In the opulent drawing room of the Presidential Palace, a Western photojournalist awaits the return of the dictator. She is here to take his portrait. The dictator’s wife, her best friend and an interpreter wait with her. Prada shoes, vodka glasses and light fingers tap out the time. He is late, very late… All four women harbour secrets and suspicions. All four are in danger. This is the day that revolution comes to the streets. Abi Morgan's devastating play allows us a glimpse into the minds of four women as their world turns.
Splendour is a barbed dance between four women, each with something to prove or hide. * Financial Times *
Intricate and multifaceted, like a Cubist painting put to words... with each turn of the prism, the image grows clearer. And the final picture is riveting. * LA Times *
Gripping... What we are shown is four characters trapped in a room, waiting. But no sooner is this claustrophobic scenario established than it is twisted and shaken like a kaleidoscope. * Guardian *
The dense 95 minutes are never less than intriguing... a disturbingly glamorous perspective on a dictatorship in decline and disarray. * What's On Stage *
Writer Abi Morgan has come a long way since Splendour premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in the summer of 2000. This tightly wound four-hander more than merits revisiting and reminds us, in fact, of why Morgan was seized upon and whizzed off to other, more lucrative mediums... In short, splendid. * Evening Standard *
It's good to report that Robert Hastie's meticulous and mountingly mesmeric revival proves that it has stood the test of time... The excellent cast have full measure of the edgy musicality of Morgan's script with its interior monologue asides. Strongly recommended. * Independent *
This early play, first seen at the Edinburgh Traverse in 2000, shows Morgan's continuing fascination with the fragility of power and the unreliability of language. It is short, demanding and riveting... It's a gripping play that reminds one of Morgan's abiding fascination with the fallibility of power and, even if attention is demanded, it is handsomely repaid. * Michael Billington, The Guardian *