Reviews: What Do Critics Think of Jez Butterworth's New Play The Hills of California? | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Do Critics Think of Jez Butterworth's New Play The Hills of California?

The piece reunites Butterworth with director Sam Mendes, who previously directed The Ferryman.

Laura Donnelly, Nicola Turner, Nancy Allsop, Lara McDonnell, and Sophia Ally in The Hills of California Mark Douet

Tony winner Jez Butterworth's newest work, The Hills of California, officially opened in London's West End February 8, and the reviews are rolling in.

The play, which began previews January 27, is Butterworth's newest family drama. Playing the Harold Pinter Theatre for a limited run through June 15, the piece reunites Butterworth with director Sam Mendes, with whom he worked on the award-winning West End and Broadway engagements of The Ferryman.

Set in 1976's Blackpool, The Hills of California takes place in the driest summer in 200 years, with beaches and hotels packed to capacity. Far from the tourist thoroughfares, the Webb Sisters cram into the guest house of their former home as their mother lies dying.

The cast includes Laura Donnelly (The Ferryman), Leanne Best (Sweat), Ophelia Lovibond (Minx) and Helena Wilson (Vogue World), who are joined by Bryan Dick, Shaun Dooley, Corey Johnson, Richard Lumsden, Natasha Magigi, Nancy Allsop, Sophia Ally, Alfie Jackson, Lara McDonnell, Lucy Moran, and Nicola Turner. Casting is by Amy Ball with young person's casting by Verity Naughton.

Read the reviews here.

The Express (George Simpson)

Financial Times (Sarah Hemming)

The Guardian (Arifa Akbar)

iNews (Fiona Mountford)

The Independent (Alice Saville)

London Theatre (Olivia Rook)

The New York Times (Houman Barekat)*

Radio Times (Olivia Garrett)

The Stage (Sam Marlowe)*

The Standard (Nick Curtis)

The Telegraph (Dominic Cavendish)

The Times (Clive Davis)*

Time Out (Andrzej Lukowski)

WhatsOnStage (Sarah Crompton)

*This review may require creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

In addition to Mendes, the creative team includes designer Rob Howell, lighting designer Natasha Chivers, sound designer, composer, and arranger Nick Powell, choreographer Ellen Kane, musical supervisor and arranger Candida Caldicot, and associate director Zoé Ford Burnett.

The piece is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and Neal Street, who will offer 1,000 tickets at £10 to NHS staff and key workers, those who are in receipt of government benefits, educational groups, community organizations, and those who currently access food banks.


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