REVIEW ROUNDUP: Six Degrees of Separation, Directed by David Grindley, Opens at Old Vic Theatre
The company features Lesley Manville (Ouisa), Anthony Head (Flan), and Obi Abili (Paul) along with Sarah Goldberg, Michael Goldsmith, Ilan Goodman, Steven Pacey, Sara Stewart, Paul Stocker, and Kevin Trainor.
The creative team includes Jonathan Fensom (production design), Jason Taylor (lighting design), and Gregory Clarke (sound design).
The London critics have weighed in and while there are varying opinions about the play itself, the reviews are almost unanimous in their praise of the leading performers and director Grindley's staging of the piece.
Among the reviews are:Daily Telegraph
Six Degrees of Separation at the Old Vic, review
"Obi Abili, however, is outstanding as Paul. Sexy, fluent, assured and with an edge of both neediness and danger."
"Lesley Manville gives a performance of high definition gloss that cracks into emotional and spiritual vulnerability as she falls under his spell, and there is strong support from Anthony Head as her smooth art dealer husband."
Six Degrees of Separation | Theatre review
"Obi Abili [...] as Paul has exactly the right blend of ingratiating charm, cunning and yearning to belong. Lesley Manville [...] perfectly captures Ouisa's growth from calculating Fifth Avenue hostess to a woman craving to make sense of her experience. And Anthony Head and Ian Redford lend weight and substance to the underwritten roles of the art-gambler and a South African moneybags."
Six Degrees of Separation
"But its star is Abili's Paul, who plausibly passes himself off as their children's friend, amusingly impersonates Poitier and then mesmerises the audience with his moving portrayal of a lost soul on a journey to nowhere. In the end, the play is not very persuasive, but his performance is."
Six Degrees of Separation, The Old Vic
"...there's still something troubling and touching in Guare's portrait of fragmentation, rootlessness and a young man's attempt to reinvent himself through the power of his imagination. Last night I felt that Six Degrees was worth the lively, absorbing revival David Grindley has given it."
Review: Six Degrees of Separation
"With a droll and stylish Lesley Manville as the Manhattanite Ouisa, Anthony Head as her husband Flan, and new boy Obi Abili as the intruder Paul, the play still stings and snaps, but it's not the same..."