Kim Cattrall has won a slew of positive reviews for her turn as a faded movie actress in Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird Of Youth.

The Sex and the City star is appearing in a new production of the classic play at Kevin Spacey's Old Vic theatre in London this summer (13), and the production opened to praise from theatre critics this week (beg10Jun13).

Charles Spencer of Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper gave the play a top ranking of five stars, writing, "Sweet Bird of Youth... sees the welcome return of Kim Cattrall to the stage... She is (on) incendiary form here... Cattrall... brilliantly captures the hell of an alcoholic awakening that begins the play... Sweet Bird of Youth certainly isn't a play for the faint-hearted but boy does it deliver the theatrical goods."

Michael Billington of The Guardian calls the production "first rate" and adds that "Cattrall conveys the desperation of a woman who knows she is the product of an industry where you're only as good as your last movie."

However, some critics noted Cattrall's youthful good looks made her slightly unbelievable as an ageing and washed up star.

Henry Hitchings of the London Evening Standard writes, "Kim Cattrall brings languid allure and a finely judged air of irrationality to her role as a fading film star... (But) despite a very unflattering wig, Cattrall is simply too radiant to be able to seem convincingly crumpled."

Speaking after Wednesday's (12Jun13) opening night, Cattrall, 56, told the Bbc, "(The role deals with a lot of issues) a lot of women my age are dealing with... feeling that you're still valid and you're still attractive and you still have something to say - that time has not passed you by. These are messages and things that I'm dealing with in real life, not just on the stage. So they resonate for me in a very specific way. It's a great challenge, and I felt very vulnerable playing it and going there."