The lovely and heart-breakingly talented film actress Carey Mulligan (Pride and Prejudice, Never Let Me Go, and Oscar-nominated for An Education) returns to the stage tonight in an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly. Presented by The Atlantic Theater Company at the New York Theater Workshop through July 3rd, the melancholy play revolves around a family’s struggle to reconnect–and deal with a daughter’s mental illness–while at a beach retreat suffused with memories of their absent mother and wife.
I’ll refrain from giving a full review given opening night protocols (I’m a good Catholic boy like that) but I will say that it is a worthwhile evening, emotionally acute if slightly bound to the straightforwardness of its screenplay roots. It should come as no surprise to anyone who saw her in the magnificent 2008 revival of The Seagull (egregiously overlooked by the Tonys that season) that Carey Mulligan is wondrous. This is no film actress “slumming it” on stage. In fact, following directly after seeing Derek Jacobi in King Lear and Mark Rylance in Jerusalem, her performance completed a fascinating triptych of the last 50 years of (British) theater acting styles. So, put on your tweed jacket, crank up the theme to “Masterpiece Theater” and let’s survey the thespian territory from grand classicism to muscular method-ology, finally landing at bare naturalism: