We received an e-mail from the Royal Court, fewer than 10 days before going to a preview of this show, to say that Kim Cattrall had withdrawn from the show on doctor’s orders and that Noma Dumezweni would start rehearsing about a week before the first preview.
Truthfully, we had not booked this production to see Kim Cattrall; we had booked it because we had been so impressed by The Village Bike, Penelope Skinner’s previous play at the Royal Court. We had also previously been hugely impressed by Noma Dumezweni, not least in the lead of A Human Being Died That Night at the Hampstead Theatre in 2013 and more recently cross-dressing in Carmen Disruption at the Almeida earlier this year, so we were really not bothered.
Noma needed to work from book to a greater or lesser extent for most scenes our night, but she was almost there and we could tell that work was in progress for a great performance. We loved the play and thought the supporting cast were all excellent. Amazing staging too, so all the creatives have a lot to be proud of.
Perhaps because of the unfortunate circumstances or perhaps because we liked the production so much, we were hoping hard that the show would get great reviews and so, on the whole, it has – five great reviews linked here by the Royal Court.
Still, top marks from both me and Janie, plus five out of seven from the critics; it’s a big hit.