Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of ORLANDO, starring Emma Corrin?

The production is at the Garrick Theatre until 25 February 2023

By: Dec. 06, 2022
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Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of ORLANDO, starring Emma Corrin?

Michael Grandage directs Emma Corrin in Neil Bartlett's joyous new adaptation of Virginia Woolf's modern masterpiece - Orlando. Leading an eleven-strong company in a bold new staging, Olivier Award nominee Emma Corrin returns to London's West End in one of the most surprising stories in the English language.

So what did the critics think?

Aliya Al-Hassan: BroadwayWorld: At a time when gender can be such a divisive topic, it is wonderful to see a play that has gender fluidity at its heart, but lacks any toxicity or venom. To see Orlando morph between sexes feels natural, not forced; the production is the very essence of inclusivity without being in any way political.

David Jays: The Guardian: In Michael Grandage's buoyant production, each leap through history summons another clothes rail - new era, new trousers. Peter McKintosh's lavishly spare designs are breathlessly lit by Howard Hudson and theatricality suffuses Bartlett's writing - that giddy arena where style snogs sincerity. His heartfelt and insinuating collage offers winking allusions to everything from Jacobean tragedy to Liza Minnelli via Some Like It Hot ("nobody's perfect!").

Jessie Thompson: The Independent: At its heart is a highly magnetic performance from Emma Corrin, playing the handsome young nobleman who time-travels through centuries and, at the age of 30, wakes up as a woman... Corrin, after appearing in a couple of disappointing films, delivers a joyful and groundbreaking Orlando that feels like a calling card for the stardom that The Crown first promised. They're magnificent.

Clive Davis: The Times: Think of it, if you like, as the Bloomsbury Group equivalent of a trip to Pantoland. If Virginia Woolf's novel about a time-travelling, androgynous youth contains a more than generous dose of whimsy, Neil Bartlett's adaptation throws in an awful lot more, adding nudges and winks borrowed from other sources: you won't have any trouble noticing the throwaway reference to Some Like It Hot, Billy Wilder's cross-dressing classic.

Sam Marlowe: The Stage: Grandage's production oozes sensory pleasure. Lucy Briers' arid, ageing Elizabeth I, a crumbling edifice of regal magnificence, appears to a blast of trumpets and grandiose rock music. In the great frost of 1607, the captivating, elusive Russian princess Sasha glides on skates around a besotted Corrin on the frozen Thames, and feasts among fur-hatted Cossacks at a table laden with fruit and pheasants. Jacobean ladies, competing to win Orlando as a husband, twerk in gleaming silk gowns.

Orlando is at the Garrick Theatre until 25 February 2023

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner