What’s it all about?
Set over the course of one freezing night, teacher Kyra Hollis finds herself face to face with her ex-lover, the then married Tom Sergeant. As she cooks dinner for him in her Kensal Rise flat, the pair are pulled together and thrown apart as if caught in a violent tide. Old emotions crash down on them before their vastly differing ideologies flare up tempers in the way only people who have loved one another can do.
Who’s in it?
You would have had to have been living in a theatrical vacuum to not have heard about this Hollywood pairing. An Education’s Carey Mulligan, in her West End debut, plays Krya while Bill Nighy – perhaps I should have mentioned there is an age gap in this romance – plays her former married lover. And it works. Brilliantly in fact. While the characters may agree on almost nothing, their relationship is a meeting of minds and pure chemistry, which Mulligan and Nighy deliver so compellingly you can barely tear your eyes of them.
Mulligan plays a massive part in making this pairing believable, offering Kyra a much older than her age maturity that barely falters but for a choice selection of explosive outbursts and snapshots of raw heartbreak. Nighy plays the wealthy restaurateur like he does every part he tackles, with a rare natural ease that instantly endears him to you. However, while his trademark mannerisms are there, this is a Bill Nighy on speed, fast talking, desperate and quick tempered, playing Tom with confidence and physical presence that encroaches on every inch of Bob Crowley’s atmospheric estate set.
What should I look out for?
An electric two minutes when Mulligan delivers Kyra’s damning monologue on how quick politicians and journalists are to judge social workers. Whether the spontaneous applause was a reaction to Mulligan’s talent or Hare’s eloquent dissection, the moment is still touching a nerve with audiences 19 years after it was first penned.
In a nutshell?
Stephen Daldry’s atmospheric, compulsive and powerful revival of this Olivier Award-winning play is a knockout.
What’s being said on Twitter?
@thisisTomRiley Whilst we’re at it, #Skylight at the Wyndhams is exquisitely acted, and still crackles with profundity and emotional truth, 19 years later.
@lucy_barwell Ok, I take it back about pros arch theatre. Steven Daldry’s #Skylight @ Wyndhams is incredible. Carey Mulligan + Bill Nighy = #DreamTeam
Will I like it?
If you’re already a fan of either Mulligan or Nighy – not to mention impressive newcomer Matthew Beard who should not go without mention as Tom’s sullen son Edward – then you’ll undoubtedly be impressed by their on stage chemistry and uber naturalistic performances. Just don’t go hungry; Kyra famously cooks a very delicious smelling ragu from scratch on stage.