BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment: Reviews
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 30 April, 2001, 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK
Presence: Press reviews
Ralf Little as gawky George Harrison
Presence is Harrower's first play for the Royal Court
Press reviews of David Harrower's play, Presence.


The Times

It's as if having conjured up the spirit of Beatles mythology, Harrower seems scared that it will hijack his drama.

This may explain why it's the people in the play who didn't make it on to the cover of Sgt Pepper who come across as the most interesting.

But ultimately Presence's combination of rites-of-passage drama and national discontent doesn't quite come together as a satisfying whole. And somehow you want the play to rock more.


Guardian Unlimited

Without banging across a message, Harrower certainly makes you question the Beatles' youthful charm.

And he is well served by James Kerr's production and Rae Smith's design, which highlight the penitential squalor of the group's quarters, and by strong performances from Sarah Woodward as the solemnly businesslike Marian, William Ash as the pugnacious Paul, Michael Legge as the private Pete and Ralf Little as the gawky George.

But the Beatles sans Lennon inevitably suggests Hamlet without the prince.


The Independent on Sunday

Almost a sitcom at times, this piece certainly differs from Harrower's poetically raw plays, Knives in Hens and Kill The Old, Torture Their Young. However, Presence doesn't mark a leap forward. Actually it feels passť, recalling the wave of "lads plays" seen in the 1990s. Only bringing half the band on, Harrower has chickened out of a theatrical challenge, too.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Links to more Reviews stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Reviews stories