Review – Death of a Theatre Critic, Pleasance Courtyard

Death of a Theatre Critic
It will be a brave critic who savages this one. The Swedish Theatre in Helsinki’s production follows the consequences of a bad review, as a previously successful theatre director (Marcus Groth) is driven to madness and violence by the harsh critical words of a theatre critic (Tony Donaldson).

Joakim Groth’s play addresses a wide range of meta-theatrical subjects, from the responsibility of the critic to the sanctity of a playwrights text, and does so intelligently – although a harsher critic (not I, Mr Groth!) might accuse it of wearing its intellect a little knowingly. And bloggers aren’t even mentioned, which obviously loses it a few points.

Notwithstanding that, there are some superb performances here. Marcus Groth (who you will remember from Risto Räppääjä ja polkupyörävaras, Finland’s highest grossing family film) is wonderfully comfortable in his lead role and Tony Donaldson is utterly arresting in his thoughtful portrayal of both the doomed critic and a psychopathic playwright.

4 stars