The Stage, a weekly British newspaper and website covering the entertainment industry, has compiled reviews of the new Bob Dylan-inspired play set in 1930’s Duluth. Girl from the North Country, written and directed by Conor McPherson, opened earlier this month at the Vic Theater in London.
Critic Fergus Morgan notes the show “boasts a large, diverse cast, and 20 Dylan songs from across his career, pared down and rearranged for the stage by Simon Hale and performed by a live, onstage band.” The setting is described as “a run-down Minnesota guesthouse during the Great Depression. We’re in Duluth, Dylan’s place of birth, seven years before the singer-songwriter entered the world.”
Some critics fall in love with the concept. Paul Taylor (Independent, ★★★★★) thinks that “the idea is inspired and the treatment piercingly beautiful,” Fiona Mountford (Evening Standard, ★★★★★) calls it “beguiling and soulful and quietly, exquisitely heartbreaking,” and Ann Treneman (Times, ★★★★★) labels it “an instant American classic.”
Others, though, find it a bit odd. For Sarah Crompton (What’s On Stage, ★★) “it simply doesn’t work,” for Dominic Cavendish (Telegraph, ★★★) it’s “valiant” but “derivative,” and for Bella Todd (The Arts Desk, ★★★) McPherson just “tries to do too much.”
Basically, the judges have rendered a split decision. Read the full article for more: “Girl from the North Country at the Old Vic – review round-up”
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