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Review: A Big Day For the Goldbergs

New End Theatre, London NW3

    Two stars might seem harsh for a play with a four-star moment. In Brian Daniels's debut offering that moment comes during a monologue by his heroine Michele. Having joined a circus to escape parochial Jewish life in Leeds, Michele - well played with a good deal of comic timing by Amy Shindler - describes her home-coming when the expected family rejection over her life choices movingly turns out to be acceptance. Tears welled up.

    Elsewhere, this three-hander's gentle live-and-let-live message, in which Michele, her sister Lucille (Suzanne Goldberg) and their divorced mother Denise (Jane Hayward) confide their anxieties to us and each other as the pregnant Lucille's wedding approaches, is never delivered by director Olivia Rowe with the brio and invention that Daniel's dialogue demands.

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