Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Could Cryptogram Critiques Crack Cattrall's Code?

Could Cryptogram Critiques Crack Cattrall's Code?

It's been no time since Kim Cattrall last made an impression on a London stage. That was in last year's Whose Life Is This Anyway, in which the English-born actress received positive notices. Now that her latest venture in the revival of David Mamet's The Cryptogram has opened at Donmar Warehouse, did she impress again?

Saying "It's hard to fault an immaculate production" in awarding four out of five stars, The Guardian's Michael Billington praises Cattrall's performance: "Kim Cattrall disintegrates excellently as Donny: she starts as an impeccably groomed, emotionally impervious narcissist, who terrifyingly transfers her rage against men on to her hapless son."

Calling it "...undoubtedly a major work from one of America’s greatest living dramatists," Charles Spencer of The Telegraph also lauds the production: "Cattrall, in her crisp frocks and cosy cardigans is superb as a woman desperately trying to be the archetypal kindly American mother."

Also providing four out of five stars is Benedict Nightingale of The Times, who says he "...liked the play more than when I saw it at its premiere 12 years ago....The piece now seems as poignant and upsetting as an exercise in retrieved memory on the psychiatrist’s couch. And for that all three performers must share responsibility....Cattrall begins as a 1950s Stepford wife and faintly exasperated mother, becomes plausibly shattered and distraught, and ends up very angry indeed...(and) spits out her pent-up venom at the rejected boy. A painful end to a fascinating play."

Awarding just three out of five stars and saying the dialogue seems "unbelievably contrived," the Evening Standard's Nicholas de Jongh is less complimentary: "[F]or all the air of mystique that foggily swirls around the play there is no disguising its blatant, melodramatic underpinning."

The Cryptogram runs through November 25.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Cattrall Cast in Cryptogram (July 15, 2006)

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