Hollywood star Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick left pub-goers gobsmacked as they enjoyed pints in a north London boozer this week.
Locals at The Gate House in Highgate – where Liam Gallagher is also a regular – were shocked to see the Sex and The City Star, 58, and her actor partner, 61, popping in for several visits.
The pair are in London for their new play, Plaza Suite – a West End revival of Neil Simon’s play of the same name which debuted at Broadway in 1968.
One onlooker told The Sun of their visits: ‘Sarah and her husband Matthew Broderick are becoming regulars now they are staying in town.
‘She seems to like how ‘quaint’ it is and has said she likes how British the pub feels.
Hollywood star Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick left pub-goers gobsmacked as they enjoyed pints in a north London boozer (seen) this week
Locals at The Gate House in Highgate – where Liam Gallagher is also a regular – were shocked to see the Sex and The City Star, 58, and her actor partner, 61, popping in for several visits
‘They stop off together for a pint after the shows and sit quietly together in a corner. People have tended to leave them alone too which is probably why they’re using it as their local.’
The Gate House used to be a Wetherspoons before it changed hands.
It comes after earlier this week Sarah got into the London spirit as she revealed her love for the Underground.
She said: ‘I want to know Jubilee, Piccadilly, Northern. I want to know Edgware. I want to know all of it.’
The couple brushed off criticism as they left the Savoy theatre in London on Tuesday, after Plaza Suite was met with scathing reviews.
The multi-award-winning actress was all smiles as she signed autograph’s and chatted to fans alongside husband Matthew.
Sarah’s West End debut has been met with a slew of scathing two star reviews following the show’s debut on Sunday night.
Plaza Suite, where the SATC star features alongside her real life husband Matthew, was unveiled at the Savoy Theatre in front of a slew of star in the wake of uproar over the obscenely priced tickets.
One onlooker told The Sun of their visits: ‘Sarah and her husband Matthew Broderick are becoming regulars now they are staying in town’
Oasis star Liam, 51, (pictured) is also a regular at the boozer
The pair are in London for their new play, Plaza Suite – a West End revival of Neil Simon’s play of the same name which debuted at Broadway in 1968 (Sarah seen in the play)
Sarah’s West End debut has been met with a slew of scathing two star reviews following the show’s debut on Sunday night
The revival of Neil Simon’s triptych of sketches, which the couple took to the Broadway stage previously, is directed by John Benjamin Hickey and helmed by the superstar couple who have been married since 1997.
The plays, all set in suite 719 in New York’s Plaza Hotel, are called Visitor From Mamaroneck, Visitor From Hollywood and Visitor From Forest Hills – and while the fusty stories were criticised, the couple were praised for carrying the play.
With top-end tickets reaching nearly £400, nearly every review gives a nod to the price tag, with a gaping divide among critics as to whether it is worth it for the SATC star and her spouse, who returns to the West End after The Starry Messenger in 2019.
The website for the play, originally performed on Broadway’s Plymouth Theatre in 1968, lists: ‘A delightfully witty exploration of love and marriage, Plaza Suite had New York City audiences enchanted with its charm and its starry cast….
‘Now, from January 2024, London’s West End gets the chance to witness two world-class performers and Hollywood icons transform into three unique couples, each finding themselves entangled in hilariously outlandish situations within the walls of the legendary Plaza Suite hotel room.’
The three stories go as followed: ‘Karen and Sam are a long-married pair whose relationship may be headed for an early checkout. Muriel and Jesse are former high school sweethearts who seem destined for an extended stay…
‘And Norma and Roy are the mother and father of the bride, ready to celebrate their daughter’s nuptials — if only they can get her out of the bathroom’.
The Independent ‘s Alice Saville was wholly unflattering, with as lacklustre two stars for her review of the play alongside the scathing prose: ‘Real-life couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick cannot save Neil Simon’s dated romcom’.
The Guardian branded the play ‘a celebrity circus’, with Arifa Akbar blasting the audience’s feverish excitement – complete with stealth phone usage and prolonged applause – despite the play’s alleged ‘flat and forgettable’ form.
