Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Starts well, but the ending disappoints, Relevant
About the Show
Tom Hollander stars in Peter Morgan's new play set during the fall of the Soviet Union.
As a new generation of oligarchs fights to seize control of Russia's assets, billionaire businessman Boris Berezovsky hustles his way into the President's inner circle. 'Patriots' charts his rise to the top of Russia's elite and his fall from grace, becoming enemy #1.
BAFTA-winning actor Tom Hollander ('The Night Manager', 'Travesties', 'Rev.') stars in Peter Morgan's ('The Crown', 'Frost/Nixon') new play as Boris Berezovsky.
Almeida Artistic Director Rupert Goold ('Ink', 'Albion') directs. This production is recommended for ages 14+.
"It’s an interesting, informative play, with three great performances in Hollander’s brilliant, quicksilver Berezovsky, Keen’s hypnotically plausible, hangdog Putin, and Luke Thallon’s Abramovitch, essentially a nice enough guy who realises he needs the patronage of the others to succeed and sucks it up humbly, becoming stupendously rich in the process."
"Goold’s direction is economical and unremittingly pacy, but assigns random regional accents to characters willy-nilly. The shoehorning of facts into dialogue, and the deployment of Berezovsky’s mathematical interest in infinity and the science of decision-making are a bit obvious. But overall this is a cracking, exciting piece of theatre that’s become, sadly, very timely."
"Morgan’s play certainly draws our minds to how Russian’s 1% ended up here, playing out their power battles in UK courtrooms as was in the case with Berezovksy and Abramovich, and as fascinating as this post-perestroika era may be, it begs for a far fuller look at the London connection."
"The director, Rupert Goold, manages to impose some sort of shape in the first half... By the second half, however, Hollander can’t lift a script that limps from one crisis to another as the shadows close in. "
"Morgan tells the story with methodical, cerebral coldness. While there’s a dose of suitably dry humour in the smart script, its slow pace and short, episodic scenes rarely generate enough conflict to really captivate."
"It's highly watchable, and moves at a lick; Morgan writes with admirable precision. And it's good to get an insight into the machinations of the Russian state at a time when they're threatening to destabilise the world."