Andrew Scott

What the critics say about Andrew Scott in Sea Wall

Will Longman
Will Longman

Andrew Scott is set to appear in Sea Wall, the play Simon Stephens wrote for the actor, as part of the 200th birthday celebrations at The Old Vic.

The play was first seen at the Bush Theatre in 2008, and sees Scott play a photographer named Alex who contemplates different aspects of life, from visiting his father in the south of France to belief and religion.

Scott, who is best-known for playing Moriaty in the BBC series Sherlock, went on to perform the play at the National Theatre, Traverse in Edinburgh, Project Arts Centre in Dublin and starred in a short film adaptation of the play.

Critics have been pretty unanimous in their praise for the piece, so we've decided to round up the reviews here to give you a better idea of what the piece is about.

Sea Wall is at The Old Vic until from 18th June until 30th June.

Sea Wall tickets are available from Friday

Andrew Scott is extraordinary as a man whose blessed life falls away to nothing, plunging him into the depths. The devastation is in the detail of the everyday: a pot of yoghurt, some athlete's foot cream. This play is like a deceptive calm blue sea beneath which lurks a ferocious riptide of sorrow.

Andrew Scott addresses us directly with the stumbling hesitation of lingering pain. Stephens's exploration of memory, whereby athlete's foot cream remains as vivid as a daughter's blood, is touchingly truthful.

Scott's warm presence, draw you in completely - so when the awful chasm opens up in Alex's story, much as the Mediterranean sea wall's vertiginous drop looms suddenly on his diving trip, it's impossible not to be dragged under.

  • Siobhan Murphy, Metro (30th July 2013)

Scott picks up the trailing ends of Stephens's sentences and sketches something in the gaps: a half-shaped joke, conjured up by the twist of his eyebrow or, later, the ominous approaching shadow. The comedy, like the life, is light, frolicking pleasantly in froth and the shallows until it suddenly plunges into deep water.

  • Caroline McGinn, Time Out (12th August 2009)

In Andrew Scott, eyes glittering, arms fidgeting, [Stephens'] tale finds a charmingly genial raconteur, a kind of stand-up manqué who gives occasional, heart-breaking flashes of the yawning black hole at his core.

The sublime attention to detail in Scott's performance, and director George Perrin's instincts for how he becomes engulfed in a huge space, have a hypnotic effect. He seduces you. He disarms you. He burrows deep into your mind. He destroys you.


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