After a succesful run at the Royal Court, April de Angelis' Jumpy has notched up another West End transfer for the Royal Court's recent output, following on from Posh, Jerusalem and Enron. The show sees Green Wing and Episodes star Greig portraying 50 year old Hilary whose life is slowly falling apart at the seems as she deals with worries about her age, a sagging marriage, problems at work and an increasingly surly and troublesome teenage daughter. Also starring Smack The Pony's Doon Mackichan as her friend Frances, the comedy had its press night this Tuesday.
The Financial Times' Griselda Murray Brown writes that although the comedy isn't perhaps as gritty as some of The Court's recent output, "Greig barely has to pour herself a glass of wine and the audience is tittering." She dubs Greig "superb" and complements her "perfectly pitched combination of nervy energy, self-doubt and steel".
Dominic Cavendish of The Telegraph awards the play five stars calling it "the funniest new play the West End has seen in ages." He goes on to say "Tamsin Greig joins the forefront of our finest stage actresses, finding understated hilarity and pathos in the spectacle of a wife and mum on the verge of a breakdown. At times, her Hilary is an attractively bemused bystander to everything in the world, even herself; at others, her teary sense of desolation is almost unbearable to behold." He also praises Bel Powley's portrayal as Hilary's daughter Tilly and the "wonderful" Mackichan, summising that "it’s the women who rule the dramatic roost."
The Guardian's Lyn Gardner muses that some of the play's darker and more melancholic themes are sometimes overshadowed by comedic elements but concedes that "the whole thing is glued together by a remarkable performance from Greig, who adroitly plays the role for laughs, but also movingly suggests a woman in mourning for her lost self."
Writing for The Stage, Jeremy Austin complements both Greig and Mackichan but is particularly taken with Powley's take on troubled daughter Tilly. "De Angelis has placed perhaps her most frightening creation at the heart of this - Tilly, played by Bel Powley - Hilary’s terrifyingly angry teenage daughter. Powley sizzles with the rebellion of burgeoning adulthood tempered with the vulnerability of the child that still exists beneath the make-up and the bravado. It fuels the play, almost as much as the fears of every parent in the audience."
Directed by Nina Raine, the show is playing for a limited run at the Duke Of York's Theatre until 3 November.
Book tickets for Jumpy here