The personal and the political come together in both heartbreaking and humorous ways in the revival of David Hare’s Skylight. Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan and Matthew Beard never strike a false note in this play of betrayal, expectations, new beginnings and endings.
Nighy is all energy as Tom Sergeant, a successful restaurateur who had an affair with Mulligan’s much younger Kyra Hollis. He was also her boss, as was his wife with whom Kyra enjoyed a close friendship as she became part of the family. The wife has died and Tom shows up at Kyra’s flat after the pair hasn’t seen each other in three years.Tom feels guilt over his wife finding out about the affair, betrayal at Kyra leaving without a word and confusion over why this younger woman chooses to live her life as a schoolteacher to underprivileged children. Kyra lives in a poor neighborhood, has no heat, and to Tom even the cheese he grates over a pasta dish is proof of how she is denying (or is it punishing) herself. Kyra values her independence, thinks the work she does is important, and reminds Tom that she told him once the wife found out about the affair it would be over.
So the two trade barbs, truths and re-examine their pasts as they see if they can have a future. Nighy commands the stage as a man who is used to getting what he wants. Mulligan is a quieter presence but has her moments of fury and is nobody’s pushover. Beard plays Sergeant’s son who has a lovely relationship with Kyra and whose gesture toward her at the end provides a lovely note to what is a wistful evening. AFW
Golden Theatre, 252 West 45 Street
Running time: 2 hours & 20 minutes (including 20 minute intermission)
Through June 21
Tickets $60-$149, discounts available