Review – The Holy Rosenbergs, National Theatre

Friday 11 March 2011

Your favourite son is being buried tomorrow. Do you:

a) Spend the evening worrying about the day to come

b) Spend the evening with your family reflecting on your loss / celebrating his life

c) Invite someone round for dinner to discuss a catering contract

Some members of your community deeply resent your involvement in an investigation into war crimes on both sides of the Arab/Israeli conflict and are threatening to demonstrate at your brother’s funeral tomorrow. It’s late at night. How would you make sure they knew you had resigned from the Enquiry and so get the demonstration cancelled:

a) Get the people who know who they are to contact them directly

b) It’s impossible; I have been painted into a corner, plot-wise

c) Put something on the Enquiry’s website; they are bound to read it

You are a doctor and prescribe a prescription to help a mother deal with the stress of the upcoming funeral of her son. The daughter (whom you resent) needs to pick up the prescription. Do you…

a) Tell her to run

b) Tell her to get a cab

c) Hand her the keys to your Jag without a moment’s hesitation

Which of these axe-related works do you most admire?

a) Strait-Jacket

b) Mommie Dearest

c) The Cherry Orchard

Which of these foodstuffs could be featured in a play without making half the audience think of Acorn Antiques?

a) Potato latkes

b) Chicken soup

c) Macaroons

Which form of staging would most suit your play?

a) A nice, traditional proscenium arch

b) A nice, traditional proscenium arch

c) In the round

You have unwanted body hair. Which would you go for?

a) Sugaring

b) A Brazilian

c) A Gaza Strip

Which celebrated designer are you least likely to spot in the audience?

a) Ralph Lauren

b) Calvin Klein

c) John Galliano

Which of these plays would you quite like to have written?

a) Jerusalem

b) The Merchant of Venice

c) All My Sons


If you said Mostly Cs you are playwright Ryan Craig. If you didn’t, you’re almost certainly not.


9 Responses to “Review – The Holy Rosenbergs, National Theatre”

  1. webcowgirl Says:

    HA HA HA bless you any regrets I had for not buying tickets for this are now gone!

  2. Russell Says:

    Maybe should have stayed but left at half time. Dialogue sounded bogus, situation seemed bogus and everyone seemed to be ACTING.

  3. Ged Ladd Says:

    Thank you. Thank you. I have tried in vain to convince Daisy (my gal) since last night that the plot had more holes than a packet of polos. So ahead of the formal reviews, I am mighty relieved to have found your witty and thoughful posting.

    Both Daisy and I agreed last night that the play owed an awful lot to All My Sons. Just a shame (IMHO)that Ryan Criag didn’t learn a bit more from Miller about tight dialogue and believable plots.

    The acting on the whole was superb despite all of the above, with the exception of the Rabbi who seemed far too wooden even for a shy, confused young man of the cloth.

  4. Peter Says:

    I wish I’d left at half time. I spotted the “All My Sons” similarity too. And it waasn’t helped from Tier 2 that I was mostly looking at the top of people’s heads!
    I don’t think the acting was all that good, but the characters were certainly caricatures.
    Very weak!

  5. Cuthbert Says:

    Arthur Miller and Clifford Odets have nothing to worry about. What a mess, too bad, a few of the actors were pretty good.

  6. Kerry Says:

    Oh, bother. Have tickets for this tomorrow and was so looking forward to seeing the Chosen People represented in theatre for once.

  7. Gerry Says:

    Wasn’t so bad. Worth staying for after the rather caricatured first half. Acting generally good with Henry Goodman giving his usual reliable performance

  8. JDM Says:

    Thank goodness for your review. I read Michael Billington’s in The Guardian and wondered what play he had seen! Holy Rosenbergs wasn’t so bad as to drive us out at the interval, but it was a poorly written play – just about every idea that could possibly be included, was. Someone should have imposed some discipline on the playwright!

  9. Glen Says:

    Well wished I’d read this before wasting 2 1/2 hours of my life tonight on this tosh!

    Interestingly at the platform tonight Ryan Craig said he was influenced by Arthur Miller but also was inspired by Antigone for this play!

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