Cate Blanchett 'mesmerising' in Barbican play

Cate Blanchett in Big and Small Cate Blanchett is also co-artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company

Related Stories

Critics have hailed Cate Blanchett as "mesmerising", "magnificent" and "beyond terrific" for her latest role on stage at The Barbican in London.

The Australian actress is appearing in Big And Small, written by German playwright Botho Strauss in 1978.

"Cate Blanchett gives a simply mesmerising performance as a woman edged out of her own life," wrote Dominic Maxwell in The Times.

Her performance was "technically dazzling yet deeply felt", he added.

Blanchett plays Lotte, a graphic designer seeking a sense of belonging in a world where she seems perpetually out of place.

Many critics were more enthusiastic about Blanchett's performance than the play itself, which Maxwell described as a "tricky customer".

In The Evening Standard, Henry Hitchings praised her "electrifying" appearance, while Euan Ferguson of The Observer gushed that Blanchett was "beyond terrific".

"Whimperingly, blisteringly terrific," he added. "She is a revelation.

"It is well-nigh impossible to tear one's eyes from Cate Blanchett, right from the opener, as she sits, smoking, on stage, gazing at us, soliloquising at us."

'Luminous'

The play, produced by the Sydney Theatre Company - of which she is the co-artistic director, has arrived in London after a run in Sydney last year.

It forms part of the London 2012 Festival, which is the cultural programme of the Olympic Games.

In The Independent review, Paul Taylor praised the actress as "magnificent throughout". He wrote: "Blanchett proves she is as luminous and commanding a presence on stage as she is on screen."

London 2012 - One extraordinary year

London 2012 One extraordinary year graphic

Writing on The Arts Desk website, Aleks Sierz said the actress's performance had "an inspiring quality that is constantly surprising, often quirky and occasionally moving".

"She gives real presence to ideas about existential angst and alienation in a materialist society," Sierz added.

Blanchett recently told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme that she was "obsessed" with the play while at university, when she was in a "flawed but noble" production.

"There's a great sense of alienation in the play and that's expressed in the structure of the quite disparate scenes," she said.

"But what's been extraordinary with what Martin [Crimp, playwright and translator] has done has been to really bring out the humanity of the work."

The play will run until the end of April.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features

  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?


  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900-year-story behind the creation of a UK parliament


  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest


  • Tesco signBest before?

    Has Tesco passed its sell-by date, asks Richard Anderson


  • Agents with the US Secret Service, such as this one, are responsible for guarding the presidentHard at work

    White House break-in adds to Secret Service woes


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.