Rita, Sue and Bob Too – reviews

REVIEWS FROM JAN/FEB 2018

★★★★
“This is a great production, riveting… A fine piece of work, a blast of real life”
Ann Treneman, The Times

★★★★
“Watching Kate Wasserberg’s well-judged revival, you may feel that this is exactly the play to which we should be attending now… Taj Atwal’s Rita and the Sue of Gemma Dobson, here making an impressive stage debut, capture beautifully the verve and innocent vulgarity of girls to whom sex is a welcome respite from school and the half-paid drudgery of the Youth Training Scheme at the local mill…. James Atherton finely conveys the weakness and self-doubt underlying Bob’s cocky swagger… Bracingly uncensored and often very funny… And one of the real virtues of this revival is that it does not go in for sermonising hindsight but lets this very good play speak for itself.  Strongly recommended.”
Paul Taylor, The Independent

★★★★
“Andrea Dunbar’s play emerges triumphant”
Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times

★★★★
“A bleak and brilliant testament to a life of fleeting pleasure and diminished expectations. Taj Atwal and Gemma Dobson, making her stage debut, are excellent as Rita and Sue, showing how their initial giggling complicity gives way to mutual estrangement. James Atherton as Bob hints at the character’s growing self-awareness, and there is first-rate support from Samantha Robinson as his abused wife, and from Sally Bankes and David Walker as Sue’s parents, steeped in shared hostility.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian

★★★★
“Kate Wasserberg’s terrific production… One comes away newly saddened at Dunbar’s too-short life yet grateful to have a chance to experience a timeless talent.”
Matt Wolf, The Arts Desk

★★★★
“Brief, hilarious, angry, and blazing with honesty, Andrea Dunbar’s Rita, Sue And Bob Too bursts onto the stage of the Citizens’ like a play from the past that is somehow more contemporary than most plays written today… Kate Wasserberg’s production captures all the pace, wit and brutality of the story”
Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman

★★★★
“This is a cherishably vivid 1982 bulletin from the mischievous and vibrant Andrea Dunbar… Lively and splendidly acted”
Fiona Mountford, London Evening Standard

★★★★
“Both toughly and tenderly observed, and played with a spirit of open-hearted honesty and sadness under Kate Wasserberg’s direction. As the eponymous Rita and Sue, Taj Atwal and Gemma Dobsonare a perfect combination of innocence and awareness; James Atherton’s Bob is an opportunistic but also with his own unmet needs and frustrations. There’s also terrific work from Sally Bankes and David Walker as Sue’s parents and Samantha Robinson as Bob’s wife.”
Mark Shenton, LondonTheatre.co.uk

★★★★
“Seeing this remarkable play provides accurate, bleak and pertinent context for the history of relationships between men and women. It needs to be heard now just as much as ever.”
Sarah Crompton, Whatsonstage.com

★★★★
“Frank, non-judgemental and often surprisingly funny… The cast are fantastic”
Eva de Valk, Everything Theatre

★★★★
“Tautly directed by Out of Joint’s artistic director Kate Wasserberg, this powerful new production features a strong cast led by Gemma Dobson as assertive, outspoken Sue and Taj Atwal as the seemingly meeker but subtly manipulative Rita… A timely revival that has been given added relevance by continuing debate over exploitation and masculinity.”
Mark Ludmon, BritishTheatre.com


REVIEWS FROM AUTUMN 2017

“One of the great plays of the late 20thCentury. Superb performances. A wild, passionate piece of theatre, shocking, full of mischief and trouble; theatre that shows it has a heart”
Liverpool Sound & Vision

“Raunchy, funny, powerful and ultimately sad. A great night of theatre”
UKTW

“Startling… Intensely funny”
The Guardian

“A timely revival of Andrea Dunbar’s lively and still-shocking coming of age play”
The Stage

“Brutally honest. Hilarious. Great work like this never ages”
North West End

“Rude, raucous and razor sharp”
Liverpool Echo

“This splendid production succeeds brilliantly… Taj Atwal and Gemma Dobson utterly convince… Samantha Robinson is pitch perfect… Great revivals deserve a new audience and the surprise is that the shocks still resonate. Thanks Andrea, you are missed.”
Stage Talk

“The performances are universally impressive… A short sharp shock of a play with plenty to amuse, entertain and make you think”
British Theatre Guide

“Foul-mouthed and thought-provoking fun… A brave play to write and a bold choice to stage… As funny now as it was all those years ago. Expertly played”
Bolton News

“A carefully crafted and wonderfully acted production”
Epigram

“Andrea Dunbar provided a shot of adrenalin to British Theatre… An original, authentic and highly talented working class voice”
Whatsonstage

“A spirited revival”
Broadway World

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