Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Great staging
About the Show
Polly Stenham’s award-winning play takes an in-depth look at the lives of the rich.
Martha isn't fussed when her daughter, Mia, is expelled from boarding school - she prefers to hang out with her son, Henry. But now her estranged husband has reappeared wanting to sort things out, despite him running off to Hong Kong with his new girlfriend. What is there to sort out? Everything is fine...
This marks the first major London revival of Polly Stenham’s debut play, which was the recipient of the Evening Standard Charles Wintour Award, the TMA Best New Play Award, and the Critics’ Circle Award.
Niamh Cusack ('The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time', 'My Brilliant Friend') leads in this production, which is directed by Josh Seymour.
“Stenham’s script is outstanding in how authentic and believable her dysfunctional characters are, even while we are often imbued with loathing and distaste at their behaviour. Despite the weight of the subject matter, there is also a lot of wry humour even as the family unit disintegrates.”
“‘That Face’ still feels like a sharp knife to the guts...There’s the very real possibility that Polly Stenham will never top the play she wrote when she was 19, but at least she can rest easy in the knowledge that it really is a classic, a timeless roar of teenage frustration.”
“Stenham’s script is undeniably a strong, and at times, utterly gripping piece of drama. For a play so grounded in realism, this production does sometimes veer in the opposite direction...Still, this accomplished piece of writing stands the test of time, and a passionate cast ensures the return of ‘That Face’ is not a disappointment.”
“It’s punky and extravagant, but what’s less strong is any sense of psychological depth, any backstory, any exploration of the situation that goes beyond the surface antagonism...Over the course of some 95 minutes, the central theme of codependence between parents and children is rather too emphatic, too underlined.”
"It’s an almost sickeningly intense experience, lit up by some stunning performances and Josh Seymour’s finely calibrated direction, which manages to be both stylised and punchy but intimate and truthful too."