She penned: ‘The production seems effectively to coast on the fame of its two stars. What a low, lazy bar to set at such a high price (some premium ‘package’ seats have reportedly sold for £395)…
‘Times are tough for the arts but commercial theatre can surely be braver than this.’
Sarah Hemming, of The Financial Times , gave a lukewarm three stars but placed more blame on the age of the play and its fusty writing than the stars.
She wrote: ‘More than 50 years on, the comedy has aged; each act, though short, feels overextended, while the scenes never really explore the loneliness and pain that can lurk beneath the comedy.’
Time Out ‘s Andrzej Lukowski joins the masses in commenting on the ticket price, noting that it is Sarah’s presence which warrants ‘printing money’ with the price.
He wrote: ‘If you don’t know or care who Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick are and aren’t some sort of crazed Neil Simon completist, then there’s definitely no reason you need to see ‘Plaza Suite’. If you’ve come for the leads – well, they put on a show for you. Maybe it would have been nice if it was a different show…
‘If you’ve essentially checked into ‘Plaza Suite’ to spend two-and-half-hours with Sarah Jessica Parker, you’re unlikely to be complaining to the manager.’
While a number of reviews carried an eye-watering two stars, the feedback was not all bad, with The Evening Standard reporting: ‘People will pay for sensational event theatre and the chance to see a star in the flesh, especially one this fascinating’.
The Times added to the fanfare surrounding the tickets, with Clive Davis penning: ‘And with the power couple come Broadway prices…
‘Part of me feels guilty writing in praise of this venture, which comes with a top-price ticket of £300. Utter madness, I hear you say. And you would be right’
Sarah Crompton of What’s On Stage echoed her peers in stating that superstar Sarah is the lure of the play, with a mediocre three stars.
She penned: ‘Parker’s honesty, her vigour, and her pure gift for comedy both physical and verbal, disguise some of their obvious shortcomings. She’s a revelation.’
The Stage’s Sam Marlow gave another two star review and penned: ‘ But this is largely his wife’s show. That’s an achievement on Parker’s part, I suppose, given that the three women she plays do little more than fuss, flirt and twitter, feebly beating their wings against the bars of the cage of domesticity and monogamy…
‘And perhaps it’ll be enough for the fans. There’s nothing subtle about any of it – yet one mystery remains: of all the plays in the world, why choose this one?’
The i’s Fiona Mountford was scathing in her review, insisting the married couple lacked chemistry in their performance and largely failed to illuminate the stage.
Alongside her two star rating, she penned: ‘I could not wait to check out of Plaza Suite… There dawns the disconcerting realisation that despite Parker and Broderick’s 32-year relationship they manifest almost zero chemistry together on stage.’
She claimed that the third instalment saw Sarah masquerade ‘soulsapping levels of performative hysteria’ as she depicted a desperate mother.
Plaza Suite, where the SATC star features alongside her real life husband Matthew, was unveiled at the Savoy Theatre in front of a slew of star in the wake of uproar over the obscenely priced tickets
Sarah is seen in And Just Like That – the Sex and the City spin off
The Daily Mail’s Patrick Marmion wrote: ‘You want showbiz? You want celebrity? You want reassuringly expensive A-lister stardust?..
‘Here it comes in the shape of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, with their hit Broadway production of Neil Simon’s Sixties comedy about marriages teetering on the brink in a New York hotel room…
‘With a few tickets retailing at an eye-watering £300 (decent seats are £75-125 and good ones £200), it’s pulling a notably well-heeled crowd – TV favourite Hannah Waddingham was among the guests at the gala performance last night…
‘And I’m not sure who’s stooping lower with the Moet & Chandon vending machines – the producers, the punters or the wine-makers. But John Benjamin Hickey’s production doesn’t scrimp on the stage set.’
PLAZA SUITE: The Reviews THE INDEPENDENT
The husband-wife duo are not always in on the jokes… The jokes feel effortful and small “c” conservative: landing them would be a stretch for far more accomplished stage actors than Parker and Broderick, who are just about good enough here.
