Reviews / Stage / Stage / Theatre / Theatre

Elling: Reviews at Trafalgar Studios

The Telegraph: Cop-in-a-coma is a comic revelation
Dominic Cavendish
16 July 2007

Racing into town on the back of the cartload of rave reviews it garnered at the Bush in April, this kooky Norwegian comedy is just what the silly season demands – a smart, sweetly populist affair that’s as easily glugged down as a glass of Pimm’s and induces a pleasingly giddy sensation. more

Country Life: Elling
Jane Watkins
13 July 2007

In these days of financial uncertainty for the West End, theatregoers all too often seem to be faced with insipid imports (such as The Drowsy Chaperone), rehashes of popular material (shows such as Daddy Cool) or the stunt casting of American film stars and soap/reality ‘celebrities’ (in shows such as Chicago). And many of the productions that are brought into town for a run are less than appetising, less alone challenging.

Happily, there is an exception to all of this in the form of Elling, starting a run at the Trafalgar Studios following its sellout run at the Bush Theatre. Even if it were not of such high quality, it would be successful—its star, John Simm (last seen biting the furniture in Dr Who and embracing the 1970s in Life on Mars), brings a ready-made audience. But it doesn’t need it. more

London Evening Standard: The Original Simm
By Alison Roberts
13 July 2007

With the West End bracing itself for a tough summer of security alerts and inevitably decreased box-office receipts, it can count on just one sure-fire hit this season. The oddball comedy Elling, starring John Simm and Adrian Bower, was a surprise smash at The Bush theatre and transferred last week to Trafalgar Studios on Whitehall in a blaze of critical glory almost unprecedented in recent years. more

Times Online: Elling
Benedict Nightingale
11 July 2007

Elling is a prim, prissy Norwegian who went mentally to pieces when his mother’s death ended their weird, Oedipal bond (“she did the shopping and I did the ideology”). He is now on conditional release from the asylum where he’s spent the past two years. If he and his equally damaged friend, the sex-obsessed Kjell Bjarne, prove able to cope, they may remain in a subsidised Oslo flat, taking part in a Scandinavian Odd Couple rather than returning to a nordic Nurse Ratched in a subIbsenesque version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. more

What’s On Stage: John Simm & Elling Cast in the West End
11 July 2007

Life on Mars’ John Simm made his West End debut last night (10 July 2007, previews from 6 July) when Norwegian screen-to-stage comedy Elling transferred to the Trafalgar Studios main house following its sell-out premiere season at west London’s Bush Theatre.

In Elling, Simm plays the title character who, with his friend Kjell Bjarne (Adrian Bower), must convince social worker Frank (Keir Charles) that they’re ‘normal’ enough to survive in the real world after being institutionalised for years. or access alternate footage link and more.

Evening Standard: Simm Enchanted Evening
By Kieron Quirke
11 July 2007

An involved and brilliantly funny performance from current flavour of the month John Simm makes Elling tick. Centred on him, a show which might so easily have been an over-long and uneventful curiosity is a delight – a pocketful of sunshine to see us through this lousy summer. more

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