WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHERE: Young Vic
WHEN: 17/3, press night 28/3 runs to 19/5/18
We leave the auditorium with tears in our eyes at the end of Part 1 to be met by Vanessa Redgrave in the venue lobby who we assume is gauging audience reaction before she debuts in Part 2.
- Read on for reasons including why we didn’t think Part 2 was the equal of Part 1
Part 2 begins with a debate about President Trump and the state of American politics which is perhaps the weakest element of the seven hours or so drama if you count both parts.
Staging it in such a way begs comparisons with Tony Kushner’s Angels In America which was a triumph in its National revival last year and has just opened on Broadway.
We weren’t wholly convinced that Angels deserved such a luxuriant running time when we saw it in a two-play day last year and that case could be made more compellingly here.
What’s best about the conclusion of this epic is to see the effect that Vanessa Redgrave’s grieving mother has on its conclusion. It’s not only the cast who are in floods of tears as the reason why her character is so attached to the house outside New York that figures so centrally to the plot becomes clear.
It’s difficult to talk about much of what follows without giving too much of the plot away but suffice to say is that we are left in no doubt about what happens to these characters we have grown to love and loathe.
Author Matthew Lopez should be congratulated on his ambition which also includes similarities to the work of Dickens and Maupin as our characters who inhabit different social worlds mix, sometimes in ways which stretch the imagination.
We raved about Part 1 but agree with those in the audience who left with us muttering that Part 2 didn’t quite merit such length. Definitely worth seeing for completists though who are likely to be utterly enchanted and enthralled by the far superior Part 1.