London Day’s Journey Into Night Review When I arrived at the Apollo Theatre I was told the play Long Day’s Journey Into Night would last three hours with a small interval. However, this should not put the audience off. The play contained an intriguing story which kept my attention. The play intensely explores the dysfunctional Tyrone family and the relationship between the four members. It holds many similarities to the writer Eugene O’Neill’s own turbulent life, such as the conflicted father-son relationship.
The audience are invited to experience an intense day and night of the life of this family. Set in the summer home in 1912, the audience are instantly introduced to an ill-stricken family. Mary Tyrone, the mother, with an addiction that we later learn is to morphine and Edmund, her son, with a violent cough that we later learn is due to tuberculosis. Mary’s illness, along with many other factors, constantly re-sparks old fights that the family are unable to forget. The play is very complex as each member of the family has a strong personality and personal story that contributes to the dysfunction of this family.
Despite some scenes lacking energy, the acting was simply high-class and completely believable. David Suchet gave a powerful performance as the head of the family, James Tyrone, often losing his temper with frustration towards his sons and his wife while trying to remain strong. Tyrone’s sons James Jr (often referred to as Jamie) played by Trevor White and Edmund played by Kyle Soller, each gave an interesting performance. The despise and love between the brothers is constantly debated and the two argue their differences throughout. However, for me I found Laurie Metcalfwho played Mary Tyrone the most intriguing. Mary is a complex character based on O’Neill’s own mother and on his wife, Carlotta. Throughout the day we realise how bad Mary’s addiction is and the effects this has upon the family. And caught in the middle of this quarreling is the family’s maid Cathleen played beautifully by Rosie Sansom.
I was startled by the abrupt ending and wanted to learn more about how this family live in so much conflict. 3 hours was not long enough to learn about this complex family.
A strong story and a strong cast, this play is worth seeing without a doubt.
Page updated 19th October 2014