Review Roundup: IN THE REPUBLIC OF HAPPINESS - All the Reviews!
Andrzej Lukowski of Timeout: Dominic Cooke's production is superbly acted, brilliantly deadpan and often furiously intimidating - I'm not sure he has really unlocked this play's full potential. Or has he flattered a wilfully obtuse mass of Crimp-isms? Whatever the case, the genuine winsomeness of the songs ensures this challenging show has a heart. 'Crimp: the Musical', anyone?
The Cambridge Student Online: Ultimately though, despite the many outstanding features of this production, the play left me confused (and I still cannot work out whether this was the desired effect). Life in "The Republic of Happiness" seems just as hollow and scripted as in the preceding two parts, leading one to wonder whether Crimp's satire has a point. There is a sense, from Bob's refrain of "it's deeper than that", that there is something beneath the surface of this satire of superficiality that cannot or will not be expressed.
David Benedict of Variety: The strength of this section is undercut by being painfully indebted both to Beckett's trailblazing "Play" -- in which characters in purgatory repeat their self-justification to an invisible interrogator -- and Caryl Churchill's "Blue Heart" whose linguistic repetitions it echoes to less winning effect. Long before the overextended sequence has run its course, its point has been made.
Stephen Wilmot of the Londonist: There is a little light relief in the form of songs, which, after the opening scene's flirtation with realism, are delivered karaoke-style to the audience. These were easier on the ear and mind than the spoken lines, probably because the music provided a sense of structure that made the absence of a plot easier to deal with. It's a tantalizing reminder of why George Benjamin's opera Written on Skin, for which Crimp wrote the libretto, is rapidly gaining a reputation as a modern classic after its premiere at the Aix-en-Provence festival this summer.