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Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of THE INHERITANCE?


The Inheritance

The highly anticipated West End engagement of The Inheritance is playing the Young Vic for a strictly limited season in the West End.

Directed by multi Olivier Award winner Stephen Daldry, this landmark production held its world premiere at the Young Vic Theatre earlier this year where it ran for a sold out engagement and opened to huge acclaim, with critics recognising Matthew Lopez's play as a modern classic, and one of the most important plays for many years.

The large ensemble cast of The Inheritance at the Noël Coward Theatre is now confirmed and will include: Hugo Bolton, Robert Boulter, Andrew Burnap, Hubert Burton, John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Syrus Lowe, Michael Marcus, Vanessa Redgrave, Jack Riddiford, Kyle Soller and Michael Walters.

A generation after the peak of the AIDs crisis, what is it like to be a young gay man in New York? How many words are there now for pain and for love? Matthew Lopez's major new two-part play explores profound themes through the turbulent and often hilarious experiences of a group of young, ambitious New Yorkers. What is the legacy left to them by previous generations? What do they owe the future and each other?

Spanning generations and many interlinking lives, The Inheritance brilliantly transposes EM Forster's novel 'Howards End' to 21st century New York.

Let's see what the critics had to say...

Dominic Maxwell, The Times: What matters is that the show, slightly tweaked from its first run at the Young Vic in the spring, is a love story sturdy enough to hold all Lopez's ideas about individualism and community, and gay identity and Aids. The sex scenes are artful, but never coy. And Forster himself appears, helping the characters to figure out how to tell their story.

Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard: Soller's work as the endlessly good-natured Eric gleams with emotional openness, while Burnap furnishes the damaged Toby with a remarkable repertoire of seemingly insouciant gestures that are full of careful calculation. I can give The Inheritance no higher praise than to say that I think it would make Forster himself very, very proud.

Andrzej Lukowski, TimeOut: The plot is gripping: shimmering with excellent jokes and told at a great lick by Daldry and team on a minimal stone dais set from Bob Crowley, we indubitably become wrapped up in these fuck-ups' lives. Effectively divided into six hour-ish episodes, three per part - it is very much of a piece - the experience is a bit like gorging on a classy Netflix melodrama.

David Nice, The Arts Desk: Lopez's epic two-parter The Inheritance is best when it brings the connection directly to light, dramatizing the playwright's dialogue with his beloved author, but given the predictability of parallel lives in the characters of Forster's Margaret Schlegel and Lopez's Eric Glass, needs to follow other lines of its own. And there the truth often gets lost as the plot and the ideas end up tying themselves in navel-gazing knots.

Frey Kwa Hawking, Exeunt Magazine: I think you should see The Inheritance. The only other way I can think of starting this review is calling it a minor masterpiece, with all that implies. The Inheritance is an experience I want to share with the people I love (the only true sign a play's special) and especially the other gay people in my life.

Photo Credit: Marc Brenner

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