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David Tennant & Kelly Reilly

Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland
For Best Male Performance

"David Tennant's performance swept us off our feet, electrifying and mesmerising as he paced the stage like a caged animal. Whether he was perching on furniture or strutting dictator-like, it was impossible to take your eyes off him as he summoned up the hateful but irresistible Jimmy Porter".

Lynne Walker, INDEPENDENT, 3 February 2005

. . . Cooped up in their dismal attic bedsit, like the animals (bear and squirrel) into whose personalities they periodically escape, the Porters are brought brilliantly to hellish life by David Tennant (soon to star in the new Harry Potter film) and Kelly Reilly . . . Tennant's rants may have a coruscating effect on the audience, but Reilly's apparent indifference, her loud silence and her detached body-language suggest another story. Is she numbed into passivity by his misogynistic bullying? Or exhausted by her claustrophobic existence, cooped up with such a brittle bundle of seething energy and radical opinions?

Tennant treats Trevor Coe's realistic set like a gym, working out his frustrations as he jumps, perches and runs around in circles, his movements as feverish as his mind and as spiky as his tongue. But there's a sensitive side to his portrayal, too - a touching vulnerability as he recounts his presence at two deathbeds, and traces of the charismatic charm that make him irresistibly attractive. . . .

Mark Fisher, GUARDIAN, January 19, 2005

. . . Played with customary zest by David Tennant, Porter is a compellingly detestable character delivering speeches of virtuoso rage, vicious humour and dazzling invective. His rants are made even more remarkable by the indifference of his companions, an icy, elegant Kelly Reilly as Alison showing Teflon resistance to her husband's provocations and a superbly understated Steven McNicoll as flatmate Cliff, dutifully occupying the no-man's-land in this bed-sit warzone.

Tennant perches on the furniture, juts out his lower jaw, lobs around teapots, newspapers and food, gleefully exposing Porter's misogyny and insensitivity, even as he turns on the charm to show the charismatic lover or the vulnerable child beneath. It's a tremendous performance, given touching and credible support from the rest of the cast and finally revealing, behind the strangeness and vitriol, a sweetly conventional love story.


. . . The energy is all but psychotic when it comes to David TennantŐs Jimmy. He is like a caged animal with the petulance of a child and articulacy of a natural orator. Yet he oozes sexuality in a way which justifies the whole strange manage a trois with Alison and fellow lodger Cliff. And makes HelenŐs later passion towards him inevitable. . . .

Thelma Good, EDINBURGH GUIDE, January 18, 2005

. . . A recent "new university" graduate Porter is angry at a world he sees as lacking in strong causes and the changes it needs. David Tennant, in a most welcome return to the Scottish stage, imparts a fierce, febrile energy to Porter as he berates the awfulness of a British Sunday prior to colour supplements, 24/7 opening and our present day highly mobile world. He's a young, bitter cynic about the world retreated to his small universe - wife, job running a sweetie stall and his life in a one-bedroom attic flat. He rages at those around him but does nothing to make things change. . . .

Robert Dawson Scott, TIMES ONLINE, January 18, 2005

. . .Tennant is everything Jimmy Porter needs to be, odious but irresistible, idle but driven, angry but powerless, selfimportant but self-loathing.

Endless energy leaks from every inch of his long, lean, angular frame which he throws like a weapon around Monika Nisbet's perfect recreation of the Porters' shabby Midlands bedsit.

Tennant's performance is matched in the other four parts. . . .

Neil Cooper, THE HERALD, January 18, 2005

. . .Director Richard Baron and his handsome cast have duly ditched whatever originally passed as half-cocked ideology, concentrating instead on the self-destructive love/hate affair between Jimmy and his cut-glass wife, Alison, played with breakneck fluidity by David Tennant and a dynamic Kelly Reilly.

The result is electric, a gut-wrenchingly brutal assault course through the emotional wreckage of fractured intimacies.

Here, Jimmy and Alison are equals in an ongoing war of attrition, and Tennant and Reilly's scenes together are heartbreaking. As noise gives way to love play, pet names and the tears of the final scene, all Jimmy's rage is revealed as just a smokescreen to protect a little boy frustrated at having to acknowledge the power someone else has over him.. . .

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