The Libertine

Theatre Royal Haymarket

The Libertine

22 Sep 2016 - 10 Dec 2016

£15.00 - £98.00

Pro reviewers rating
13 reviews

3.2 out of 5.0
Peer reviewers rating
0 reviews

0.0 out of 5.0

The true story of John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester - a charismatic poet, playwright and rake with a legendary appetite for excess. Yet this most ardent of hedonists is forced to reconsider everything he thinks and feels when a chance encounter with an actress at the Playhouse sends him reeling.

A wild romp through 1670s London offers an incisive critique of life in an age of excess.


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“Now sharply rewritten... Johnson’s bright and energetic production is dominated by Cooper’s charismatic personality... Dazzles. ”

Aleks Sierz (Arts Desk, The Stage)

“Cooper is totally commanding... An invigorating, warts-and-all portrait of a self-destructive sceptic. ”

Michael Billington (The Guardian)

“Cooper puts in a commanding, convincingly troubled performance but what shines out... is the strength of the women. ”

Libby Purves (TheatreCat, Times)

“Cooper is excellent casting... an attractive magnetism... Johnson and his cast relish the sheer filth of Rochester’s oeuvre. ”

Ian Shuttleworth (Financial Times)

“Cooper brings rakish swagger and charisma to the role.... there’s a keen note of ruthless intelligence in his performance. ”

Henry Hitchings (Evening Standard)

“Exuberant revival of a play that is part-historical drama and part-comic demonstration of men behaving badly. ”

Mark Shenton (The Stage, London Theatre, Express)

“The ill-shaven Mr Cooper, a seedy figure, more likely to provoke scorn and pity... never convinces as an irresistible swell. ”

Quentin Letts (Daily Mail)

“Too much restraint... Cooper has a certain glowering magnificence, a sleepy-eyed air of command. ”

Dominic Cavendish (The Telegraph)

“Cooper’s very good as Wilmot: he portrays Rochester as a brilliant, troubled underachiever... The play is no classic. ”

Andrzej Lukowski (Time Out)

“Cooper brings an arrogant swagger to Wilmot but doesn’t possess the necessary danger or quite elicit the pity we should have. ”

Neil Norman (Express, The Stage)

“Jeffreys’s script shrewdly suggests that Rochester’s abandon is prompted not by exuberance but by real disgust. ”

Susannah Clapp (The Observer)

“A slickly amusing script... Intermittently entertaining but the play never dips very deep beneath the surface... Rather dull. ”

Sarah Crompton (What's On Stage, Guardian)

“While its candour is admirable, its scurrility rapidly becomes wearing... Unengaging... Unstructured and unfocused. ”

Michael Arditti (Express)

Reviews (0)