Five stars for Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart in No Man's Land

Five stars for Ian McKellen & Patrick Stewart in No Man's Land

Updated On: May 1, 2018
By Nicki McIntyre
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    No Man's Land starring Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart opened Tuesday 27th September at Wyndham's Theatre to a host of four and five star reviews.

    Sean Mathias's production of Harold Pinter's play received five stars from the Evening Standard and Telegraph, as well as four stars from The Times, Guardian, Financial Times, Radio Times, Independent, and The Stage.

    The Evening Standard's Benedict Nightingale wrote, "McKellen and Stewart bear superb comparison with their great predecessors... [and] Damien Molony and Owen Teale are suitably menacing... despite its subtleties and strangenesses, No Man's Land remains a play packed with tension and conflict."

    The Telegraph's Dominic Cavendish, said, "Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are unmissable...Their powers remain seemingly undimmed...I suspect we will be toasting this production ages hence."

    Ann Treneman of The Times said, "It feels a bit of a landmark production to see these two grand old men, Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen, having such fun with Pinter."

    The Guardian's Michael Billington called this, "A faithful and loving production that captures both the essential bleakness and paradoxical comedy of this enigmatic masterwork... Stewart and McKellen play off each other beautifully... This contains some of Pinter’s most virtuosic writing and shows the two actors at their best."

    Ian Shuttleworth of the Financial Times wrote that this production of No Man's Land is a "one to tell your grandchildren about."

    The Independent's Paul Taylor wrote, "With its all-star cast, this revival of Harold Pinter’s No Man's Land is not to be missed," with McKellen and Stewart "both at the top of their game." "McKellen is hilariously tragicomic, delivering a wonderfully unsentimentalised portrait of Spooner," while "Stewart has great presence and gives a splendidly disconcerting portrayal, running the gamut from arch hospitality to a wintry extreme of desolate insight within the space of a single line... Stewart’s performance, ranging between imperiousness and terrified bewilderment, makes you feel that it’s high time he played King Lear on stage."

    Tony Peters of the Radio Times said, "Take two giants of British acting, a Nobel Prize-winning playwright, plus a celebrated director – and you get a lot of expectation in one auditorium. Sean Mathias’ production doesn't disappoint on any level." He continued, "It’s utterly compelling thanks to the hypnotic poetry of Pinter’s script and first-rate performances. Everyone is good: Stewart is the picture of melancholy, while Damien Molony and Owen Teale are sinister as Hirst’s mysterious associates. But it’s McKellen who gives the masterclass. Every tic, every expression, every fumble with his hat or coat is carefully measured. You simply can’t take your eyes off him."

    The Stage's Mark Shenton wrote, "Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are lions of the stage and they roar in this alternately icily restrained and ferocious account... The two actors, a year apart in age at 76 and 77 respectively, are extraordinary in the way they convey a sense of isolation and containment, and they find plenty of humour too in the imposing gloom of Mathias' darkly calibrated production... stylish and spellbinding."

    No Man's Land tickets are currently bookable to Saturday 17 December 2016 at Wyndham's Theatre.