British theater critics are saying “Jeers to you, Mrs. Robinson” after a Monday preview of The Graduate, starring former Texan supermodel Jerry Hall, at London’s Gielgud Theater.
Hall, who hasn’t been onstage in a decade, took acting lessons and voice coaching and pumped a lot of iron to get in shape for her (partly nude) role as the seductive housewife, Mrs. Robinson. Still, the only nice thing critics have managed to say of Hall’s debut is that the leggy blonde looks good for a 44-year-old.
The Daily Mail called her “wooden as a toothpick,” and also compared her dramatic skills to those of a “retiring clam.” The Times wrote, “Enter Jerry Hall, barely acting,” while The Daily Telegraph chimed in that Hall was “stiff without much passion, and less than convincing.” But what about the reviewers who didn’t hold back? They mostly complained that the stage was so dark they couldn’t even see if all the hype about Hall’s nude scenes was worth it.
“From my vantage point, it could have been Jerry Springer,” claimed The Sun’s Dominic Mohan. “Two fried eggs in the gloaming — that’s all I saw,” griped The Mail’s Quentin Letts. Hall was also slammed for her unsteady California-meets-Texas drawl, which apparently didn’t mesh with her supposedly elitist, manhandling character.
Hall’s ex-husband, Mick Jagger, sat in the audience scribbling notes, perhaps for a later discussion starting with “Honey, maybe you should work on a few things; I’ve made a list…”
Smoky-voiced actress Kathleen Turner previously held the role of Mrs. Robinson. She, unlike Hall, both shocked and moved Brit crits when she disrobed for the part.
The official premiere of The Graduate, which also features Josh Cohen, 26, as Mrs. Robinson’s young lover, is tonight.