The sell-out play from last year’s Galway Arts festival has again opened to rave reviews, this time in London.
Misterman, which was written and directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy, received rave reviews in the UK media last week following its UK premiere last Wednesday at the National Theatre London.
Produced by Landmark Productions and Galway Arts Festival, the play enjoyed sold-out runs at the 2011 Galway Arts Festival and at St Ann’s Warehouse, New York last December, winning unanimous praise from audiences and critics.
In his review for The Telegraph, Charles Spencer said Misterman ‘…proves a knockout… a compellingly strange, absorbing and terrifying work of startling originality. And it features a dazzling solo performance from Cillian Murphy.
‘In a hypnotic, virtuosic performance, Cillian Murphy brings not only the deranged Magill but also all the townsfolk he encounters to life. It’s a thrilling performance in a startlingly original play that haunts the memory…’
Spencer also lavished praise on the overall production stating ‘…the sheer scale of this production plays a big part in the show’s often stunning impact.’
In her five star review in The Daily Express, Julie Carpenter said you would be hard pressed to find a more ‘breathlessly intense performance that one being enacted here by Cillian Murphy’. She described Misterman as ‘a riveting one-man show.’
Praising Murphy’s daunting performance, The Guardian’s Maddy Costa wrote, ‘Murphy is possessed of demonic energy…myopically fixated on the invisible characters around him yet conveying the romantic vision of a seer, keeps us mesmerised.’
The Times’ Jeremy Kingston, meanwhile, hailed ‘Cillian Murphy’s blazingly intense performance’ while Time Out’s Caroline McGinn said Misterman is ‘…an exceptional night at the theatre; charming, reckless, manic and tender.’
Writing in The Evening Standard, Fiona Mountford praised Murphy’s ‘excellence’ and ‘bravura one-man turn’ on the vast expanse of the Lyttelton stage, describing the low key local characters ‘all of which the super-charged Murphy brings to compelling life.’
Nicholas Hamilton in The Stage concluded his excellent review by commenting, ‘This production finds all involved at the top of their game and reaffirms the brilliance of the collaboration which launched the careers of a great actor and playwright.’
The production also received excellent five star reviews from many online theatre critics, including Michael Coveney in What’s On Stage, who described the ‘spell-binding Cillian Murphy… a must-see performance by a superb artist… compelling and extraordinary…’ while Aleks Sierz, writing in The Arts Desk, praised the ‘… tour de force for actor Cillian Murphy. It’s amazing, mesmerising, moving, funny and unforgettable.’
An array of stars from stage and screen attended the opening night at the National Theatre, including acclaimed actor Julie Walters, Oscar winner Jeremy Irons, who attended with his wife Sinéad Cusack and her sister Sorcha Cusack, Zoë Wanamaker, and writer and film-maker Ken Loach, who directed Cillian Murphy in The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
Among the contingent that travelled to London from Ireland for the premiere were Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council, Pat Moylan, Chairman of the Arts Council, who was accompanied by the Irish writer Edna O’Brien, Eugene Downes, CEO of Culture Ireland, who was with the Irish Ambassador in London HE Mr Bobby McDonagh and his wife Mary. Also present were John Crumlish and Paul Fahy from Galway Arts Festival and Anne Clarke from Landmark Productions.
Galway Arts Festival’s Chief Executive, John Crumlish said the festival was delighted to have received such wonderful reviews.
“We are especially pleased for Cillian, Enda and the creative team that is has been so positively received and we are delighted with sold-out performances to date.”
Galway Arts Festival’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy said it had been an incredible year for Misterman and fantastic to see the show presented on one of the world’s greatest stages in London.
Misterman runs at the National Theatre until Monday 28 May. For further information and bookings, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.