Yesterday, Aug 8, was the criticts show of The Present.Here are some of the reviews realting to Cate’s performance + images from the show.
You can read the all reviews by entering to the sources down below.
Last edit: Aug 10
Cate Blanchett attacks her role, and the tenets of the text, with a forceful conviction that can only emerge from the extremely talented. The star’s undisguisable passion for her craft is a coherent match for the determination and fortitude of Anna, a woman coming very close to the end of her tether. Her portrayal of drunken and unhinged abandonment in Act Two is sheer theatrical delight, and a beautiful blend of studied precision with courageous impulse. Blanchett’s incredible allure keeps us spellbound, and she uses it to deliver the many thoughtful intentions of the play, which we absorb with enthusiastic acquiescence. Mikhail, the self-loathing cad brimming with regret, is played by the equally stellar Richard Roxburgh, with magnificent comedic aplomb. His flawless timing and uncanny capacity to intuit his audience’s temperament at all times, ensures that we are fascinated, entertained, shocked and moved, at his will.
Blanchett’s Anna is a force to behold, blowing her way across the stage like a whirlwind, equal parts passion, compassion, tenderness, and untapped conviction; there are many beautiful moments to her performance, not least the end of Acts Two and Four.
Cate Blanchett is luminous as Anna, twice thwarted in the love stakes, with a husband she loved dying and yearning for Mikhail unconsummated. Left with an estate she cannot manage she faces the prospect of a fiscally forced marriage to Yegor to continue the life she has grown accustomed to and Blanchett balances the strong, stoical sophisticate aspect of Anna with the reckless abandon of youth as youth abandons her.
With Roxburgh and Cate Blanchett earmarked for these roles from the off, who can blame him? Their chemistry is electrifying as ever. But The Present is a true ensemble piece, both in its expanded characters and the near perfect cast who bring them to life. Their constantly overlapping dialogue and emotional dance moves are masterfully choreographed by director John Crowley, particularly in the supper scene at the centre of this long day’s journey into the night.
But his cast is all deft and intelligent when it comes to comedy and the crucial element of comic timing to land the most rewarding repartee. Roxburgh and Schmitz excel in casual insults, particularly, and Ryan captures a very Australian self-deprecating sad-sack vibe that’s immensely appealing, even in The Present‘s world of 1990s Russia. Susan Prior’s sweet, well-meaning awkwardness as Sasha was played for laughs but behind them, clearly, remained the warmest of intentions. Eamon Farren’s crass DJ Krill demanded laughs and received them easily; the entire cast, this large and unreasonably talented ensemble, chartered the rise and fall from laughter to anger to tears very well.
And then there was Roxburgh and Blanchett, sharing a single chair on a bare stage, wondering if there was ever going to be a golden time for them again, these tough, aloof ones who had learned to move above feelings rather than within them, and they captured perfectly between themselves the question at the heart of Upton’s script, a true Chekhovian question: how do we live in the present knowing what we’ve learned from the past, and realistically understanding that the future isn’t full of endless possibilities after all?
The setting is, as per Chekhov, the provincial dacha belonging to Anna (Cate Blanchett) and her much older and now dead husband, known all to all as “The General”. Upton has shifted the timeframe some 120 years forward to the post-Soviet Russia of the mid-1990s, a time of chaotic change, grab-all privatisation and dicey fashion. It is Anna’s fortieth birthday, all are here in her honour, and some of the guests have not seen each other in years.
The mood? Not exactly upbeat. Life? “If I think about it too much, it starts to feel like something that’s already happened,” says local doctor Nikolai (Toby Schmitz) to Anna over a listless game of chess.