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Simon Callow as Fosco

Read what the press said about the London and New York productions of The Woman In White.

Original London production

“Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman In White is a chilling return to spectacular form. Encore.”
“First things first. This is a big, big triumph, a very palpable hit, no question.”
“Andrew Lloyd Webber makes a majestic return to the musical theatre.”
The Woman in White is more than a musical: it is a big, powerful popular opera, both romantic and spectacular; a thriller; a swaggering, flamboyant Victoria melodrama; a visual feast; a tempestuous story of love and intrigue; a great, arching narrative, brilliantly told.”
“So contemporary and dramatic.”
The Woman in White has Andrew Lloyd Webbers most interesting score so far.”
“Trevor Nunn’s production moves masterfully between intimate drama and crowd scenes, between humanity and spectacle.”
“Edward Petherbridge gives a gem of a performance.”
“The stars of the show are Maria Friedman and Michael Crawford.”
“Michael Crawford brings down the house.”
“Maria Friedman gives a star performance.”
“I have never seen video or film so brilliantly used in theatre.”
“The producers will not have to look for a new show for the Palace for a decade or so.”
John Peter, Sunday Times

“Maria’s White-Hot Triumph.”
“Lloyd Webber’s haunting musical.”
“The music is compelling, thrilling and extraordinary.”
“Sophisticated musical with its thrilling and stimulating story.”
“Maria Friedman… the most breathtaking performance in London at the moment.”
“It held me spellbound.”
Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail

“This is set to be a dazzling white hit.”
“Lloyd Webber and Collins are a match made in Victorian heaven.”
“Lloyd Webber has the talent for writing soaring romantic hits which tap straight into the heart.”
“Lloyd Webber and Nunn have delivered exactly what the West End needs – a soaring, lyrical, romantic drama whose every scene lends itself, as if my magic, to precisely the kind of music that Lloyd Webber writes best.”
Sheridan Morley, Daily Express

“Andrew Lloyd Webber and Wilkie Collins were made for each other.”
“Both are big hitters with a popular touch and a talent for longevity.”
“William Dudley’s set is a masterstroke – spectacular.”
“Wrapping the spectator in the fantastical world of the story.”
“Lovely performances.”
“Martin Crewes does sterling work as the upright Walter Hartright.”
“Maria Friedman is excellent as the feisty Marian.”
“Michael Crawford is charmingly funny and has an absolute showstopper.”
“Big, lush, swirling melodies that pour over you and seem to pin you down.”
“It works a treat.”
Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

“Lloyd Webber’s music, never before so classical and operatic, becomes hypnotic and slowly unveils its melodies.”
“The singing throughout is excellent.”
“Friedman and Crawford excel in a sprightly duet.”
“It breaks new ground.”
“Gripping, ground-breaking. Well worth the wait.”
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail

“Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best score in years.”
“Trevor Nunn’s visually vibrant production.”
“Lavishly orchestrated love songs.”
“Dudley opens up new possibilities in the marriage of theatre and cinema.”
“Visually stylish designs.”
“David Zippel’s lyrics and deft and neat.”
“There are good performances all round.”
“A winning score.” (Headline)
“Martin Crewes is a forthright, heroic Walter.”
“Michael Crawford…a genuine Rossiniesque showstopper.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Lloyd Webber’s chiller is good enough to haunt the West End for some time to come.”
“Trevor Nunn’s fluent production.”
Paul Taylor, The Independent

“The score soars.”
“Lavish.”
Benedict Nightingale, The Times

“Big, lush romantic melodies.”
“Maria Friedman is a great musical actress.”
“Michael Crawford..undeniably funny.”
Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph

“Michael Crawford is a comic delight.”
“Maria Friedman’s fine, emotionally-charged Marian.”
“Martin Crewes displays a terrific vocal range.”
Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard

“Lloyd Webber’s best and most melodically textured score since Phantom.”
“Spectacular ballads.”
“Maria Friedman provides the absolute heartbeat, and blazing vocal fireworks, to the piece.”
Mark Shenton, Whatsonstage

“Maria Friedman is great as (feisty proto-feminist) Marian Halcombe.”
Warwick Thompson, Metro

The Woman in White is brilliantly performed.”
“Michael Crawford is terrific.”
“Maria Friedman delivers a standout performance.”
Bill Hagerty, The Sun

“Michael Crawford is absolutely wonderful.”
“You’ve never seen anything like it. It’s a wonderful, wonderful show.”
Terry Wogan, BBC Radio 2

“A triumphant show.”
“Absolutely amazing.” Denise Van Outen
“Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best.” Duncan James
“Maria Friedman can make you hair stand on end.” Fern Britton
This Morning, ITV

“Luscious, lavish, sensual, romantic and melodramatic.”
“An irresistible feast.”
“Lloyd Webber is totally in his element.”
“The marvellous Maria Friedman.”
“Lovely Jill Paice.”
“The glorious, soaring ‘Trying Not To Notice’ and ‘I Believe My Heart’.”
“Michael Crawford is a show-stopping delight.”
“William Dudley’s ingenious design.”
“Lloyd Webber is in splendid form.”
“Trevor Nunn’s characteristically sumptuous direction.”
Georgina Brown, Mail on Sunday

“Lloyd Webber’s Victorian beauty.”
“Trevor Nunn’s stunningly staged adaptation.”
“The over-whelming power of Maria Friedman’s dazzlingly-sung performance.”
“The fine musical tapestry of Lloyd Webber’s lushly beautiful score.”
Mark Shenton, Sunday Express

“Michael Crawford brings a good deal of humour and panache to the role.”
“William Dudley’s superb video designs.”
“It will run and run.”
“An enjoyable evening out.”
John Gross, Sunday Telegraph

“The terrific Maria Friedman.”
Susannah Clapp, Observer

“Maria Friedman belts out her numbers with great gusto.”
Independent on Sunday

Original Broadway production

“A must-see musical thriller!

