(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 4/2.)
Shakespeare can wait. To mark the centenary of Arthur Miller’s birth, the RSC kicks off its main-house season with a revival of his most famous play; and the result, in Gregory Doran’s production, is an emotionally enriching version of a work that, in the words of one American critic, makes the rational a poetic attribute.
hey are hardly a well-matched pair, this couple that has been given such transfixing life in two of the most expert stage performances you’re likely to see for many seasons. As embodied by Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy in the heart-piercing revival of David Hare’s “Skylight,” Kyra Hollis and Tom Sergeant have none of the things in common that usually make for a fine romance.
In age, attitude and even metabolism, they’re separated by a forbidding gulf. And don’t get them started on politics, or economics, or even cooking. Yet as you watch Ms. Mulligan and Mr. Nighy move magnetically toward and away from each other in Stephen Daldry’s exquisitely balanced London-born production, which opened on Thursday night at the Golden Theater, you can’t help thinking that on some profound level these two were made to be together.
And therein lies the tragedy.