Mike Leigh’s play Grief lives up to its title and has some extraordinary performances from Leslie Manville, Marion Bailey and Wendy Nottingham.
Daily Telegraph ★★★★
1957. War widow Dorothy lives in a London suburb with her 15-year-old daughter Victoria and her older bachelor brother Edwin.
More and more isolated from her married friends with their successful children, Dorothy tries to cope with Victoria’s increasingly hostile behaviour. But is she doing her best, as she thinks, or is she in fact responsible for what threatens to become an unendurable situation?
A devastating portrait of family dependencies and stifling domesticity, Grief is the new stage work by Mike Leigh. His many stage plays include Babies Grow Old (RSC 1974), Abigail’s Party (Hampstead Theatre 1977), Goose-Pimples (Hampstead Theatre 1981), It’s A Great Big Shame! (Theatre Royal Stratford East 1993), Two Thousand Years (National Theatre 2005) and Ecstasy (1979), which has recently been revived under Leigh’s direction at Hampstead Theatre and in the West End.
Mike Leigh is re-united on this project with Lesley Manville – his most frequent collaborator – and with regulars Marion Bailey, Sam Kelly and Wendy Nottingham. He worked with them variously on the films Who’s Who (1978), Grown-Ups (1980), Meantime (1984), The Short & Curlies (1987), High Hopes (1988), Secrets & Lies (1996), Topsy-Turvy (1999), All or Nothing (2002), Vera Drake (2004), Another Year (2010) and A Running Jump (2012).