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Blood, sweat and tears

Long Day’s Journey Into Night was so personal and painful for Eugene O’Neill that he forbade the performance of the play until after his death. Does it stand the test of time?

By Michael Coveney   April 2012

O’Neill’s plays have long appealed to actors: an all-star production of Long Day’s Journey from 1988, featuring Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey

Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night is the mother of all dysfunctional family plays, and the ultimate imprimatur of autobiography as a dramatic subject. After a 12-year hiatus in the London theatre—a gap ordained, probably, by the lack of actors willing to contemplate the summit—it is about to burst upon us once more.

A new production starring David Suchet, who has specialised in extravagant theatrical roles beyond his Hercule Poirot persona on television, and directed by Anthony…

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