A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson reviews

“A critic is a species of dung beetle, a fellow who makes himself fat upon other men’s droppings”
Samuel Johnson

BLOG: Ian Redford on researching and playing Samuel Johnson. From Whatsonstage.com

4 STARS
“You feel you are eavesdropping on one of the great double-acts in literary history… A rare treat”

Michael Billington – The Guardian

4 STARS
“A joyous encounter with the melancholic master
His company is a delight and an education… Ian Redford, with his bulk, his physical awkwardness and a face like a battered potato, brings Johnson to wonderfully persuasive and endearing life… It’s a tremendous performance in a show of continuous pleasure”
Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

4 STARS
“Pure civilised delight
Ian Redford brings Johnson to life here in a superb performance… Russell Barr plays, with a winning wit, a medley of Johnson’s friends… One did not want the evening to end”
Paul Taylor – The Independent

4 STARS
“The pithy aphorisms fall like ear-tickling rain in this delightful evening
Paul Callan, Daily Express

4 STARS
“Out of Joint’s production is a delightful entertainment. Samuel ‘Dictionary’ Johnson is, was, a legendary wit. As such, he makes the perfect subject for a performance which, in Ian Redford’s muscular and full-blooded portrayal, gives us many of his noted aphorisms, as well as a few new ones to brighten up our afternoon.”
Craig Singer – Whatsonstage.com

“Every line chimes… Redford conveys all his humour, rage, melancholy, sweetness and brilliance”
Libby Purves, The Times

“Lovingly put together… This small show is driven by a large and generous heart”
Jane Edwardes, Sunday Times

“With director Max Stafford-Clark and Out of Joint one never knows what to expect, except that it will be inventive, individual and humane. A Dish of Tea with Dr Johnson is a witty, warm-hearted entertainment… Totally charming”
Ron Simpson, Whatsonstage.com

“This urbane, witty piece is an intelligent, uncompromising, but accessible, introduction to Samuel ‘Dictionary’ Johnson… From the moment Ian Redford lumbers charismatically into the room as the famously unkempt and sometimes coarse Johnson with a gruff Midlands accent, the audience is riveted.”
Susan Elkin, The Stage

“The language, of course, is a delight, witty and clever… And what a character Johnson turns out to be. His physical size, the scars left by childhood scrofula and strong Staffordshire accent were at odds with his devout religious belief, his sensitivity and the depths of his knowledge and understanding of language and literature, and Redford captures the man exactly, arousing in the audience both sympathy and admiration. It’s a fine performance, dominating the stage. Barr has an entirely different but equally difficult task. We are to see in his performance not only the differences between the characters he portrays but the similarities which arise from the fact that they are primarily mediated through the words of his “lead” character, Boswell. And he succeeds superbly, aided, one suspects, by the carefully detailed direction which characterises all Max Stafford-Clark’s work.”
British Theatre Guide

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