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Lindsay Lohan made her West End stage debut in London on Thursday night, appearing in Speed-the-Plow with a performance that received mixed reviews from the U.K. press.
The 28-year-old plays the secretary Karen in David Mamet’s Hollywood satire — a role made famous by Madonna on Broadway in 1988 and played by Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss in the 2008 revival — and appears alongside West Wing star Richard Schiff and U.K. stage actor Nigel Lindsay.
The BBC pointed out that the actress once forgot her lines during the second act, with a prompt on hand to help. But its critic suggested that with the press in attendance, the pressure on the actress must have “been immense,” and that overall, she put in a “believable performance” and is “likely to settle once the critics have moved on.”
Read more ‘Speed-the-Plow’: Theater Review
Less kind was The Daily Mail‘s reviewer. “Lindsay Lohan’s acting is that of a not specially gifted schoolgirl … the director should be ashamed for putting on this travesty of art,” said the writer, suggesting that her casting was “the work of agents and producers and commercial sharks who thought they could turn a few quid.”
Mark Shenton, critic at U.K. performing arts publication The Stage, claimed that Lohan was “out of her league” and that the real Lindsay who should be praised was her “serious actor” and fellow castmember Nigel. He added that the West End was not there to “nurture the egos of minor Hollywood actors.”
However, the star found fans at both The Independent and The Guardian.
The Independent’s review said that Lohan turned in a “deftly delineated characterization” and had “real presence as a gauche, husky-voiced operator.”
The Guardian said that Lohan was the standout in an otherwise tame and under-powered revival of the play. “Whatever her colorful past, Lohan brings onstage a quality of breathless naivety,” its reviewer wrote.
Speed-the-Plow runs at London’s Playhouse Theater until Nov. 29.
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