Review: ★★★★ Till the Stars Come Down, Dorfman Theatre

A wedding day turns into pure chaos.

Beth Steel returns to the London stage with her brand-new play Till the Stars Come Down, a drama about a how the “happiest day of [people’s] lives” can become one of the worst; directed by Bijan Sheibani.

The play explores the inner circle of a British family against a backdrop of a wedding day, as Sylvia (Sinéad Matthews) prepares to be betrothed to her Lithuanian boyfriend Marek (Marc Wootton). At first, we see the girls with the bride preparing their outfits and doing their hair with many last-minute obstacles being thrown in the way. The dress is too tight, their hair isn’t in the right place and no one’s on time.

It was here that Steel’s comedic writing excelled. The way she captured the witty and hilarious dialogue between members of the family was great to watch and even better to listen to. Lorraine Ashbourne’s performance as Aunty Carol was especially good.

Steel epitomises what a typical British family on a wedding day would look like. The initial stress of getting everything done, to the humorous arguments between daughters, mothers, fathers and aunts. At the outset it looked to end in happily ever after, but suddenly events violently get turned upside down when dark secrets, lying and cheating are brought to the surface.

A special mention to the set designer Samal Blak who placed a wide, silver circle across the whole stage. This image demonstrates not only is the play about a wedding, but the surrounding lies, deceit and mild racial tensions that come out when all the family are together. The image portrayed several different messages, one being that everything that goes around comes around. The truth will follow you wherever you go. As well as no matter how hard you try to ignore it, it will always be there. Circling around until you fully acknowledge what you’ve done and how you’re going to deal with it.

A brilliantly written and observed comedy that lit up the theatre, mixed with killer punches that turn a beautiful day into a violent rainstorm.

Till the Stars Come Down runs at the Dorfman Theatre until 16th March, tickets available via

Oliver Gower

Oliver Gower
Oliver Gower

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