Previewed 4 September 2008, Opened 10 September 2008, Closed 27 September 2008 at the Trafalgar Studios 2
Transferred Previewed 29 December 2008, Opened 30 December 2008, Closed 24 January 2009 at the Apollo Theatre in London
Following a successful season this year at the Trafalgar Studios, Lisa Kron's Tony Award nominated play Well transfers to the Apollo Theatre for a strictly limited four week run starring Sarah Miles and Natalie Casey who are both reprising their roles from the Trafalgar Studios season
When 'avant-garde performance artist' Lisa decided to write her mother Ann into her latest play, she went a step too far. Now the stage is set for a riveting mother-daughter showdown, as her well planned show collapses into an explosion of riotous comedy and heart-breaking home truths.
Sarah Miles makes her much anticipated return to the stage as she continues in the role of 'Ann Kron', the strong-willed but weak-bodied mother. One of Britain's foremost theatre and film actresses, she is perhaps best known for her BAFTA award-winning role in Ryan's Daughter. Natalie Casey, who plays 'Lisa Kron', is best known for her her part in television's Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. The cast for Well also includes Oliver Chris who is best-known for his roles in the television comedies The Office and Green Wing. This production marks his West End debut. The cast also includes Zara Tempest-Walters, Jason Rowe and Maggie Service. It is directed by Eve Leigh with designs by Helen Goddard and lighting by Tim Mascall.
"Lisa Kron's play Well arrives bolstered by the star presence of Sarah Miles and still glowing from the reviews it gleaned in New York. But whereas Kron herself fronted her self-exploration in its Broadway run, here Natalie Casey plays the author. The result is a theatrical hall of mirrors that lacks something authentic at its heart. That's no criticism of Casey, who gives a performance of emotional conviction and comic vitality as Kron... The director, Eve Leigh, has staged it all beautifully. The problem is that this is a one-woman show plus postmodern digressions and rebellions. It's too personal to be parcelled out. So a sometimes wise and witty, always well played production spends a long time gazing at somebody else's navel." The Times
"The mother-daughter relationship is exactly what this very American comic and autobiographical play is all about and Lisa's mother is right there on stage, seemingly awoken from an armchair slumber and startled to discover her daughter has popped her into her play... This is Miles's much anticipated return to the stage and she is completely engrossing - batty and disruptive, engaging and affectionate, a contrasting mixture of strength and weakness. But this is one of those metatheatrical experiences which are often an acquired taste... Though it would have worked more effectively if the author herself was performing. Still, there are some great lines and Lisa's wickedly funny dressing up stories are almost worth the ticket alone." The Daily Express
"Lisa Kron's piece does Sarah Miles's acting career few favours. In her role as Ann Kron, the writer's mother and a professional invalid obsessed with allergies, she is required to lie on a recliner beneath a moth-eaten wig and covered by a tartan rug. Her kooky beam and yappy delivery is a curious cross between Winnie, still smiling while buried up to her neck in sand from Beckett's Happy Days, and a sock-puppet. Just occasionally she emits an unconvincing groan before leaping up to boast: 'I'm going to be sorry I didn't wait until later to take my diuretic.' Here's another woman with a tendency to spill too much information. Mother is supposed to be just a prop wheeled on by her daughter (played with admirable conviction by Natalie Casey, poor creature), who is forever insisting this is not a play but a 'multicharacter theatrical exploration of illness and wellness'. Lisa herself used to be sick, but she discovered sex and got well. Now, by rehearsing the pivotal chapters of her own story (being bullied at school, episodes in the allergy clinic) as a sort of piece of performance art in front of an audience, Lisa hopes to untangle her complicated relationship with her mother and also with illness... It's anyone's guess what Kron thinks she achieves in this self-consciously theatrical attempt at a multi-layered, wannabe-Pirandellian piece with characters searching for authors before, finally, the actors turn mutinous and step right out of the play, dismayed and disillusioned. For it boils down to nothing more than Lisa's rather belated realisation that her mother represents both all that she holds most dear and - should she turn into her mother, as daughters tend to do - all she most fears. Not funny, not clever, just infinitely tedious and likely to provoke a serious allergic reaction." The Mail on Sunday
Lisa Kron's autobiographical play Well opened to critical acclaim on Broadway in 2006, earning her two Tony Award nominations. She's an American comic memoirist and wrote this play about her relationship with her mother, originally starring in it herself. Well is directed by Eve Leigh and designed by 2007 Linbury Prize winner Helen Goddard.
Well in London at the Apollo Theatre previewed from 29 December 2008, opened on 30 December 2008 and closed on 24 January 2009, transferred from Trafalgar Studios 2 previewed from 4 September 2008, opened on 10 September 2008 and closed on 27 September 2008