School For Scandal
THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL, Royal Shakespeare Company, 1998Charles Spencer, ELECTRONIC TELEGRAPH, 16 October 1998
. . . Matthew Macfadyen plays Charles as a hilariously slurry, silly ass, so drunk for most of the play that he has to keep assuming a horizontal position, yet somehow never leaving any doubt about his character's underlying decency. . . .Nicholas de Jongh, EVENING STANDARD Hot Tickets, 15 October 1998
. . . Matthew Macfadyen's wild rake, Charles Surface at least beams a bright air of larkiness. . ..Patrick Carnegy, SPECTATOR, 24 October 1998
. . . Matthew Macfadyen was irresistibly winsome as Charles . . . .Georgina Brown, MAIL on SUNDAY, 1 November 1998
. . . the acting throughout deserves full marks, in particular Matthew Macfadyen as a loveable libertine, so dizzy with drink that he plays his scenes horizontally on the floor . . .Michael Coveney, DAILY MAIL, 16 October 1998
. . . How we live up to how we are seen by others is concentrated in the lifestyles of the seeming paragon Joseph Surface and his dissolute brother Charles. these roles are played with colour and great relish by the comparatively unknown Jason O'Mara and Matthew McFadyen. . . .John Peter, SUNDAY TIMES, 16 October 1998
. . . Matthew Macfadyen is a splendid Charles, an immature young blood with a heart . . .Paul Taylor, INDEPENDENT, 16 October 1998
. . . The strong company atmosphere is also the perfect way to predispose an audience to the extreme sociability of the good-natured libertine Charles Surface, here understood to be played by Sheridan. Not that Matthew Macfadyen needs any help. His performance is a masterpiece of comic charm. Even in the trickiest situations, his tipsy Charles always feels the need to lie flat on the floor, a position he assumes with an exquisite matter-of-factness as though it were the most natural thing in the world. . . .Robert Hanks, FINANCIAL TIMES, 17 October 1998
. . . the open-hearted, drunk Charles Surface (Matthew Macfadyen - two gold stars) dandling his aged uncle Oliver like a ventrilouist's dummy . . .Jeremy Kingston, THE TIMES, 16 October 1998
. . .The balconies not only give a spaciousness to the production but Charles Surface, the rakish but good brother, descends from one by rope for his long-delayed entrance. The genial voice of Matthew Macfadyen imparts a generous tone to the whole play thereafter . . .Susannah Clapp, OBSERVER, 18 October 1998
. . . Matthew Macfadyen makes something original out of the lovable Charles Surface, tingeing his profligacy with loutishness. . .Michael Billington, GUARDIAN, 15 October 1998
. . . Donnellan also makes the rivalry between the Surface brothers much more complex than a straight contest between virtue and vice. Matthew Macfadyen, in particular, plays the "good" Charles Surface as a neurotic rakehell surrounded by offensive, somewhat anti-Semitic, yahoos and given to lying prostrate in moments of crisis: if he is instantly forgiven by his uncle for refusing to sell the old man's portrait you feel it is more whimsical vanity on the latter's part than a testament to Charles's decency.
The production . . . rescues the play from cosmetic prettiness and treats it illuminatingly as a barbed comment on a divided Georgian society. .
Reviews obtained from here