Bob Verini – ArtsInLA
Having well and truly conquered James Tyrone (Long Day’s Journey Into Night), Hickey (The Iceman Cometh), Krapp (Krapp’s Last Tape), and Willy Loman (Death of a Salesman), Brian Dennehy sets up base camp at the Mark Taper Forum to take on his most daunting personal Everest yet. With its dozen or more lengthy, allusive monologues, and action encompassing seven decades of life in tumultuous Dublin, ending up in a filthy madhouse, Sebastian Barry’s The Steward of Christendom could very be the most demanding role in—well, in all Christendom.
Les Spindle – Edge on the Net
Master actor Brian Dennehey tackles one of his most challenging roles in Sebastian Barry’s 1995 drama, “The Steward of Christendom,” an ambitious mix of history and dramaturgic speculation. The hard-hitting play explores the emotional and psychological journey of Thomas Dunne, the institutionalized former chief superintendent of the Dublin Metropolitan Police Department.
Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter
Thomas Dunne (Brian Dennehy), based upon the great-grandfather of playwright Sebastian Barry, had been commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police in the years before Irish independence in 1922, responsible for enforcing order on behalf of British rule. His fellows derisively dismissed him as a “Castle Catholic.” In The Steward of Christendom, set 10 years later, Dunne now resides in a small room of his own atop a rural madhouse, stripped not only of authority and status but down to his dirty drawers and shoeless, a ranting King Lear of the civil service.
Now running through January 5.