We've been ransacking the newsagents for the past 24 hours as the reviews of 2ND MAY 1997 have rolled off the presses. We're thrilled to say they've largely left us jumping for joy.
Four stars from Dominic Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph, who says "rising playwright Jack Thorne takes us back in time with such quiet profundity and verve you get a burst of inspiration to match the uplift of those distant days."
He goes on to praise the "beautifully played" and "excruciating and captivating" scenes, before ending with this rather erudite summary:
"In the Edenic dawn of that brave new world, Thorne detects a fundamental flaw in the plan: human nature."
Four stars too from Benedict Nightingale in The Times who said the play "focuses on the hopes and frustrations of characters who, especially in one case, are refreshingly well played."
The one case singled out by Mr Nightingale was Phoebe who garned some quite unequivocal praise: "She’s good, very good, very good indeed."
There were some chiding words for us though:
"The company responsible is called nabokov, which is irritating, partly because of that naff lower-case, partly because the link with the author of Lolita is obscure, and partly because the troupe doesn’t fulfil its aim, which is to present 'backlash theatre, new work that offers an antagonistic response to contemporary trends, agendas and events'."
In The Guardian, Michael Billington says "the writing has a quiet integrity", and even though he only bestowed three stars, he was a big fan of the final scene:
"Not only are the two young actors very good but the mood oscillates between optimism and sadness as if to suggest that Labour's bright new dawn would eventually give way to the disillusionment of reality."
Another four star review from Theo Bosanquet on Whatsonstage who says "The acting is impeccable in George Perrin’s production, performed on a catwalk stage replete with segueing double bed...the dialogue is rich in character detail and shines a spotlight on some humble but significant untold stories from the night a nation dared to dream."
There has been the odd grumble. The Stage's John Thaxter didn't approve at all. He thought it was a bit like a tennis match:
"George Perrin’s transverse staging provides the ultimate in Bush Theatre intimacy, but when actors are placed at either end of the room, their dialogue exchanges create a Wimbledon spectator sport effect as our heads swivel to and fro."
But can't please them all, eh. Come and see the show and make up your own mind. You can buy tickets here.