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The Testament of Mary at the Barbican. What the critics said.

The Testament of Mary at the Barbican. What the critics said.

The stage version of Colm Tóibín’s Man Booker Prize 2013 shortlisted The Testament of Mary has arrived at the Barbican, directed by Deborah Warner.  Former Man Booker Prize judge Fiona Shaw appears in the lead role as Mary, mother of Christ during the aftermath of his crucifixion.  The reviews are in and the production has been assured ‘must see’ status by critical acclaim. 

Here is what the critics had to say about the production:


‘Tóibín's skill lies in imagining Mary's embittered perplexity without shutting the door on the story's miraculous element.’

Charles Spencer, The Guardian *****


‘This is a tumultuous act of witness’

Quentin Letts, Daily Mail *****


‘The play, like Tóibín's prose, has a rumbling, rhythmic, devastating power, and the added dimension of this performance makes it all the more unforgettable.’

Michael Coveney, What’s On Stage *****


‘Shaw is never less than riveting throughout.’

Neil Norman, The Express *****


‘In a performance that astonishes with its soul-baring intensity, Shaw shows you Christ's ministry and harrowing death from the point of view of a sceptical, ferocious flesh-and-blood mother’

Paul Taylor, The Independent ****


‘Plays as stark and strong as this don’t come along very often’

Charles Spencer, The Telegraph ****


'Shaw and Warner together do something else: they push each other to acts of great daring and courage and theatrical extremes.’

Mark Shenton, The Stage