Photo credit: Matt Martin/Action To The Word
Following a handful of previews, Action To The Word’s production of A Clockwork Orange formally opened with a ‘press night’ performance at the Park Theatre, London on Thursday 16 February.
Reviews of the production have been phenomenal, with Jonno Davies getting plenty of praise for his portrayal of Alexander DeLarge.
Some of the best comments about his performance:
The London Economic: “Jonno Davies’ stand out performance as leading everyman Alexander is blistering; as delicate and nuanced as it is dangerous. He moves so gracefully and speaks so beautifully, it’s hard to peg him as a bad person. Which is, of course, the whole point.”
Broadway World: “Jonno Davies becomes Alex with apparent ease; as the show goes on the audience develops a kind of love/hate relationship with him. His actions are reprehensible and downright horrifying, but Davies’ charm and dark humour give the character a certain allure – and in spite of his crimes you can’t help but feel for him in his suffering. Without doubt this is one of the standout lead performances of the year so far.”
Without doubt this is one of the standout lead performances of the year so far
The Stage: “Jonno Davies reprises his role as teenage gang leader turned experimental Guinea pig Alex, swaggering and preening like a drill sergeant, his back ramrod straight, his chin jutting. Later, he visibly deflates as his agency is stripped from him, but always retains a mocking, confrontational spark.”
Financial Times: “Jonno Davies as Alex is, let’s be frank, a hunk: he’s clearly been drinking his moloko like a good boy.”
The Reviews Hub: “Central to the success of A Clockwork Orange is Jonno Davies’ fantastically complex performance as Alex. He begins with a charismatic swagger that is full of threat, and it soon becomes clear that violence thrills him, that it sates something he cannot control. But as events turn against him, and despite his uncompromising surety at the start, he elicits a flicker of sympathy from the audience for his treatment and its consequences which makes this production so fascinating. But Davies’ success is in combining Alex’s interior life with an impressive physical performance, flexing his physique to initially intimidate others but later using his whole body to show how fear and disgust ripple through him, tearing him apart.”
Fantastically complex performance as Alex
Live Theatre UK: “It is Jonno Davies, extraordinarily charismatic and intriguing as Alex, who leads the audience through the vista of violence. He is the thug, the extrovert assailant, the peacock pariah, calling the shots, insisting on action, randomly trashing property or people. It is Alex who smashes a glass and anally rapes a victim with the jagged end. It is Alex who punches as hard as he kisses, who teases as much as he taunts.
“Davies is phenomenal. He looks like someone who could have inspired Michelangelo to carve David, proud, aryan and intensely manly. But he has such grace and supple dexterity as a mover that you see beyond the mindless violence and wonder how he got to the place where Droogs matter most to him. After the savagery he performs, it is startling to realise, as you inevitably do, that what happens to him in the Ludovico reconditioning, society’s answer to the question of lost, disengaged youth, is more frightening than anything Alex does.
“Davies has the power to make you understand the thrill of anonymous sex and violence and the rapture of listening to Beethoven. He makes Alex a creature of discernment but obsidian morality. You want him to be able to choose to take the right path, not just have all paths taken away from him. The scene where he realises he won’t be able to enjoy Beethoven again, without unendurable pain, is quite disturbing: you cannot help but feel sorry for him.
“…A Clockwork Orange is not the kind of experience you can classify as enjoyable. But it is shocking and confronting and compelling in equal measure. Spencer-Jones (the show’s director) has created something vital and remarkable and in Davies she has a bona fide star.”
Davies is phenomenal. He looks like someone who could have inspired Michelangelo to carve David, proud, aryan and intensely manly.
The Arts Desk: “Davies’s Alex has a seductive blend of cocky charm and raw pain. He slithers across the stage, he jumps onto tables, he snogs his mates, he snogs his victims, and he commits sickening acts of violence with broken bottles.”
Daily Express: “The charismatic Jonno Davies heads a virtuosic ensemble in a striking rendition of a modern classic.”
What’s On Stage: “The insolent, outrageously cruel Alex is played with brutal splendour by Jonno Davies, who flaunts his physical prowess over his mates with an arrogant assurance that makes his later enfeebled state all the more striking.”
Alex is played with brutal splendour by Jonno Davies
Theatre Weekly: “Davies gives an outstanding performance; you can see rage literally tearing through his body and fear bulging in his eyes. Then he draws the audience in with a masterful use of ‘Nadsat’, the adolescent slang mix of Russian, English and cockney rhyming slang.”
Davies gives an outstanding performance
Stage Review: “Bursting with bravura, the arrogance of youth, and athleticism, Davies makes an exemplary Alex, not only creating a physically engaging monster but also giving the audiences glimpses of the troubled boy within. It’s a nuanced, multi-layered performance considering its physicality.”
Davies makes an exemplary Alex
Once A Week Theatre: “In the hugely demanding lead role Jonno Davies can be happy he earns praise for more than his deltoids – although it’s clear milk does a body good. Both his rage and the degree of sympathy he evokes when his character is subjected to a corrective therapy show the talents of a strong actor.”
Theatre Bubble: “Jonno Davies gave an outstanding performance in the role of Alex DeLarge. His carefully crafted insanity electrifies, flickering between calm and unsettling to explosive and downright terrifying. We believe when his victims, and the other droogs, cower and submit to him, as he dominates the stage, seemingly in every corner at once. The transformation from street king to prison boy to lab rat is expertly handled, with the hulking body that was used to intimidate buckles into itself with unprecedented helplessness. Dare I say that I felt sorry for this monster?”
British Theatre: “Jonno Davies is a powerful Alexander, particularly in the prison and rehabilitation scenes.”
Theatre News: “Jonno Davies is mesmerising as Alexander, with coal ringed eyes and ripped torso. His tenderness is entirely convincing alongside the brutality and his grasp of Burgess delicious teenage ‘patois’ absolute.”
Jonno Davies is mesmerising as Alexander
Attitude Magazine: “Jonno Davies is astonishing in the lead role of Alex and not just because of his spectacular physique. He burrows right under the skin and deep into the psyche of the teenage gang leader who gets his kicks through violence and rape, winds up in prison and undergoes a form of aversion therapy that rids him of his vicious impulses but also takes away any joy from being alive.”
Jonno Davies is astonishing in the lead role of Alex
Millennial London: “Jonno Davies as Alex is bold, dynamic and has the audience following his every move and word. He clearly transitions from an ultraviolent Alex to a mere shell of him.”
Has the audience following his every move and word
A Younger Theatre: “Davies perfects controlled arrogance but demonstrates deep versatility when necessary.”
Davies perfects controlled arrogance
Enfield Independent: “Jonno Davies reprises his role as Alex, having played the role previously on two international tours. He flexes his body physically but also emotionally, contorting it to convey how the cocksure thug becomes the victim of his own destructive nature.”
Boyz.co.uk: “Compelling to watch and totally mesmerising mainly due to the performance of Jonno Davies as Alexander. This young actor, like a young Brando or James Dean, is exceptional, powerful and very sexy. A star in the making.”
A star in the making
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