Indira Varma


Photo: Ruth Crafer


Simon Beresford

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Present Laughter - Winner 2020 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a play.


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★★★★★ “Indira Varma is excellent as Liz, delivering needle-sharp put-downs with effortless style, but also demonstrating quiet care for her messed-up ex.”
(Financial Times)

“But his real foil is Liz, rivetingly played with sleek grace, brilliant wit and a fascinating undertow of sorrow by Indira Varma.”
Marianka Swain (Broadway World)

★★★★★  “An anchoring force amidst the accelerating chaos, Indira Varma in the role proves the perfect complement to Thompson’s bustling Monica.”
Matt Wolf (I News)

★★★★☆ “Indira Varma is excellent as Garry’s separated wife, Liz.”
Michael Billington (The Guardian)

“The performances are superb across the board, and I have never seen the careering farce-momentum that the piece develops played with a lovelier disciplined abandon. Indira Varma captures just the right note of bitter, almost unscrupulous, protectiveness of her ex-husband.”
Paul Taylor (Independent)

★★★★☆ “Indira Varma is as elegant as a champagne flute in the role of Essendine’s waspish, still loving, estranged wife.”
John Nathan (Metro)

“Varma, who may be one of London’s most underrated stage actresses, is typically classy and authoritative as Liz, more than able to sustain the time she spends sitting quietly on the sidelines observing, not being drawn into the hysteria around her.”
Demetrios Matheou (The Hollywood Reporter)


There is much to enjoy here besides the fantastical humour and exquisite one-liners. The contrast between Indira Varma’s magisterial wife number one and Amy Morgan’s would be sex-bomb of a wife number two is joyously given full rein. […] And with a startling change of pace in the final scene, both (Ifans and Varma) open up the cavernous space of the Olivier stage as Varma’s Marguerite coaxes Ifans’ Berenger into taking his long, slow, final walk to acceptance. It’s a memorable and suitably haunting moment.
-The Independent

Indira Varma is commanding as a sceptical, unsparing queen got up like Snow White’s wicked stepmother in hourglass black velvet. The closing moments, in which this gimlet-eyed guide takes the king into the misty places in which he will dissolve, look to anyone who has sat by a deathbed strangely accurate.
Susannah Clapp (The Observer)

Marber’s production ensures the journey itself has variety. It is vivaciously performed and full of regal ritual. Indira Varma lends Marguerite an icy grandeur.
Michael Billington (The Guardian)

Indira Varma is superb as the king’s first wife Marguerite, got up like a Disney villain in a black velvet fishtail gown, all imperious impatience; her comic lines drop like a guillotine.
Holly Williams (Time Out)

Varma as Marguerite is appropriately icy until the final moments when she offers up real tenderness. […]The final moments are impeccably moving, totally and undeniably erasing the stage, the world, the play, and the King. Daring though occasionally stagnant, Exit the King hits profoundly in its examination of the ultimate truth, showing us indeed that ‘Everyone is the first person ever to die’.
Brendan Macdonald (Culture Whisper)

Ifans’ equal proves to be Indira Varma as Lady Marguerite, Bérenger’s first wife, rewarded with some of the largest laughs for her pointed, condescending interjections reminiscent of a regal Sybill Fawlty. More impressive is her winding, trancelike monologue as the play reaches its unexpectedly moving conclusion to the backdrop of Anthony Ward’s stunning design. This finale alone justifies its place in the National’s largest, most iconic theatre.
Matt Owen (The 730 Review)

Indira Varma is elegant and every bit a queen as the king’s first wife, Marguerite. She has a quiet command of the stage and her monologue at the end was entrancing.
Nicole Ackman (Broadway World)

★★★★☆ Superb performances carry the production, however, with Ifans and Varma standing out above the rest. Varma’s Queen Marguerite remains the dignified voice of reason to the very end. Shifting between slapstick comedy and moments of pitiful venerability, Exit The King finds meaning in absurdity.
Georgina Varley (London Theatre)

Indira Varma is riveting as the scorned Queen.
Ann Treneman (The Times)

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