thu 20/02/2020

Little Eagles, Hampstead Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Little Eagles, Hampstead Theatre

Little Eagles, Hampstead Theatre

Rona Munro’s play about Soviet cosmonauts is too long and unfocused to lift off

Reach for the sky: Darrell D’Silva as Sergei Pavlovich Korolyov in ‘Little Eagles’Hugo Glendinning

Space is a great subject for theatre. I’m not sure why but it might be something to do with the contrast between the irreducible groundedness of live performance and the imaginary flights of fancy that the audience yearns to take. Whatever the reason, memorable past explorations of this subject, from the Soviet side of the space race, include Robert Lepage’s The Far Side of the Moon and David Greig’s The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union. Now Rona Munro, whose new play opened last night, once again boldly goes deep into the history behind the first man in space.

Yes, the play is a mess, a three-hour-long trek in whose more tedious moments you long for the dramaturg’s sharp scissors

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I saw Little Eagles this afternoon and left the theatre thinking what an excellent production it had been. The story kept my attention the whole way through and the acting was first class.

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