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Reviews | Jonathan Nibbs

Theatre Reviews

Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol (2009)

There was much else to enjoy in this packed production. Jonathan Nibbs' Soothsayer provided a through link between the two plays, creating a continuous, hunched character who gave out his predictions desperately and without hope for his subjects.

—  (The Bardathon, April 2009)

Julius Caesar, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol (2009)

The Soothsayer speaks no more than a dozen lines but Jonathan Nibbs uses them to create a figure of urgency and alarm.

—  (The Times, February 2009)

Macbeth, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Barbican, London (2004)

Macduff, often played as if by Mel Gibson doing his toughie stuff, receives a scholarly, well-measured performance by Jonathan Nibbs, capable of deeply feeling grief yet a credible swordsman nevertheless.

—  (The Times, February 2004)

Macbeth has seized the Scottish throne...Macduff, his countryman, is in England visiting the rightful king when he learns that his own family has been murdered. Deranged with grief, he cries out for his 'pretty ones'. Somewhere in the Barbican Pit audience, sniffing starts. A nose is blown. A bad-tempered critic feels a pricking at his eyes.

There are some fine performances in this production, not least from Jonathan Nibbs as the bereft and vengeful Macduff.

—  (The Guardian, September 2004)

Macbeth, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol (2004)

Only when Jonathan Nibbs as Macduff, hearing that his family have been assassinated, is almost deranged with grief do we really taste the play's brew of madness and horror.

—  (The Times, September 2004)

Twelfth Night, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol (2002)

A great relief from all those fools with funny voices, wigs and noses, Jonathan Nibbs is one you could imagine taking to your club, a soberly dressed fellow with a gentle, melancholy air. Nibbs also sings mournfully, his poignant music providing just enough darkness to counterbalance the play's giddy sweetness.

—  (The Independent, April 2002)

Jonathan Nibbs's strong-voiced Feste interweaves his songs gravely.

—  (The Observer, March 2002)

Jonathan Nibbs is an excellent Feste: a thin withdrawn middle-aged man who is weary of being more intelligent than everybody else.

—  (The Sunday Times, March 2002)

With John Mackay a quixotically silly Aguecheek, Roland Oliver a vulgar and flabby Belch, and sweet singing from Jonathan Nibbs's Feste, this is a production that satisfies on any number of counts.

—  (The Times, March 2002)

Winter's Tale, The, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol (2002)

There is no bear to pursue Jonathan Nibbs' dignified Antigonus.

—  (The Sunday Times, February 2002)

Coriolanus, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol (2001)

Jonathan Nibbs and David Collins present the tribunes of the people with such an air of sleazy, faux-humble self-aggrandisement that one could almost imagine oneself in the Commons.

—  (The Independent, March 2001)

Some productions downplay the disruptive behaviour of the tribunes in order to glamorise the role of people against bosses. Hilton has no patience with this; he gives them their original prominence, gleefully sensing their newfound power, with David Collins a suave smiler and Jonathan Nibbs resembling a pinched Presbyterian. At the same time he does not make them panic in adversity.

—  (The Times, March 2001)

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol (2000)

Jonathan Nibbs' wall-building routine (as Snout the tinker) is an absolute show-stopper.

—  (Venue, March 2000)

In the play-within-the play there was a happy example of an actor's creative contribution: Jonathan Nibbs who played Snout (ergo, Wall in the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe) brought to a rehearsal an idea he'd worked out in his garden at home. Instead of merely announcing his role to the Athenean court in the usual way, he produced some bricks and mortar and started actually to build a wall - admittedly only a small one. Far from hobbling the comedy, this piece of business was instantly hailed by his fellow actors as a hoot and adopted. Although one reviewer was to opine that 'the gag takes too long and wears thin while we are watching him' (Paul Taylor, The Independent, 22 March 2000), my personal view is the exact opposite. It was Snout's deliberate earnestness, his refusal to rush the gag, that made it hysterically funny.

—  (New Theatre Quarterly (Cambridge University Press), November 2002)

King Lear, Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol (2000)

A similar high standard of characterisation is evident among the other actors. Even the nauseatingly virtuous characters - Kent (played by Jonathan Nibbs) and Cordelia (played by Lucy Black) - are stripped of their customary cloying sweetness.

—  (The Independent, February 2000)