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Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In on West End's LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT

Long Day's Journey Into Night

Considered one of the most powerful American plays of the 20th century, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT is currently playing a strictly limited 10 week West End season at Wyndham's Theatre from 27 January to 7 April before transferring to Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM) Harvey Theater (8-27 May) and the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Los Angeles (8 June - 1 July).

Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville, play James and Mary Tyrone in Richard Eyre's acclaimed Bristol Old Vic production.

The Tyrones' summer home, August 1912. Haunted by the past but unable to face the truth of the present, the Tyrones and their two sons test the bonds of a family caught in the cycle of love and resentment. As day turns to night and the family indulge in their vices, the truth unravels leaving behind a quartet of ruined lives.

Let's see what the critics had to say!

Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard: In Richard Eyre's production, first seen nearly two years ago at Bristol Old Vic, this sprawling drama feels pacier than usual, though it still weighs in at three and a half hours. It remains a gruelling experience - Eyre calls it 'the saddest play ever written' - but has a naked emotional power that's genuinely absorbing.

Michael Billington, The Guardian: Time works wonders. When Richard Eyre's production of Eugene O'Neill's masterpiece opened at the Bristol Old Vic two years ago, it felt a bit raw and rushed. Now, with Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville still heading the cast, it has added a quarter of an hour to the running time and acquired a rhythm that allows us to feel that we are living, like the Tyrone family, through a day and a night of alternating hope and despair.

Ben Dowell, Radio Times: Gruelling as it is, director Richard Eyre has saved us at least some of the pain in this production, which transfers from the Bristol Old Vic where it opened nearly two years ago. He has trimmed this sprawling story down to a more manageable three-and-a-half hours; some renderings have been more like five. But it is still an ultimately rewarding experience, albeit probably one that will have you reaching for the whisky bottle afterwards.

Dominic Maxwell, The Times: The genius of the play, brought out with luminous wit and warmth in Richard Eyre's production, is how so much fury is wrapped in so much fondness.

Photo Credit: Hugo Glendinning

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