The Vertical Hour
Opened 22 Jan 2008
Written: David Hare
Directed: Jeremy Herrin
Produced: Royal Court
Cast: Indira Varma, Anton Lesser, Wunmi Mosaku, Tom Riley
Synopsis: Nadia Blye knows exactly what her stance is on Iraq. A former war reporter and Professor of International Relations at Yale, she has advised the President and seen action in Sarajevo and Baghdad. She is sure of her place in the world and her opinion of it. Until, that is, she meets an equally opinionated and lethally charming man - her boyfriend's father - over a weekend in Shropshire. His intervention has far-reaching consequences for them all.
What the popular press had to say.....
PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Beautifully nuanced and well-paced...The success of the evening is largely due to Varma's superb performance." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Though Jeremy Herrin's production is reinforced by superb, emotionally charged performances, I was left surprised by the cursory arguments about the invasion of Iraq." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Hare's play is not perfect...But this is still a rich, intellectually gripping play." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Often feels like a finger-wagging lecture...It may be called The Vertical Hour but it is likely to leave many in the audience prone with boredom." WILLIAM McEVOY for THE STAGE says, "Compelling and ambitious, linking family conflict and sexual freedom in a complex brew of ideas." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Funny how a switch of place and time can also change one’s view of a play. When I saw David Hare’s The Vertical Hour on Broadway in late 2006 it seemed to me mainly about Iraq...But though there was still some discussion of the Iraq war at its British premiere last night, it seemed just one of several topics that allowed Hare to do something nonpolitical: take a good look at the ravelled psyches of his main characters."