THE ROUNDABOUT IN NEW YORK – THE CRITICS’ VERDICTS

The Cahoots Theatre Company’s production of Priestley’s long-lost drawingroom comedy The Roundabout was presented at London’s Park Theatre in August 2016 and its current Off-Broadway transfer (as part of the Brits On Broadway Season) has attracted many excellent reviews:

‘This sparkling, impeccably staged play….will be catnip to Downton Abbey devotees, with equal doses of humour and insight….Throughout, Priestley gently reminds us of the ephemerality of affluence in a teetering economy.His words, with their generous, sympathetic regard for human nature, cast a binding glow over the production.’

The New York Times

 ‘A delightful romp into the past…Priestley is a witty writer, making social comments that are just as relevant today…Under Hugh Ross’s direction. The play moves at a clip and is crisp and refreshing.’

Times Square Chronicles

‘Director Hugh Ross captures the wit and the high octane interactions that erupt moment to moment….The Roundabout is a delicious import.’

Berkshire Fine Arts

‘A Must-See….The Roundabout is revived at 59E59 Theatres in a grandproduction, directed exactly as it should be by Hugh Ross with precisely the right cast.’

Huffington Post

a long-lost treasure…..sparkles with the wit of Oscar Wilde, the frivolity of Coward, and the saltiness of Shaw.’

Theater Pizzazz

‘The direction is tone-perfect and the cast without exception excellent…it’s very funny but its underpinning of the effects of the great recession as played out among a capitalist English aristocracy and idealistic young left-wingers gives it a particular strength and historical interest.’

Let’s Talk Off Broadway

‘Under Hugh Ross’s well-paced direction, the cast is uniformly engaging…It is the unpredictability of (the) parallel story lines that makes The Roundabout consummately entertaining….a delightful romp around the roundabout : well worth the trip.’

Theatre Reviews Limited

 ‘A charming and well-performed work…it provides enough delights to make it well worth a visit…the play is a must-see, a surprising sojourn into the realm of lightweight comedy filled with Oscar Wilde-like witticisms.’

Talkin’ Broadway

And even some of the negative reviews are not all bad news:

‘The Roundabout is well acted and well staged. I wish that were enough, but it’s not…the play is dated; despite some terrific one-liners, its assets are insufficient to a recommend a stale production.’

 Theatre Is Easy

The Roundabout has been given a polished production…(but) it turns out to be little more than a dated drawing room comedy….The repartee is good but, alas, the play is not particularly witty nor does it offer memorable one liners. From the usually brilliant J B Priestley we have come to expect a good deal more originality.’

Theaterscene

Overall, this is encouraging and matches the impact of the long-overdue revival of Cornelius which was staged at the Finborough Theatre, London in 2012 and had a similarly successful run at the same 59E59 Theatres off Broadway. We can only hope that these two once-forgotten plays do not sink back into neglect.

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