The Way of the World: Performances Resume

The Donmar Warehouse announced today that performances will resume for their production of William Congreve's The Way of the World, and they will finish out the planned run through May 26th.

The theater went dark for a week following the sad announcement that the very talented and much loved Alex Beckett had passed away. The Donmar has posted the following statement on its website:

 

In mid-April, we were deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our dear friend and actor, Alex Beckett.

Alex was a much-loved member of The Way of the World cast, playing Waitwell, and began his career in Hotel in Amsterdam at the Donmar. He was a friend, an inspiration and a shining talent.

Together, we and the company dedicate this joyful production to the memory of this brilliant, funny and gifted man.

 

Robin Pearce is stepping into the role, having played Waitwell in the 2012 Chichester Theatre's production of the play.

Sending love and support to the company for tonight and the rest of the run. You will undoubtedly make Alex proud.

The Way of the World: Performances Suspended

 

The Donmar posted the following statement on its website, after canceling performances of The Way of the World on Tuesday and Wednesday:

 

 

Deepest sympathies to the company and to all of Alex's loved ones. Taken far too soon.

The Way of the World: What's On Stage Interview

 

What's On Stage caught up with the cast of The Way of the World at the after party on opening night, and chatted about the challenges and joys of Congreve's Restoration era play.

 

 

The Way of the World: Reviews Are In

 

 

The critics have weighed in on the Donmar Warehouse's production of The Way of the World, with most giving the play 4 out of 5 stars. Here's what a few had to say about the play and performances:

Paul Taylor from The Independent calls it a "comic masterpiece."

There's a crispness and clarity to the way this production highlights the contrast between Mirabell and his superficially similar fellow-gallant, Fainall. Tom Mison shows you a disturbing, almost neurotic meanness of spirit behind the studied languor of a ruthless individualist who will stop at nothing (even defaming his wife) to get his hands on all the Wishfort money. Though he has done unfortunate things in his past, Mirabell now appreciates the humane value of contracts.

 

Sarah Crompton from What's On Stage says "director James Macdonald and his entire creative team frame this rare revival with such thoughtful care that it emerges with the gleaming richness of a symphony."

Even the manipulative Mrs Marwood (played by Jenny Jules with a hauteur that hides real pain) is allowed our sympathy; she has been used by Fainall, who Mison plays magnificently, his languor hardening into savagery as the evening progresses. As his traduced wife, Caroline Martin finds a moving sense of betrayal and fierce self-reliance.

 

Michael Billington at The Guardian writes "James Macdonald’s revival offers clarity and hilarity"

Gwynne is very funny when gazing at her unadorned features in the mirror (“I look like an old peeled wall”) and when hurling herself intemperately at a chaise longue to find the right posture for an expected suitor. But you feel deep sympathy for her when, as Fainall seeks to tie her to an extortionate contract, she cries “Never to marry!” in despair at a life of sexless solitude. In a play that scarcely has a dud role, there is a wealth of fine performances. Tom Mison and Jenny Jules lend the arch plotters a hint of inner complexity.

 

The play runs through May 26th. Check the Donmar's website often for ticket availability.

 

Photos by Johan Persson