August 09, 2000 08:09am
'Don't Give Up the Day Job Jerry'
by: Paul Majendie
(LONDON) -- Texan supermodel Jerry Hall dazzled the British theater critics with her glamour on Wednesday but left most of them underwhelmed with her acting prowess as the middle-aged temptress in ``The Graduate.''
``Don't give up the day job Jerry,'' the Daily Telegraph concluded after she took over the role of Mrs. Robinson played on film by Anne Bancroft in 1967 and then on the London stage by Kathleen Turner this year.
Hall bared all for a now notorious nude scene at Tuesday's glittering first night, when ex-husband Mick Jagger and 14-year-old son James were on hand to offer moral support.
Despite the mixed newspaper reviews, producer Sacha Brooks was in a bullish mood.
He said box office takings had gone up 30 percent overnight and pointed to radio critics who spoke of ``a great show and a great performance.''
The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer, who had hailed Nicole Kidman's naked London stage debut as ``pure theatrical Viagra,'' was the harshest critic of Hall's acting.
``She looks like a lifesize Barbie doll after a near suicidal diet and a drastic breast reduction job and speaks as if someone were pulling a string in her back,'' he said.
The Evening Standard was equally blunt.
``Her acting tends to be as wan and undernourished as an over-dieting model,'' it said. ``It is a role for which she was miscast and far too inexperienced.''
Other critics were dazzled by her beauty and more charitable about her acting shortcomings.
``Jerry, I'm afraid, is no actress. But she has got great legs and she brings to the role the deportment and poise of a top class model,'' the Daily Express said.
``You may see the wheels go round when she is saying her lines but, boy, she wears her clothes like a pro.''
The Times agreed: ``In many ways, Hall is fine. She is cool, suave, languid, elegant, charismatic and bored without being boring. Hall is less admirable when more is demanded of her.''
And the Daily Mail was pleasantly surprised after all the hype surrounding the show that has already taken $750,000 in advance bookings for Hall's six-month run.
``The show is far from disastrous -- more like a surprise and a success. She looks like a tragic, isolated Venus,'' it said.
``The amazing thing about Miss Hall is that she retains her glamour and style while exposing Mrs. Robinson as a waste of space.''