Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Review: Clarence Darrow

Old Vic, London SE1

    Kevin Spacey in Clarence Darrow
    Kevin Spacey in Clarence Darrow

    The American human-rights lawyer Clarence Darrow is one of liberal America's poster boys. David W Rintel's one-man biographical play of 1974 has been performed by Henry Fonda. But now that I've seen Kevin Spacey in the role, I don't much feel the need to see anyone else, not even the man from Twelve Angry Men.

    In Thea Sharrock's superbly judged production, Spacey's gruff, rude and chivalrous Darrow stalks Old Vic's wonderful, in-the-round stage like a boxer waiting for his opponent. He makes forays into the audience which, in the best moments of a play that is otherwise sorely lacking in tension, turns sections of the crowd into juries. They sit slightly dumbstruck as Spacey projects his performance directly into their face.

    Yes, the play is a vehicle that in lesser hands would feel like risk-free proselytising. But even though many of the arguments feel moribund, the sheer charisma with which they are delivered by Spacey is a thrill to watch.

The Jewish Chronicle

Reviews: King Lear

John Nathan

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Reviews: King Lear
Theatre

The comics' Talmudist

Elisa Bray

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The comics' Talmudist
Theatre

Kindertransport

John Nathan

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Kindertransport
Theatre

Review: The Last Five Years

John Nathan

Friday, November 11, 2016

Review: The Last Five Years
Theatre

Review: The Dresser

John Nathan

Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: The Dresser
Theatre

Review: The Boys in the Band

John Nathan

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: The Boys in the Band
The Jewish Chronicle

Review: Dead Funny

John Nathan

Friday, November 11, 2016

Review: Dead Funny
Theatre

Review: Ragtime

John Nathan

Friday, October 21, 2016

Review: Ragtime
Theatre

Review: Travesties

John Nathan

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: Travesties