Olivia Vinall as Hilary in The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard’s new play The Hard Problem has opened at the National Theatre to mixed reviews.
The play, which poses big questions about the nature of consciousness, is Stoppard’s first at the NT since 2002.
The story centres around psychology researcher Hilary (Olivia Vinall) and her work at a brain science institute.
The Guardian’s four-star review described The Hard Problem as a “stimulating work”.
“Even if the play occasionally suffers from information overload, it is still a rich, ideas-packed work that offers a defence of goodness whatever its ultimate source,” wrote its critic Michael Billington.
The play, at the Dorfman theatre, is the last to be directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner, who steps down at the NT later this year.
The Evening Standard’s Henry Hitchings also awarded four stars, noting Bob Crowley’s stage design “dominated by a tangled mass of cables that simulates the complex wiring of the brain and shimmers with light between scenes”.
“Elegantly interpreted by Nicholas Hytner, in his final production as artistic director of the National Theatre, the play feels delicate and precise,” he said.
Parth Thakerar, as Amal, and Anthony Calf, as Jerry, in The Hard Problem
It is Stoppard’s first stage play at the NT since his trilogy, The Coast of Utopia, in 2002
Olivia Vinall has also played Cordelia in King Lear and Desdemona in Othello at the NT
The Independent’s Paul Taylor wrote in his three-star review: “Hytner directs an elegant, incisive account of a piece that buzzes with complex ideas, passionately and wittily expressed, but which never quite exerts a strong enough grip as drama.”
He went on: “As always with Stoppard, there is much to ponder but, apart from Hilary, all the very well-acted characters feel two-dimensional, and …read more
Source:: BBC Entertainment