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Some fabulous reviews have started to appear online following last night's Dancing At Lughnasa press night. Tom Riley's performance as Gerry has some lovely reviews. Of course!

By rights, Tom Riley’s Gerry should be the villain of the piece, but his childlike lack of guile is winning – together there is something strangely beautiful to the failure of their relationship and their refusal to hate each other.  Timeout

It’s easy to distrust the promises of feckless Gerry, Michael’s absentee father (played with Bertie Wooster-esque relish by Tom Riley), but our foreknowledge makes his honeyed words even emptier. However, we also see the elation his presence brings to Chris in the moment. Right from his giddy entrance, twirling his walking stick, he shifts the mood. And though Kate furiously disapproves, she admits that Chris’s “whole face alters when she’s happy.” As, indeed, Alison Oliver’s performance vividly shows.  London Theatre

Tom Riley’s Gerry, a jolly cove who talks of signing up for the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (“Everybody says it will be over by Christmas”) might have wandered out of a Wodehouse novel. The Times

But this is a true ensemble piece, crammed with eloquent detail: the choking disappointment of Louisa Harland’s lonely Agnes, the wide-eyed sweetness of Bláithín Mac Gabhann’s Rose, the exasperating charm of Riley’s Gerry, the child-like marvelling and bewilderment of O’Hanlon’s Jack. It is a production of piercing lyricism as well as embracing warmth and wit: gorgeous. The Stage

A ffection and regret suffuse Brian Friel’s award-winning 1990 memory play, where the lives of five unmarried sisters in rural County Donegal represent the changing world of 1936. It’s given a lovingly detailed revival here at the National – where the original production transferred from Dublin’s Abbey Theatre – by director Josie Rourke, with a splendid ensemble cast including Justine Mitchell, Derry Girls’ Siobhán McSweeney and compelling newcomer Alison Oliver... ...Ditto the decision of Tom Riley’s irresistibly daft Gerry to join the International Brigades fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Evening Standard

The performances are excellent, Siobhán McSweeney catching Maggie's wit and wisdom and Alison Oliver visibly aching with delight as Chrissie whenever Tom Riley's dandyish Gerry appears on the horizon. Broadway World

The performances are exquisite too, from Oliver’s fluttering exhilaration when Gerry first arrives to the house, to Jack’s passion for the alternative faith he has brought back to Donegal. The Guardian

Upon arriving in the Olivier auditorium, the spectator is greeted by a remarkable site. Robert Jones’s exquisite design shows off the depth and the breadth of this lovely playing space to wonderful effect, foregrounding a thrifty but cosy kitchen set in the middle of a gently raking cornfield, which is itself backed by unobtrusive video projections of a lofty tree and far distant hills. iNews


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