It’s the undisputed media sensation of London’s fall theater calendar.
Lindsay Lohan officially debuted in a revival of David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow” on Thursday. The actress, seeking to put her troubled past behind her and relaunch her career as a serious actress, has been the subject of intense news and online speculation surrounding her West End bow.
Lohan costars with Richard Schiff and Nigel Lindsay in the 1988 Hollywood satire that is scheduled to run through Nov. 29 at London’s Playhouse Theatre.
Since the start of preview performances last month, Lohan’s performance has been dissected by reviewers, bloggers and audience members on Twitter. A number of reports said that Lohan had trouble with her lines in early previews and that she needed prompting from offstage crew.
The former child actress has used her own Twitter account to promote the play. She also appeared on a recent cover of the magazine Time Out London and said in the accompanying interview that “I’m at a point when I want a diligent routine and I really want to get back into work. And I wanted to do something different.”
Lohan said in the interview that she has moved to London and that she received a note from Mamet saying that he was pleased she is doing the play.
“I’m willing to work hard to gain back the respect that I once had and have lost,” she said.
Schiff and Lindsay play aggressive Hollywood executive types opposite Lohan’s mysterious adminstrative assistant. Reviews of “Speed-the-Plow” have concluded that Lohan gives a respectable though not spectacular performance.
Michael Billington of the Guardian wrote that Lohan “gives a perfectly creditable performance” and that the actress comes off the best of the three-member cast. Though she received a prompt during a performance, “she holds the stage with ease and doesn’t let the side down.”
Dominic Cavendish of the Telegraph concluded that Lohan made her stage debut with “a surprising - and smouldering – degree of style." If “her flat delivery needs more work ... so does the rest of the show."
The Hollywood Reporter’s Leslie Felperin wrote that "overall [Lohan] demonstrated presence. However, none of that changes the fact that this is a tepid, underwhelming production in which Lohan is just one of several mediocre elements."
The Independent’s Paul Taylor called the production “entertaining, if slightly underpowered.” He added that the show’s producers must have known “there’s a thin line between being seen as offering the 28-year-old actress a bracing shot at redemption and being perceived as exploiting her troubled emotional history.”