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Review | Patriots | Noel Coward Theatre | 06/06/2023

In the great tradition of strong West End transfers coming from the renowned Almeida Theatre comes ‘Patriots.’ Nominated for three Olivier’s and winning one, this play has little left to prove on its West End debut.

Set during the fall of the Soviet Union where an assortment of political figures try to do ‘the best thing’ for the future of the country. Where their own interpretations of what is best differ, they all claim to be Patriots.

Tom Hollander is quite simply mesmerizing as billionaire businessman Boris Berezovsky, who he plays with a distinct charm. As with all characters though, he is painted neither as a villain nor hero through Peter Morgan’s impeccable writing. Each character is built with complexity, none perhaps more so than Vladimir Putin himself. We meet an almost nervous and unassuming Putin, who Will Keen seamlessly develops into the more sinister leader we know today. At one-point Keen locked eyes directly with me, and as I felt a cold shiver come over me it was obvious to why he won the Olivier for this role.

The real star of this show is Peter Morgan’s compelling script, which keeps the audience engrossed in the story from beginning to end. Morgan carefully treads the line, juxtaposing humour and warmth alongside moments of uncomfortable drama. Given the current situation in Russia/Ukraine, this piece couldn’t be timelier. This however isn’t solely for those with an interest in politics and modern history, the themes within it make for compelling viewing for a wide variety of theatregoers.

Whilst some shows can somewhat lose their impact when transported to a large west end stage, this certainly wasn’t the case for Patriots which seemed at home on the Noel Coward stage. Patriots is not one to be missed and is on until 19/08/2023. See below for more information:

Note: My ticket was gifted. Irrespective of whether a show is gifted or bought, I always ensure that my reviews are fair and based on my honest opinion alone.


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