The Woman in White is an engrossing tale, full of artifice and spine-chiller twists. Designer William Dudley and director Trevor Nunn have come up with a masterful projected background that’s a breakthrough in epic-style staging, combining the live impact of the stage with the freedom of the screen in a way that’s almost dizzying.

Maria Friedman grabs hold of her role with passion and a richly emotive voice. A magnificent Michael Ball, playing against type, brings a comic suavity to the oily Count Fosco.”
Clive Barnes, NY Post

“Andrew Lloyd Webber is back!

The Woman in White is beautifully-paced, unabashedly operatic, a highly impressive piece of musical theater.

Much of the show’s artistic success is due to the quality of Mr. Webber’s collaborators, both on and off the stage. Maria Friedman is a sumptuous singing actress, and she is immensely appealing as Marian, the spunky sister. The rest of the cast is strong as well, especially Michael Ball as Count Fosco, the comic villain. Charlotte Jones, who wrote the book, has neatly simplified Wilkie Collin’s Gothic narrative structure, and David Zippel’s lyrics are direct and effective.

The other star of The Woman in White is William Dudley, whose innovative scenic effects give the show a startlingly cinematic fluidity of which Trevor Nunn, the Director, has taken full and ingenious advantage.”
Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal

“A bodice-ripping melodrama that brings Andrew Lloyd Webber back to the luscious heyday of Phantom of the Opera!

The actresses, all imported from the London original, blend their voices in stirring, close harmonies. The gifted and gutsy Maria Friedman performs with nuance as Marian, the less beauteous sister who dedicates her life to protecting Laura. Jill Paice floats lyrically through her travails, while Angela Christian communicates the mysterious woman’s secret in a high, striking nasal shriek. But the real fun comes from Michael Ball as the villains Italian accomplice, Count Fosco. He is a very big treat as comic relief.”
Linda Winer, Newsday

“A breathtaking piece of musical theater!

Director Trevor Nunn has been toying with cinematic devices ever since his production of Chess 17 years ago, but never has he done it more effectively than in this melodrama about two sisters outwitting an unscrupulous lord who is after their legacy. The use of projections, stunningly designed by William Dudley, enables the scenes to fly by. Sometimes the pace is dizzying, but even in the quiet scenes, there is a sense of tension and momentum.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score is entirely focused on keeping the story moving, and here is a shimmering delicacy to the music. For the first time in decades Lloyd Webber has used an American lyricist, David Zippel, and his lyrics are full of elegance and wit. Lloyd Webber’s unexpectedly self-effacing music mirrors their crispness.

But what gives Woman its dramatic power is Maria Friedman’s shattering performance as the sister of the unlucky bride. Hers is the most complex role in the complicated story, and she brings enormous emotional weight to what might otherwise be merely a whodunit with supernatural overtones.

Jill Paice performs beautifully as her ill-fated sister, and Adam Brazier is extremely appealing as the artist they both love. Angela Christian brings a suitable eeriness to the title character, Ron Bohmer is wonderfully suave as the villain, and Walter Charles makes the girls’ uncle poignant.”
Howard Kissel, NY Daily News

“Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy a Victorian thrill ride of emotions!”
Jacques le Sourd, Journal News

“Totally engrossing!

The Woman in White gives me the same artistic buzz I got from Phantom of the Opera. There’s one thing I would like to do now – and that is go see it again.”
David Richardson, WOR Radio

“If you’re looking for lush romanticism, swelling melodies and a sumptuous production, this is the show for you!

Satisfyingly rich, The Woman in White is an unabashedly theatrical piece of work. Director Trevor Nunn has always been a master of moving people around the stage, but here he even outdoes himself. Fans of Andrew Lloyd Webber will be delighted by the score. In feel, its closest to his for ‘Phantom,’ with lots of mouth-watering melodies. Songs like ‘I Believe My Heart’; and ‘All for Laura’ will linger in your ears long after the final curtain has fallen. The other thing you’ll remember is the glorious cast.

Maria Friedman must lead anyone’s list, for bravery as well as talent. This award-winning star of the British stage is virtually unknown in North America, but that will change after this. Her performance as Marian is breathtaking. The show’s other major joy is the work of Adam Brazier as the callow Walter, who is transformed by events into a man of genuine substance. Brazier sings with a beatific sweetness and acts with a focused intensity that galvanizes every scene. The matinee ladies swoon over his looks.”
Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Stars

“A throwback to the days of Phantom and Les Miserables!”
Ben Brantley, The New York Times

 

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