British actress Carey Mulligan has won glowing reviews for her West End debut, with critics hailing her performance in Skylight as "moving" and "beautiful".

The David Hare play, which opened at London's Wyndham's Theatre on Wednesday (19Jun14), stars Mulligan and veteran actor Bill Nighy as two former lovers who meet up after several years and reminisce about their affair.

The production, directed by Stephen Daldry, has won over reviewers, who heaped praise on the two leading performers.

Charles Spencer of Britain's Daily Telegraph gives the drama five stars out of five and calls it a "knockout production", writing, "Nighy and Mulligan beautifully capture both the hurt and anger of lost love, and sudden piercing moments of enduring sadness."

The Independent's Paul Taylor hails Mulligan for her "moving, intensely focused performance", while Dominic Maxwell of Britain's The Times was most impressed by Nighy, who appeared in a previous production of the play back in 1996, calling him "a case study in charisma" and "an enormously seductive presence" who "boasts a performance of pure class".

Quentin Letts of Britain's Daily Mail gives similar praise to the lead actor, writing, "Bill Nighy at full belt on stage is astonishing, unbalancing, unforgettable" but adds that Mulligan "holds her own... to not be upstaged by a rampaging Nighy is an achievement".

Skylight will run until 23 August (14).