facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen.

In Celebration

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

Most of the hype around this production was inevitably about the stage debut of Hollywood superstar Orlando Bloom, but when you get past the star-studded draw of the cast, David Storey's family drama hides a centre of seething anger and burning resentment. Matthew Amer attended the first night of In Celebration at the Duke of York's.

A 40th wedding anniversary should be a happy affair, a celebration of a life spent together and a family's shared experiences. But all families have their issues, and inevitably if you put people together for too long, conflicts arise. The issues at the heart of In Celebration, though, run deeper than petty squabbling.

Of the three brothers that return to their northern, mining-town home to mark the happy day, Orlando Bloom's Steven is a shell of a man, for the most part silent and occasionally weeping into his sleeves. Gareth Farr's Colin is a successful factory middle-manager who does not have a meaningful relationship, and Paul Hilton's Andrew has an antagonistic sarcasm that erupts into near-violent anger.

The problems, of course, are caused by the parents, whose mistake seems to have been to try and educate their children and give them better lives. The result has left their offspring lost in the class system, desperately looking for their place in society. Steven, the boy genius, has even been trying and failing to write a book about modern society; it is hard to write about something you don’t understand.

Bloom, on whom all eyes were surely fixed, fades into the ensemble faster than you can say 'Lord Of The Rings trilogy', becoming part of the furniture in Lez Brotherston's set – a cross-section of a family home with a dark, forboding upper level – when not active in a scene.

Hilton's demonstrative, pacing Andrew is the driving force behind the production, his biting comments and buried rage pushing the tension to the fore. Tim Healy as the father, 50 years a coal miner and unable to give up work, coughs, splutters and tells tales until his world, like an unsafe mine shaft, comes crashing down around him. .



Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.