Play falls on sword of harsh reviews
If you’re to believe the critics, the play Midnight Express is an utter stinker, a production that’s flaws are all too obvious in the bold light of day.
Alarm bells were ringing for anyone who had bought tickets for the show, which is taking place at the London Coliseum currently, when co-stars Sergei Polunin and Igor Zelensky walked out on the dance production last week, with only vague reasons given for their departures. Unfortunately for director Peter Schaufuss that was all the bait the critics needed to lay into Midnight Express, the Telegraph leading the way by calling it an “110-year-jail-sentence of a show.” Taking a pop at the ticket prices too, they commented “Top-whack tickets for this show are an unforgivable £120 each, which is £27 more than the Royal Ballet’s most expensive seats for its forthcoming Mayerling. If you’re craving a genuinely, mind-bogglingly dark, sexy, gripping evening of dance, I implore you to go to that instead, and to give this undignified helping of gruel a miss.”
The Guardian meanwhile says that the flaws of this play wouldn’t even have been highlighted had their illustrious leads not left. “The main effect of their departure has simply been to vault a very lacklustre production into a very undeserved spotlight” it comments. The Metro at least praises understudy Johan Christensen, commenting “No blame should attach to the feet of Johan Christensen … He gives the part of Billy Hayes his all and is clearly a dancer of rich promise … But he has precious little to work with, save being swung around on a stick. He, and us, were clearly suffering, but not remotely in the way that was intended.”