That Face original West End production poster
|Written by||Polly Stenham|
|Date premiered||26 April 2007|
|Genre||Comedy Drama, Realism|
That Face is a two-act play written by Polly Stenham. It premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London on 26 April 2007, directed by Jeremy Herrin. The play was revived at the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End in 2008, opening on 1 May. It made its American premiere in May 2010, at the Manhattan Theatre Club, running through until 27 June.
Mia is at boarding school and has access to her mother's drugs. She gets into trouble for drugging a fellow student and this causes her father to be brought back to England from Hong Kong. Henry, her brother, has dropped out of school and has to stay at home and look after his alcoholic mother. Martha, their fading glamorous mother, controls their lives whilst her own sick mind and world crumble around her.
Original West End production
When That Face premiered on the West End, the cast was as follows: Lindsay Duncan, Hannah Murray, Matt Smith, Catherine Steadman and Julian Wadham. Prior to the West End transfer, Felicity Jones played the Hannah Murray role.
2010 New York production
That Face received its first London revival at The Landor Theatre from 12 November to 1 December 2013, starring Caroline Wildi as Martha, Rory Fleck-Byrne as Henry, Stephanie Hyam as Mia and Georgina Leonidas as Izzy.
That Face was received positively by critics, who particularly praised the new writer and the performances from the actors. Charles Spencer of The Daily Telegraph said it was "a blazing, no-holds barred production… Fresh, passionate and blackly comic – exhilarating... Lindsay Duncan’s superb performance...Matt Smith is outstanding.". The Daily Express mentioned that "Polly Stenham is a modern successor to Tennessee Williams or Edward Albee... Intensely moving, skillfully crafted piece." The Daily Express, The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Times, Time Out, Metro, Radio 4 and The Sunday Times also reviewed it very positively. In late 2009, the play was named at no. 9 in The Times Top Twenty Plays of the Decade. It also received three Olivier Award nominations (one in 2008, before the transfer, then nods for Best New Play and Best Actress in a Play in 2009).
- "That Face at the Duke of York's Theatre, WC2". The Times. 12 May 2008. Retrieved on 28 May 2008.
- Terry Teachout, A Commanding Debut, The Wall Street Journal, 21 May 2010, p. W5
- Official Website
- Wall Street Journal