Lady Day at Emersons Bar & Grill

Wyndhams Theatre

Lady Day at Emersons Bar & Grill

17 Jun 2017 - 19 Sep 2017

£15.00 - £72.00

Pro reviewers rating
14 reviews

4.0 out of 5.0
Peer reviewers rating
1 reviews

4.0 out of 5.0

Recounts Holiday’s life story through the songs that made her famous, including God Bless the Child, What a Little Moonlight Can Do, Strange Fruit and T'aint Nobody’s Biz-ness.


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“Astonishing play... McDonald is spellbinding as Billie Holiday in a haunting portrait of a genius set on self-destruction.”

Ann Treneman (Times)

“A passionate and pertinent story... McDonald does not so much portray or impersonate Holliday as channel her spirit.”

Michael Arditti (Express)

“In ninety intense, absorbing minutes is distilled a troubled spirit and a half-century of change... Unique, electric... Go.”

Libby Purves (TheatreCat, Times)

“Unmistakable pathos.. Whenever McDonald, eyes sealing in reverie, banishing a world of cares, croons: it’s utterly intoxicating.”

Dominic Cavendish (The Telegraph)

“Gobsmacking to hear... As close as you're going to get to hearing that sad, smoky, heaven-tinged sound for real... Remarkable.”

Daisy Bowie-Sell (What's On Stage, Time Out, Telegraph)

“Utterly, mesmerisingly convincing... A night of songs that’s all but railroaded by her trauma, alcoholism and drug addiction.”

Alice Saville (Time Out, Independent)

“McDonald's vibrant presence fuses with Holiday's baleful essence to communicate the cracked majesty of an artist in decline.”

Matt Wolf (Arts Desk)

“Terrific musicians... McDonald is absolutely astonishing... Quite uncanny... The tackiness-quotient is slight... Unforgettable.”

Paul Taylor (The Independent)

“McDonald gives a powerhouse performance... squeezes out every last drop of emotion.”

Fiona Mountford (Evening Standard)

“Audra McDonald’s performance in this musical play is a remarkable tribute to Billie Holiday.”

Sarah Hemming (Financial Times)

“Chills run down your spine... She embodies Holiday to the life. It may not be a great play but it is an astonishing performance.”

Neil Norman (Express, The Stage)

“Unbearably painful... McDonald is a supreme artist who captures the style and spirit of Holiday... Morbid.”

Michael Billington (The Guardian)

“What saves this... is the power of McDonald’s voice and the way she conveys Holiday’s mixture of strength and fragility.”

Natasha Tripney (The Stage, Time Out)

“An extraordinary act of embodiment in a routine play... Her performance works from the inside out. Her voice fuels the action.”

Susannah Clapp (The Observer)

Reviews (0)