[REVIEW ROUNDUP] Bakersfield Mist

There’s much to be said about the clichés of the art world—most of which gets told in Bakersfield Mist.

The banal arrogance of the art industry, anchored on education and exclusivity, gets told on stage with Kathleen Turner, playing Maude — a trailer park mom trying to convince Ian McDiarmid, playing Lionel that her three-dollar thrift-shop find was actually a priceless Jackson Pollack.


If the premise asks you to suspend your disbelief, best to make the effort to do so; because Bakersfield Mist is inspired by true events. And in this West End staging helmed by Stephen Sachs, the director commands a powerful performance from his veteran cast of award winning actors as it asks the poignant truth behind human (and by association, art) authenticity.


Here’s what the critics have to say about Bakersfield Mist at the Duchess Theatre:


Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard: Eight years on from her last West End appearance, Kathleen Turner brings all her charismatic authority to this two-hander by Stephen Sachs.


Charles Spencer, The Telegraph: Katheen Turner and Ian McDiarmid shine in Stephen Sachs's entertaining if slender play about the discovery of a possible Jackson Pollock…It would be a shame to give too much away, but Maude’s claim that the painting really is by Jack the Dripper isn’t quite as absurd as it initially seems, while the art expert’s smug omniscience isn’t as persuasive as he would like to think it is.


Paul Taylor, The Independent: Improbably fuelled by slugs of Jack Daniels and climaxing in an all-out wrestling match, the odd couple double-act is conveyed with expert comic gusto by Turner and McDiarmid.


Michael Billington, The Guardian: Even if I found much of the play hard to believe, I enjoyed watching the two performers under Polly Teale's direction. Kathleen Turner, last seen on the London stage as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, is excellent as Maude.


Ismene Brown, The Arts Desk: To older generations Turner will always be the scorching, duplicitous redhead in Body Heat and Prizzi's Honor, but she shows herself now without pretence at nearly 60, happily slutting about the stage in shapeless jeans and lumberjack shirt, playing whiskey-swilling California trailer trash Maude.


You can Book Tickets for Bakersfield Mist at the Duchess Theatre Online or by Calling our Box Office on 0207 1939050 from Monday to Friday at 8am - 8pm and Saturday to Sunday at 9am – 7pm.

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