A round up of the popular press reviews by Darren Dalglish
This world premiere has received mixed notices from the popular press..... THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Mendes's production, with a fine woodland design by Anthony Ward, becomes increasingly gripping, and in its final moments almost unbearably moving." PETER HEPPLE for THE STAGE says, "What is remarkable is that the play has a classic, almost Shakespearean quality, in which poetic moods alternate with the timeless bawdy badinage and unstated camaraderie of the soldier.." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Mendes's cast is strong enough to make you credit the talk of fate, angelic support, spiritual togetherness, pretty much everything." THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "...a purely theatrical play. You can't imagine anyone filming it. There is no star role....A widely different array of actors work together in seamless ensemble." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD was disappointed with the play saying, "Sam Mendes...chooses to make his directorial return to theatre with a modest piece that stretches neither him nor us. For Nick Whitby's To The Green Fields Beyond strikes me as not so much a play as a highly affecting and effective theatrical sketch, acted by a virtuoso team." THE EXPRESS was luke-warm about the play saying, "Despite a poignant ending, the play runs short of dramatic ammo." THE INDEPENDENT says, "Mendes' atmospheric production...has a fine emotional director. But he cannot stop the proceedings from coming perilously close to the rainbow sentimentality of an "I'd like to teach the world to sing..." Coke advert." The Independent continues, "Actors of the calibre of Ray Winstone and Finbar Lynch lend their distinction to a play that does not deserve it." JANE EDWARDES for TIME OUT says, "A hefty dose of sentimentality and some wishful thinking detract from Whitby's contention that men fought in WW1 with the same idealism as they did in the Second."