prevost , Jasper Britton
Synopsis: Draws on his many volumes of Simon Gray's memoirs, including Fat Chance, Enter a Fox, The Smoking Diaries and Coda.
What the popular press had to say at its run in Chichester a month before its tansfer to Trafalgar Studios.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says "Inventive and stylish production animates the essentially static and conflict-free form of the adaptation." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "There is far more to admire than to criticise, even if the books offer a deeper, darker and funnier experience than this unnecessarily sanitised stage version." MICHAEL COVENEY for THE INDEPENDENT says, "It's all very elegant and nicely done, but Richard Eyre's staging of snippets of Simon Gray's Smoking Diaries – three volumes of them published before he died last August – barely scratches the surface. And in re-creating the author in triplicate human form – as three Grays – he rather dilutes the rumpled, cantankerous individuality of the original." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Richard Eyre directs with quicksilver fluency and the three actors skilfully embody not just Gray but the figures who float through his life...However, if you want to get to grips with the true nature of Gray's gadfly brilliance, you have to go back to the books." IAN SHUTTLEWORTH for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "The actors in Richard Eyre’s production portray different aspects of Gray’s personality...There is probably not much of a wider life for the play, but it succeeds with vigour in communicating the most loved aspects of Gray as a writer, even to sceptics such as myself."