Entertainment & Arts

Billie Piper 'devastatingly good' in Yerma update

Billie Piper in Yerma Image copyright Johan Persson
Image caption Piper last appeared on the London stage in the National Theatre's 2014 play Great Britain

Former Doctor Who star Billie Piper has been praised by critics for her latest stage role, with one describing her work in Yerma as "devastatingly good".

The 33-year-old is "on raw, ferocious, spellbinding form" in the Young Vic's update of Federico Garcia Lorca's play, wrote the Evening Standard's reviewer.

According to The Times, Piper "steals the show" as "a woman consumed by obsession with her own infertility".

The Guardian was also impressed by her "breathtakingly uninhibited" portrayal.

"In the course of 100 minutes, Piper registers every phase of the character's mounting despair with stark clarity," wrote the paper's critic Michael Billington.

Image copyright Johan Persson
Image caption The actress, seen with co-star Brendan Cowell, was recently seen in TV series Penny Dreadful

Piper, who played companion Rose Tyler in Doctor Who, plays a woman only known as 'Her' in Simon Stone's adaptation of Lorca's 1933 play.

The play relocates the action from rural Spain to contemporary London and recasts its heroine as a successful lifestyle journalist.

The result, writes Libby Purves in the Daily Mail, is "a tale for all ages" that has been given a "sharply witty, slangily modern updating".

The Stage's Tim Bano concurs, describing the play as "one hell of a punch to the gut thanks to Billie Piper's mighty performance".

Yerma, which also stars Brendan Cowell as Piper's on-stage partner, continues at the Young Vic in south London until 24 September.


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