Standing ovation for Psycho Smith
Doctor Who star Matt Smith has received a mixed response from the critics for his all-singing, all-dancing portrayal of a murderous yuppie in the new stage adaptation of cult novel American Psycho.
The controversial Bret Easton Ellis book, published in 1991, was made into a film starring Christian Bale as psychopathic investment banker Patrick Bateman in 2000 and Smith was given a standing ovation from the audience for his performance at London's Almeida Theatre last night.
Writing in The Times, Dominic Maxwell said the show was " a darkly funny, outrageously entertaining evening that boasts a star turn from Matt Smith".
He praised the 30-year-old actor's " vulnerability" but said the show highlighted his "lim ited singing range".
The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer also described Smith's singing voice as " flat and expressionless".
Giving the show two stars, he said he suspected it would be a hit despite a "boringly blank" performance by Smith.
M ichael Billington in The Guardian gave the show four stars and said Smith was "the stand-out performer".
He said the actor "makes Bateman wholly believable" without "enlisting our sympathy".
The Independent's Paul Taylor also gave it four stars and said " the lack of colour" in Smith's " singing voice becomes part of Bateman's blankness".
Smith, who bows out of his BBC1 role as the Doctor in the Christmas special to be replaced with Peter Capaldi, said the production, directed by the Almeida's artistic director Rupert Goold, was "exciting".
"It's been a wonderful role to get to play," he said at the after-party of the show's press night. "It's really exciting to work with Rupert, and a good start to life at the Almeida.
"I was pleased with the reaction - they were up on their feet, which is something.
"I'm so proud of the cast and all the work everyone's done."
While some scenes of brutal murder, sex and the use of drugs are unsuitable for younger fans of Smith, those at the Almeida were full of praise.
Fellow Doctor Who actor Billie Piper said: "I loved it, I absolutely loved it. It's a great night out.
"I feel enormously thrilled and proud of everyone I know who's part of it.
"I love that it's been made into a musical. It's inspired. It feels like it should have been a musical all along, as it gives such character and personality."
The music is strongly rooted in the 1980s, featuring songs by Genesis and Huey Lewis and the News, many of them sung by Smith.
Piper added: "You can't beat the 80s. This feels like the beginning of something really long-running. It has a real punch."
Comedian and actor Lenny Henry said: "Matt Smith held the stage incredibly well. And how fantastic to have something like this at the Almeida.
"It has the same energy as something like the Jerry Springer musical - it shouldn't be a musical, but it works."
Bianca Jagger and Janet Street-Porter were also in the audience for the show, which runs until February 1.
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