Do these excerpts do justice to Jennifer Ehle? They're pretty close. These reviews for The Real Thing are already up on the fansite, but I thought it too good not to bring to your attention again. Besides, there are some nice rehearsal photos from The Real Thing as well. They're from the Donmar Warehouse.
"Ehle's performance is the most luminous, the most sensitive, the most intelligent and deeply observed of her career. She understands that Annie is the most mature of this quartet, and therefore has the most to lose. Her body moves, at first, as if repressing something and anxious that this should not be observed. It is an English woman's body, voluptuous but diffident, with a sense of dignity and apprehension. Later, in the air of freedom called love, this body relaxes, subtly, quietly, but joyously. This is acting of a very high order: the actress's technique is completely absorbed in a sense of warm, unostentatious life. It is clear from the start that, in any relationship with Henry, Annie will have to be the protector, the kindly one, the sustainer. Max, her husband, also lives in a simpler world, and Lindsay pinpoints precisely the troubled core of a man who is not nearly as resilient as he thinks."
"Stephen Dillane and Jennifer Ehle do the business for Stoppard at the Donmar.
And the delectable Miss Ehle - glistening and slippery like her name - plays Annie, the married actress Henry steals from the actor first seen appearing in his own play about jealousy and adultery."
"There's no doubting the passion which blazes between him and Annie, stunningly well played by Jennifer Ehle - of TV's Pride and Prejudice - with a sleepy sensuality and fierce emotional energy."
"Jennifer Ehle is also excellent as Annie: she has an extraordinary gift for constantly appearing on the verge of tears yet she retaliates against Henry's suave put-downs with spirit and dignity. Sarah Woodward is cunningly cast as Henry's ex-wife."
"This review can hardly do justice to Jennifer Ehle's physical appeal. Someone will need to write her a sonnet. But her luminous performance is fascinating for the way it walks a tightrope between smiles and tears without turning cute. As Annie, the actress moving between jusbands, Ehle is eloquent and forceful. Even in her extreme emotional moments, she never loses her resonance."
"The dramatist subsequently embarks on a love affair with his leading actor's wife, Annie, who is performed with intelligence and passion by the luminous Jennifer Ehle."
"We see the pain breaking through as he struggles to keep hold of Jennifer Ehle's sultry, restless Annie. It's in the looks, the smiles, the sexual chemistry between them - as fizzy as the pop soundtrack - that the play's status as a thing of great beauty is really confirmed."
"David Leveaux directs: the only quibbles I have are pedantic - to do with too-modern telephones and the fact that Anna Moffo's recording of "Sempre libera" does not belong in the Toscanini rcording of Traviata/ Maybe Jennifer Ehle looks too young to joke that 22-ish Billy might be her son; but one forgives a lot in the face of Ehle's personal beauty, which is now in its prime. Every iota of body-language, above all facial language, between Annie (the role she plays) and Henry (the man she marries) is riveting. And Ehle's speaking, though less mature, is equally true in feeling."
"Ehle's vocal precision and air of fierce attention go with her luminous beauty to create an object of love as passionate and real as her lover."
Total number of times the word "luminous" is used to describe Ms Ehle: 4.
I wholeheartedly agree.