Previewed 2 March 2018, Opened 28 March 2018, Closed 19 May 2018 at the Young Vic Theatre
Previewed 21 September 2018, Opened 13 October 2018, Closed 19 January 2019 at the Noel Coward Theatre
The West End transfer of the acclaimed Young Vic production of Matthew Lopez's new two-part play Inheritance in London for a strictly limited 15 week season
A generation after the peak of the AIDs crisis, what is it like to be a young gay man in New York? How many words are there now for pain and for love? Inheritance explores profound themes through the turbulent and often hilarious experiences of a group of young, ambitious New Yorkers. What is the legacy left to them by previous generations? What do they owe the future and each other?
Spanning generations and interlinking lives, Matthew Lopez's play transposes EM Forsterís novel Howards End to 21st century New York.
PLEASE NOTE: This is a two-part play: Part 1 is approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes long (including two short intervals); and Part 2 is approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes long (including one short interval and one short 'pause').
The cast features Kyle Soller as 'Eric Glass', Andrew Burnap as 'Toby Darling', John Benjamin Hickey as 'Henry Wilcox', Hubert Burton as 'Young Henry', Paul Hilton as 'Walter' / 'Morgan (EM Forster)', Samuel H Levine as 'Adam' / 'Leo', Vanessa Redgrave as 'Margaret', Hugo Bolton as 'Jasper', Robert Boulter as 'Tobyís Agent', Syrus Lowe as 'Tristan', Michael Marcus as 'Jason', and Michael Walters - who are all reprising their roles from the Young Vic season. Joining them in the West End is Jack Riddiford as 'Young Walter'.
Directed by Stephen Daldry with designs by Bob Crowley, lighting by Jon Clark, music by Paul Englishby, sound by Paul Arditti, and Chris Reid.
When this production opened here at the Noel Coward Theatre in October 2018, Fiona Mountford in the London Evening Standard praised how "Stephen Daldry directs a production of remarkable fluidity and suppleness, which unspools on a bare raised platform." Dominic Maxwell in the Times explained that "it could so easily be heavy weather yet the fluid theatricality of Stephen Daldry's production, played on a stylishly stark set by Bob Crowley, keeps this thoroughly consumable... The entire ensemble excels... A glorious achievement."
The entire original cast from the Young Vic Theatre transferred to the West End, with the exception of Luke Thallon who played 'Young Walter', but was replaced in the role by Jack Riddiford for the West End season at the Noel Coward Theatre.
When this production was originally seen at the Young Vic Theatre in March 2018, Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard hailed "Matthew Lopez's witty, frequently outrageous and deeply moving play," adding that "Stephen Daldry directs with rigorous simplicity and affords the writing plenty of breathing space... it's also the sort of play that invites you to think afresh about what it means to lead a purposeful life." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail exclaimed: "Seven hours! But with its soap-opera plot and some phenomenally good acting, the show whizzes along... Director Stephen Daldry has assembled a cracking Anglo-American cast." Paul Taylor in the i newspaper explained that "in Stephen Daldry's lucid, remarkably involving production... there are many different tones in the play which the production captures beautifully... the acting of the American and British cast is extraordinarily accomplished." Ann Treneman in the Times said that "Stephen Daldry superbly directs an ensemble production... The play could do with a trim but it has a box-set binge feel to it. It's about conscience and the ghosts of the past but it's also about fame, desire, betrayal and, deliciously, property... If you can only see one part, see the first. You won't regret it." Dominic Cavendish in th Daily Telegraph commented that "to watch The Inheritance is to move from engaged but detached interest to a state of emotionally shattered but elated awe... Stephen Daldry's fleet, astute production is sparing in its visual elements and 'big' moments so that when they land, they land hard." Michael Billington in the Guardian described how the play, "in Stephen Daldry's crystalline production, pierces your emotional defences, raises any number of political issues and enfolds you in its narrative... I admired its rollercoaster energy and high entertainment value, but I found its exclusive maleness limiting."
"Over two parts and seven hours, Matthew Lopez's rhapsodic deep dive into the ties that bind the gay community to its past asks how to love, how to live and how to do those well, despite a legacy of damage. It's captivating. The Inheritance wears its source on its sleeve. It doesn't merely draw from Howards End, it even introduces EM Forster (Paul Hilton, never better) as an occasionally prissy presiding spirit. Forster's model enables long-breathed eloquence and melodramatic touches (a will destroyed, a sex worker redeemed), nudging people into useful conjunction rather than freewheeling mess... In Stephen Daldry's spare, beautifully paced staging, this is a play about hearts and minds, not real estate. Visual surprises are rationed so that every pop of colour detonates. The final surprise is Vanessa Redgrave, the cast's only woman, bringing her own crotchety grace. Despite obvious kinship, this isn't another Angels in America. It's less wild, more sentimental. It asks about love ó and how being unloved shapes you. It wonders if, to love yourself, you must first love the world. It ends with an audience quietly sobbing." The Sunday Times
"American playwright Matthew Lopez's new work is ambitious, clever and gay. Directed by Stephen Daldry, it turns these ingredients into a rare treat, and I haven't even mentioned Vanessa Redgrave yet. Lopez's heroes are a cross section of New York's current generation of gay men. The play's title refers partly to the civil rights won by generations before them, but also the legacy of the 1980s Aids epidemic. If that sounds heavy going, well, it's not. This two-part play is articulate, witty and inventive. It begins with ten male, wannabe writers, lolling with notepads as they look for inspiration. The baggy-suited Englishman who appears from the wings is novelist EM Forster (Paul Hilton), who delivers a masterclass in bringing characters alive... Lopez has probably written one of the finest plays of his generation." The London Metro
The Inheritance in London at the Noel Coward Theatre previewed from 21 September 2018, opened on 13 October 2018 and closed on 19 January 2019