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Wednesday, 9 August, 2000, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Hall fails critics' Graduate test
Jerry Hall and Josh Cohen
Hall, pictured with co-star Josh Cohen, has not improved
Things don't get any better for model-turned-actress Jerry Hall, following her official first night performance as Mrs Robinson in the West End stage version of The Graduate.

Last week, a spattering of lukewarm but largely indulgent reviews greeted her preview performances as the middle-aged temptress.

The general consensus was that Hall's less than remarkable acting could, with time, only improve.

But on Tuesday night the critics' knives were out - and sharpened - as 44-year-old Hall still failed to make anything more than just an adequate impression.

Jerry, I'm afraid is no actress. But she's got great legs

Robert Gore-Langton, Daily Express

The opinion of Benedict Nightingale in The Times set the general reaction to Hall's stage efforts.

"In many ways Hall is fine. She is cool, suave, languid, elegant, charismatic and bored without being boring: which is all that Mrs Robinson should be," offered Nightingale.

But when it came to Hall showing real emotion, he was not impressed: "Hall is less admirable when more is demanded of her. Told by her lover she disgusts him, she barely raises an eyebrow, let alone an involuntary grimace."

Nicholas de Jongh from London's Evening Standard cut deeper in his criticism.

He judged Hall as "miscast and far too inexperienced" to take the role immortalised by Anne Bancroft in the original Sixties film.

According to de Jongh, Hall's acting "tends to be wan and undernourished as an over-dieting model".

He continued: "When it comes to Mrs Robinson, you need a voluptuous actress in the grip of middle age who can play blowzy and quietly desperate.

"Miss Hall cuts a vulnerable rather than a predatory or powerful figure."

Star support

Of course, many critics were still eager to see and pass opinion on Hall's much-publicised "strip" in the show.

But here again, despite the credentials of her model physique, the reaction was one of sadly deflated enthusiasm - typified by Robert Gore-Langton of the Daily Express.

She's a fantastic actress and the play brought back many fond memories of the Sixties for me

Mick Fleetwood

"Frankly it's a storm in an A-cup," he whined, adding: "The nude bits don't last long and anyway, they are conducted in twilight conditions which would require special night vision binoculars to generate much excitement."

Then, twisting the blade once more, Gore-Langton concludes: "And Jerry, I'm afraid, is no actress. But she's got great legs."

However, Hall undoubtedly found favour among other members of the celebrity fraternity.

Among those supporting Hall at her first night performance was the rock star Mick Fleetwood. He was liberal with his praise.

"She's a fantastic actress and the play brought back many fond memories of the Sixties for me," he gushed.

Former Bros singer Luke Goss added: "She looks fabulous, but it didn't eclipse her performance."

See also:

01 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Mixed reviews for Hall's nude debut
30 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Jerry Hall: Graduate role model
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