Playbill Critics Circle: Review Stanley

News   Playbill Critics Circle: Review Stanley
Antony Sher is starring in the Broadway debut of Pam Gems' drama Stanley, which won four of London's Olivier Awards, including Best Play.

Antony Sher is starring in the Broadway debut of Pam Gems' drama Stanley, which won four of London's Olivier Awards, including Best Play.

The critics weighed in with their reviews Feb. 20; here's a chance to add your opinion to theirs. What do you think of the drama, of the performers and their characters? What does the play say about the difference between the artist and the man? Does an artist's talent free him from the moral strictures that govern the rest of society? Do you think the author was on any one character's "side," and if so, whose?

Write your review -- long or short -- and email it to Managing Editor Robert Viagas at Reviews will be posted as they come in.

Please include your town and state, and please note whether you'd like us to include your full e-mail address so you can receive responses. This is optional, of course. Playbill On-Line thanks those who took the time to write:

From EllardS (, East Stroudsburg, PA:
I enjoyed the play Stanley immensely! The first act was a little draggy, but the second act more than made up for that! I liked the idea that Mr. Sher painted when the House first opened; it gave the feeling that we are looking into a man's total life history. The use of scaffolding and sets were very effective- it also gave the feeling that we are surrounded by this man's life and loves.
The performances by Mr. Sher and Miss Findlay were superb! Another standout performance was by Selina Cadell as Dorothy. Her performance was quite genuine and offered wonderful support to the leads. (3/15/97)  

From Jonathan Thompson ( Bronxville NY:
STANLEY is an incredible piece of theatre. The script is not perfect, but that doesn't prevent the production from being wonderful. Antony Sher's performance is amazing - no one else could make such an annoying character watchable for three hours. And Deborah Findlay and Anna Chancellor are both worth of Tony noms. Watching Deborah Findlay's character's emotional collapse in the second act was absolutely incredible. The details of John Caird's staging made the show a joy to watch and fit the space perfectly. The surprising use of a yellow sheet on the stage to create a flowery meadow at the end of act one was a brilliant idea. (3/9/97)


Here are the results so far.

This is good theatre. Pam Gems' script comes awfully close to high browed soap opera, but her dialogue is entertaining and often funny. The subject matter -- both this particular artist and the deeper implications of his conflict -- certainly grab the mind and the heart. John Caird's staging is beautifully fluid, and uses the weird Circle space very well. Above all, the four British principals -- most particularly Antony Sher and Deborah Findlay -- are superb. Well worth attending. (3/8/97)

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