2662 PROVOKED WIFE Review Hub Red Strip_JRG_WITH TITLE

Read the reviews for The Provoked Wife.

  • Swan Theatre

    Stratford-upon-Avon

    Until 7 Sep 2019

    Book Tickets
  • Running time:

    2 hrs 40 mins + 20 mins interval

Next performance:

27 June, 7:30PM

Swan Theatre
Stratford-upon-Avon

★★★★

‘A provoking, fascinating, queasily enjoyable evening’

Daily Telegraph

‘Beautifully served by a crack cast’

Daily Telegraph

‘Shuffling on in a grimy night-gown, pasty of face, peevish of expression, like a sickly forbear of Scrooge, Jonathan Slinger’s Sir John is so brazen and inspired in his bile that he’s funny’

Daily Telegraph

‘Alexandra Gilbreath’s high sympathetic, quietly pained Lady B’

Daily Telegraph

‘Rufus Hound’s curiously tentative Constant’

Daily Telegraph

‘Caroline Quentin is a beauty-spotted joy as a vain and self-deluded ageing female fop, Lady Fancyfull’

Daily Telegraph

‘John Hodgkinson excels as the aloof gent (Heartfree)’

Daily Telegraph

‘Lady Brute’s intriguing niece Bellinda (Natalie Dew)'

Daily Telegraph

★★★★

‘Outrageous and uproarious’

The Stage

‘Director Phillip Breen brings out all the text’s delicacy and debauchery’

The Stage

‘His cast hams it up hilariously, throwing shocked glances to the audience between bouts of slapstick silliness and rapid-fire repartee, keeping up a frenetic pace but pausing with expert timing to really milk a gag or give a moment of pathos time to breathe’

The Stage

‘Jonathan Slinger’s shambolic, matrimony-averse John Brute cuts a wretched figure, cursing, stamping, and slouching his way about the stage’

The Stage

‘Les Dennis blusters about gamely with an orange stuffed in his mouth as his drinking buddy Bully’

The Stage

‘Carl Prekopp’s anarchic bawd Lord Rake swoops about in lead-white face paint and a purple frock coat like a mad-eyed, Restoration-era Joker’

The Stage

‘Caroline Quentin does great wok as deluded, pitiably unsecure Lady Fancyfull’

The Stage

‘It’s Alexandra Gilbreath’s superb performance as frustrated, unsatisfied wife Lady Brute that gives the production its heart… she practically glows with transgressive excitement as she flirts with Rufus Hound’s politely passionate suitor Constant’

The Stage

‘Compellingly nuanced comic performances’

The Stage

‘Paddy Cunneen’s bombastic, operatic score heights and highlights each distant mood, flitting from lyrical chamber music to jagged dissonance to sultry, driving beats’

The Stage

‘Designer Mark Bailey keeps the set simple, a parquet floor and a proscenium of painted, gold-fringed curtains that serve as a backdrop to some lush period costumes’

The Stage

★★★★

‘A furious sex-comedy’

Libby Purves, theatreCat

‘Sharp, funny’

Libby Purves, theatreCat

‘John Hodgkinson’s aquiline, grey-suited cynic Heartfree’

Libby Purves, theatreCat

‘The more naïve and gilded Constant (Rufus Hound)’

Libby Purves, theatreCat

‘Caroline Quentin, in crazy rouged-clown makeup, foot-high ginger wig and patisserie-frilled crinoline’

Libby Purves, theatreCat

‘The comedy is excellent…enlivened by some terrific movement direction by Ayse Tashkiran’

Libby Purves, theatreCat

‘Sarah Twomey as a bravura bilingual French maid’

Libby Purves, theatreCat

‘Alexandra Gilbreath is stunning: she moves from an initial playfulness, coyly carnal…into later moments of intense and queenly stillness’

Libby Purves, theatreCat

★★★★

‘A rollicking good night’s entertainment’

Broadway World

‘Jonathan Slinger is magnificently vile as Brute’

Broadway World

‘Alexandra Gilbreath matches him with her Lady Brute…captures the joy of fleeting transgression’

Broadway World

‘The principals get excellent support from Natalie Dew as Bellinda, all coquettish faux innocence and John Hodgkinson as Heartfree’

Broadway World

‘Caroline Quentin as Lady Fancyfull and Sarah Twomey as her naughty French maid…have a lot of fun and are both excellent in their roles’

Broadway World

‘The ludicrous wigs, the beautiful dresses and the powdered faces…it all looks so gorgeous’

Broadway World

‘The onstage musicians…add so much to the spectacle, Paddy Cunneen’s music a hybrid of 18th century and 21st century stylings’

Broadway World

★★★★

'[Alexandra] Gilbreath is breathily solicitous'

Daily Mail

'Tasty caricatures galore'

Daily Mail

'Caroline Quentin is the caricature-in-chief as an ageing sybarite'

Daily Mail

'A gloriously scathing vision of humanity'

Daily Mail

'Phillip Breen's production is simple, direct and light on its feet'

Daily Mail

'I'm already looking forward to seeing it again'

Daily Mail

‘The type of daring venture that earns the RSC its subsidy’

Daily Telegraph Critics Choice

'Restoration Tragedies in all their troubled brilliance at the RSC'

Times Literary Supplement

‘Alexandra Gilbreath is genuinely funny as a Lady Brute torn between conscience and desire’

The Guardian

‘The other standout performance is by John Hodgkinson as the caustic bachelor, Heartfree’

The Guardian

‘There are lively performances from Rufus Hound as the impassioned Constant, Natalie Dew as Lady Brute’s niece, and Sarah Twomey as a mischievous French maid’

The Guardian

‘It’s a delight to see Jonathan Slinger back on the Stratford stage, here in superb grisly form as the utterly unlovable Sir John Brute’

WhatsOnStage

‘His wife (a pleasingly conflicted Alexandra Gilbreath)’

WhatsOnStage

‘The young buck Constant…mixture of tender affection and rampant lust is beautifully played the terrific Rufus Hound’

WhatsOnStage

‘Caroline Quentin…gives a masterclass in comic timing as the studiously affected Lady Fancyfull’

WhatsOnStage

‘Natalie Dew as Lady Brute’s conspiratorial niece Bellinda provides and engaging foil’

WhatsOnStage

‘Steve Nicolson threatens to steal the show with his late, hugely entertaining turn as the scheming servant Rasor’

WhatsOnStage

‘The production looks and sounds fabulous…with sumptuous costumes from Mark Bailey and some faux-period interlude music by Paddy Cunneen’

WhatsOnStage

‘Phillip Breen’s boisterous staging of Vanbrugh’s cynical comedy’

Financial Times

‘Pits the stately but self-deluding Alexandra Gilbreath against the persuasively repulsive Jonathan Slinger. Their language is strikingly, hilariously frank’

Financial Times

‘Comedians Rufus Hound and Les Dennis; together with Slinger…set out on the lash in a Blackadder-worthy blur of tumbling curly wigs, spilling tankards and hilarious pratfalls, all accompanied by the tootlings of a woodwind band’

Financial Times