What Are The Critics Saying About Orlando's Stage Debut?

Film star Orlando Bloom's stage debut in London's West End has met with a broadly positive response from critics. The 30-year-old actor plays Steven, a teacher and failed writer, haunted by his abandonment of his Northern roots.
I gathered a few reviews from London Theater Critics.



THE SUNDAY TIMES, CHRISTOPHER HART
"And what of Bloom, the principal attraction? He may make an acceptable elf, but can he really act? Yes, he can. His accent sounds well-nigh perfect, at least to these soft southern ears, and his movements have a matching bluntness, turning more hesitant as the play progresses. Rather than stage presence, he exudes absence, but that is a compliment. He is in character as Steven, wrapped in sad, wounded speechlessness."

THE GUARDIAN, MICHAEL BILLINGTON
"Through Steven, Storey nails the traumatised rootlessness that comes from feeling one's life has no significance. Bloom lends Steven exactly the right sense of haunted taciturnity and withdrawn moodiness."

THE OBSERVER, KATE KELLAWAY
"Orlando Bloom, in his stage debut, plays Steve - the most inward of the brothers. It is a non-celebrity part, a modest showcase for his considerable talents. Steve is the sort of man incapable of finishing anything: he has given up on writing a book; even his moustache is inconclusive. He never cried as a baby but is about to make up for it now. Bloom is absolutely up - or down - to the part."

THE SUNDAY TIMES, CHRISTOPHER HART
"And what of Bloom, the principal attraction? He may make an acceptable elf, but can he really act? Yes, he can. His accent sounds well-nigh perfect, at least to these soft southern ears, and his movements have a matching bluntness, turning more hesitant as the play progresses. Rather than stage presence, he exudes absence, but that is a compliment. He is in character as Steven, wrapped in sad, wounded speechlessness."

DAILY MAIL, QUENTIN LETTS
"Movie pin-up Orlando Bloom shows fine sensitivity with this part."

THE STAGE, JEREMY AUSTIN
"Probably the most telling compliment that can be made about this revival of David Storey’s witty, engaging social drama is that Hollywood star Orlando Bloom, dressed down in a dowdy brown shirt, tie and cardigan, merges into the background. Lez Brotherston’s wonderful set - essentially a terrace house with walls pulled down - invites the audience into the Shaw family’s house and has them settle down on the well-worn furniture to watch what happens when a family, many families, gets together for a social function like a 40th wedding anniversary. That Bloom is just another part of that family is testament to how complete is this theatrical experience and to Anna Mackmin’s energetic yet sensitive direction Casting more than plays its part."

THIS IS LONDON, NICHOLAS DE JONGH
"Bloom's sexual charisma and androgynous prettiness before the camera vanishes clean away on the stage's more distant perspective. He stands around looking caddish in his pencil-thin moustache, blankly disengaged and forever bathed in boredom. His cries of grief while asleep at night typify his performance, being unduly subdued."

DAILY EXPRESS, PAUL CALLAN
"But sadly Orlando Bloom, in his London stage debut, is disappointing. This is not entirely his fault. The part of Steven is too small and lacks the opportunity for spreading any dramatic wings."

DAILY TELEGRAPH, CHARLES SPENCER
"while a brilliantined and moustached Orlando Bloom spends the entire evening looking pale and interesting. It's not a challenging role but he remembers his lines and doesn't bump into the furniture."

THE TIMES, BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE
"Bloom is Steven Shaw, one of three sons returning from the comfy, middle-class South to celebrate his parents’ ruby wedding in the Yorkshire village where his father works as a coalminer. Superficially it’s an unrewarding part, because he spends most of the time looking wan and saying little but that he’s “fine”, but an important one."

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