On a bitterly cold London evening, schoolteacher Kyra Hollis (Carey Mulligan) receives an unexpected visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant (Bill Nighy), a successful and charismatic restaurateur whose wife has recently died, in this revival of David Hare’s “Skylight,” which has transferred to Broadway from the West End.
What do the critics think?
Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater: He’s a rich restaurateur, she a poor schoolteacher …their values are so different that the only thing they clearly have in common in director Stephen Daldry’s first-rate Broadway revival of David Hare’s 1995 play “Skylight” is how extraordinary the performances of the two actors who portray them, Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan. They perform with an unusual combination of subtlety and intensity, in a play that is itself a rare combination of comedy and drama, love story and political commentary.
Marily Stasio, Variety: The fierce pas de deux of love and loss and anguish executed by Carey Mulligan and Bill Nighy in “Skylight” leaves you breathless — and wondering how they can sustain this level of emotional intensity throughout the show’s 13-week Broadway run. David Hare’s 1995 drama, which floored West End audiences when director Stephen Daldry staged it last year with the same great cast, registers as a character-flaying study of ex-lovers whose lives and sensibilities have diverged since they parted. But deep down, it’s a scathing censure of the Thatcher government’s political legacy of social inequality and economic injustice.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: a crackling revival
Ben Brantley, New York Times:… two of the most expert stage performances you’re likely to see for many seasons….“Skylight” is a portrait of both two very specific lives and, implicitly but exactly, the economically unbalanced country that surrounds them. The great achievement of this production from Mr. Daldry (whose artful way with a lesser play, Peter Morgan’s “The Audience,” is in evidence at the nearby Gerald Schoenfeld Theater) is that it sustains each perspective with crystalline focus. “Skylight” has what feels like 20-20 double vision.
Peter Marks, Washington Post: one of the season’s highest-caliber dramatic events…. directed with consummate emotional clarity by Stephen Daldry…Nighy and Mulligan are well matched in “Skylight,” though hardly a matched set. Nighy’s a jitterbug, a restless stage animal of a thousand tics, all kept under amazingly disciplined, almost balletic wrap. Mulligan, by contrast, radiates a steady current of quiet strength, the essence of a woman who, if not entirely sure of whom she is, will certainly get to that understanding soon. She’s the eye to his hurricane.
Robert Kahn, WNBC: an artfully performed drama set in the 1990s in Great Britain..Carey Mulligan is great here…Bill Nighy, reprising a role he first played in 1997, is excellent at portraying his irritation with his surroundings
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: While it has a terrific first act, Skylight ultimately works better as a complex relationship postmortem than as an issues debate about class, privilege and social conscience in a country of chasmic income inequality.
David Cote, Time Out New York: Hare combines the dialectical relish of Shaw, the cozy-sweater Englishness of Rattigan and the seething outrage of Osborne. All of which means that the material is red meat to actors as fearless and deep-diving as Mulligan and Nighy…