Daniel Monks a “tour de force” in ‘The Normal Heart’

Daniel Monks

The reviews are in for the new London production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart and Perth raised actor Daniel Monks has been described as deliver a “tour de force” moment in the show.

After receiving critical acclaim in CO3’s Frank Enstein, Monks was nominated for a Best Actor Helpmann Award for his role in The Real and Imagined History of the Elephant Man at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre.

He made his West End debut with Teenage Dick at the Donmar Warehouse, and followed it up with a production of Checkov’s The Seagull with Emilia Clarke, Indira Varma and Robert Glenister. That show had it’s run cut short by the Covid-19 lockdowns last year.      

Daniel Monks latest outing is in a star-studded production of The Normal Heart, the award winning AIDS drama by respected author Larry Kramer.

The cast features many well known actors including Ben Daniels (Law and Order UK, Beautiful Thing) and Liz Carr (Silent Witness). 

It’s the first time Larry Krammer’s acclaimed play has been professionally performed in London since it’s debut in 1986. The play follows Ned Weeks, the founder of an AIDS advocacy group. The semi-autobiographical play is based on Krammer’s experiences with the Gay Men’s Health Coalition.

Time Out magazine has praised Monks’ performance as Mickey in the play.

“a frazzled monologue in which a physically and emotionally drained Mickey rails exhaustedly against Ned’s sledgehammer tactics and inflexible anti-sex message is a tour de force moment that really brings the production alive.”

While the review in The Guardian said Monks’ performance describing it as “bringing a moving anguish” the story. The Stage said Monks “makes an impression”.

The Normal Heart premiered Off-Broadway in 1985, the 1986 British production saw Martin Sheen pick up the Olivier Award for Best Actor. During the show’s London run John Shea and Tom Hulce both look over the main role.  The play was revived in Los Angeles, London and Off-Broadway in 2004.

A Broadway production directed by Joel Grey opened in 2011. It was adapted into a TV movie by Ryan Murphy in 2014 with Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons, Alfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff and Julia Roberts.

The Normal Heart is playing at the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in London until 6th November.

OIP Staff

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