Glass Menagerie, featuring Amy Adams in her West End debut, has earned different reviews from critics. The Hollywood actress makes her night home on stage playing Tennessee Williams’s 1944 play.
The Telegraph said Adams was “clear, simple, believable, and quietly heartbreaking” in the play.
Meanwhile, others indicate opposite feedback. For instance, the Evening Standard called her performance “muted and unconvincing.”
The recent movies that she starred in, like The Woman in the Window, Hillbilly Elegy, and Dear Evan Hansen, received underwhelming feedback from critics and viewers.
Following the opening of Glass Menagerie, some critics have said that she reached her peak in performance.
Dominic Cavendish of The Telegraph added, “What Adams catches in her determined radiance and subtle gestures is the female equivalent of Arthur Miller’s Willy Loman: someone going through the motion of coping but in dire need of some good news.”
The show was not without its flaws, with Cavendish criticizing certain aspects of production. He felt that some sounds and set designs were less effective than other elements on stage; additionally, he thought some characters were underplayed.
“The casting of the Hollywood luminary Amy Adams… may be the main selling point. Whether the gambit works is another matter,” The Times’ Clive Davis said, awarding the Glass Menagerie three stars.
“All praise to Adams, nevertheless, for taking on a role that has tested many an actress.”
He added, “Since Williams steered clear of naturalistic stage directions, Herrin and Vicki Mortimer, the set designer, allowed themselves free rein,” pointing out the production.
“Laura’s cherished collection of glass animals stands in a sleek case that looks as if it belongs in the foyer of a boutique hotel. Ash J Woodward’s video projections add punctuation.”
“The details are stylishly assembled,” he concluded, “but they fail to carry the evening.”
Adams “makes a muted and unconvincing West End debut,” said Nick Curtis of The Evening Standard in a two-star review, further stating that she is “often indistinct, somewhat phony and offstage for a large chunk of the action.”
“She’s not bad, just unremarkable in a role that strikes a single, clanging note of hysterical gentility throughout.”
He further said: “Herrin’s version takes place on an almost bare stage tinged – by designer Vicki Mortimer – with arc lights, reel-to-reel tapedecks and chairs, and crowned by a giant video screen on which flickering colors are cast.
“It’s intended to evoke Williams’ vision of a dream-like setting. Unfortunately, the monolithic and well-lit vitrine which contains Laura’s laboriously symbolic menagerie of glass animals and which dominates the stage resembles a boutique perfume counter.”