Real-life couple Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick cannot save Neil Simon’s dated romcom
This is a celebrity circus. Even costume changes get audience oohs and aahs. It seems oddly disproportionate because, as exciting as it may be to see Sex And The City’s Carrie Bradshaw on stage, the production is flat and forgettable, not testing either actor’s seasoned skills on the boards (though this is Parker’s debut in the West End).
That adaptation has a corny, period look but its performances are more nuanced than they are here.
It might be that the play has dated badly (and this production makes little effort to give it a fresh spin), or that it does not fare well under such blunt, vaudevillian treatment.
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick’s combined star power struggles to enliven this outdated matrimonial comedy.
Do you have a hankering to see Carrie Bradshaw and Ferris Bueller in the flesh? Why else would anybody rush to this mechanical revival of Neil Simon’s dull and dated 1968 comedy.
The glitzy casting of Sex and the City star and her actor husband also accounts for the much-discussed, eye-watering ticket prices. Even their biggest fans must be thinking: they’d better be worth it.
Relationship discord plays out amid the Regency-style décor and before anything to do with the play itself, there dawns the disconcerting realisation that despite Parker and Broderick’s 32-year relationship they manifest almost zero chemistry together on stage.
John Benjamin Hickey, a Tony Award-winning actor, is the director of only his second production. A more experienced hand might have curbed some of Parker and Broderick’s worse excesses, but goodness knows what anyone would do with the third act
Parker and Broderick throw themselves into the roles, with exaggerated physical and vocal tics playing to the gallery. The laughter flows but it’s also ridiculous and rather uncomfortable when viewed with modern eyes.
SJP fans, of course, will happily fork out to see their idol in the flesh and she makes a confident, accomplished West End debut. I’d rather see what she can do next time with more substantial material.
THE FINANCIAL TIMES
Parker, in particular, is a joy, bringing zest, precise detail and sharp comic timing to her characters. But it’s not quite enough to blow the dust off the play and its creakily dated depiction of the sexes.
More than 50 years on, the comedy has aged; each act, though short, feels overextended, while the scenes never really explore the loneliness and pain that can lurk beneath the comedy.
it feels like a decent premise let down by lumpen writing and low-level misogyny, but there’s some solid physical business and [the third section is] definitely the most overtly fun sequence.
I’ve moaned, but it’s an unusual prospect, a comedy that would almost certainly never have been revived were it not for the attachment of the two leads.
Parker’s presence (her West End debut) is basically a license to print money – the top-priced tickets are over £300 – but I don’t think this is a cynical choice of play. Indeed, they could have made life a lot easier for themselves with material that’s easier to sell. But they really give it a go.
WHAT’S ON STAGE
Parker’s honesty, her vigour, and her pure gift for comedy both physical and verbal, disguise some of their obvious shortcomings. She’s a revelation.
Are the VIPs any good? The audience at the performance I saw had already made up its mind on that score, breaking into prolonged applause, Broadway-style, when they made their entrances in the first instalment.
THE EVENING STANDARD
John Lee Beatty’s set is a clunky idea of five-star decor, the supporting cast almost unnoticeable and the whole thing occupies a very rarefied niche of New York society. But complaining that a Broadway show is “too New Yorky” is as pointless as whining about its high ticket prices in London.
Plaza Suite is pretty much sold out because people will pay for sensational event theatre and the chance to see a star in the flesh, especially one this consistently fascinating. If you can afford it, Sarah Jessica Parker – with Broderick as Ken to her Barbie – is worth it.
The Sex and the City star and her husband Matthew Broderick are superb in Neil Simon’s sexually inhibited 1968 hit. But are they worth £395?
They say chintz is coming back into fashion, but it’s still a slightly frumpy, frowning spectacle. However, frisky performances lighten the visual load and lift the spirits. Whether that justifies the admission price, gentle reader, only you can tell.
But it’s a top-of-the-range revival of a comic antique. All you need, ladies, is a Mr Big who will not flinch at the price tag – which is a good test of his character too.