Danton’s Death

Set in 1794 during the lead up to Danton’s public execution, Georg Buchner’s
1835 play (in an interval-free version by Howard Brenton) paints a young
man’s angry picture of political unrest and infighting during which former
allies become foes and old friends are sent to the guillotine.

In stark contrast to Elliot Levey’s priggish but “Incorruptible”
Robespierre, finding virtue in violence, the married, whoring Danton (a
swaggering Toby Stephens) is tired of bloodshed, his combative spirit only
rekindled in an impassioned courtroom rebuttal of the accusations of Alec
Newman’s rousing Saint-Just.

There’s not much room for dramatic action in Michael Grandage’s fluent, but
wordy, production – but it looks wonderful with the light piercing the
windows of Christopher Oram’s high, wood-panelled set to create images
worthy of an old master.


Olivier at the National Theatre, South Bank, SE1 9PX
020 7452 3000
Tube: Waterloo
Currently in rep until 14th
£10 – £30 as part of the Travelex season

Review: Louise Kingsley