Old Times
Closed 1h 10m
Old Times
63

Old Times NYC Reviews and Tickets

63%
(112 Reviews)
Positive
46%
Mixed
39%
Negative
15%
Members say
Confusing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intense, Slow

About the Show

Roundabout Theatre Company presents Clive Owen in his Broadway debut in this unsettling drama of desire and blurred realities by British playwright Harold Pinter.

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Member Reviews (112)

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45
Boring, Unengaging, Incomprehensible, Edgy, Slow

See it if I wouldn't recommend this production to anyone. Unintelligible and, therefore, hard to sit through. Lots of words without meaning.

Don't see it if you value your time. This Pinter was especially mystifying. Very long, even at 70 mins (an expensive ticket for a short time in the theater) Read more

60
Disappointing, Overrated, Dated, Great acting, Confusing

See it if you are into surreal dialogue. Pinter is a niche taste. It's really well acted though and the sets are stunning.

Don't see it if you are not into surreal dialogue, overdone characters and unintelligible British accents.

Critic Reviews (38)

The New York Times
October 6th, 2015

"If you’ve seen 'Old Times' before, and retain fond memories of its quiet creeping impact, Mr. Hodge’s flashy production may well irritate you...Though this is not an 'Old Times' for purists, it has its pleasures...I’ve seldom seen a cast so palpably enjoying delivering Pinter’s dialogue, even if it often here feels closer to Noël Coward...I’d love to see them have the chance to lower their voices, kick off their poses and make themselves more comfortably at home in this ever-discomfiting play."
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Time Out New York
October 6th, 2015

"If the central conflict of 'Old Times' is a man trying to protect his wife from a predatory stranger, it has been diluted by uncertain acting choices...Despite overdetermined design and asymmetrical performances, Pinter’s precise, lyrical language comes through with crystalized, cutting force. Nothing here feels old; the blood flows freshly from new wounds."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 6th, 2015

"If you see the play as a profound portrait of a permanent human condition, it’s going to disappoint, which is exactly the trap Douglas Hodge’s production falls into...He has encouraged an excellent cast to play the subtext so broadly that it basically everts the drama, leaving very little sense that feasible humans are involved. Even so, the actors are good enough to make it fun...With neither the history nor the hostility very mysterious, the sum on this one-plus-one-plus-one plot is zero."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 6th, 2015

"Audience response will depend largely on the appetite for Pinter at his most opaque — or some might even say attenuated...Its fascination is quieter and more cryptic, to the point where some will find it bloodless...This is quite a sexy production that coaxes out both the sensuousness and the sorrow in the text, as well as the needling humor."
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Entertainment Weekly
October 7th, 2015

"Watching this tense, suspenseful update of Harold Pinter’s 1971 drama, you might find yourself questioning what that really means. Is the past really what you remember? Is it what you only think you remember...? The play keeps you guessing the whole time. That’s a big part of the fun — if it’s possible to find 'fun' in a play this dark."
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Variety
October 6th, 2015

"The Roundabout Theater Company’s Broadway revival of 'Old Times' can’t possibly miss. Harold Pinter’s three-handed battle for sexual dominance is an incredibly sexy play, properly cast here with three incredibly sexy performers: Clive Owen, Kelly Reilly and Eve Best. Director Douglas Hodge has made some curious production choices, but once the erotic games begin, you hardly notice that the writer’s signature pauses and ominous silences have been trimmed."
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The Wall Street Journal
October 7th, 2015

"By all rights, the production should have been good...It is, however, almost perfectly awful, and I think it’s safe to say that the fault belongs to Douglas Hodge, the director, who apparently supposes that the right way to stage 'Old Times' is to camp it up."
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Deadline
October 6th, 2015

"Hodge and company play the humor over the menace, which mostly works in this brief drama...Detracting from the whole is that set, which is framed by an abstract swirl of circles, and some introductory music by Thom Yorke that nearly had me bolting from the theater before the proceedings got under way. Once they did however, I was hooked. I only wish I could figure out who was reeling me in."
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Los Angeles Times
October 8th, 2015

"Unfortunately, the subtextual wrangling gets lost on the big stage. 'Old Times' needs a more intimate house. The language too often floats free of the characters here. Pinter's dazzling non sequiturs don't seem psychologically rooted...Transplanting the delicate weirdness of "Old Times" to Broadway seems absurdist in all the wrong ways."
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New York Post
October 6th, 2015

"The stars of 'Old Times' always look like they’re a second away from having sex. Clive Owen, Eve Best and Kelly Reilly generate such heat, you may need a cold shower after the show. Or maybe just a rub against what looks like a giant icicle on that stage...You may not tell what it all means, if anything, yet the message comes through: Game on!"
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New York Daily News
October 6th, 2015

"The work is blurry and up for grabs...The pleasures of the production come from watching three excellent actors confidently wind through the words, pauses and poses. Anna tells Deeley, 'You have a lovely casserole.' She means wife, but the mind and tongue play tricks. So does Pinter. It’s easy to get mixed up watching his puzzling stew, er, play. In the end, you’re somehow satisfied though you don’t know exactly what you’ve eaten."
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AM New York
October 7th, 2015

"There's really no middle ground when it comes to the late English playwright Harold Pinter. You're either mesmerized by his mysterious, menacing, pause-filled psychological dramas or you find them puzzling, inert and empty -- as I usually do...The cast is excellent...'Old Times' is likely to feel like either an intense roller coaster rush or a dull, nonsensical sketch. Good luck with it."
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Theatermania
October 6th, 2015

"Under the deft direction of Douglas Hodge, 'Old Times' casts its spell from the moment we enter the theater and refuses to relent until we leave...Hodge excels at drawing out the comedy in Pinter's script...This beautiful and bewildering production holds us enthralled from beginning to end."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 7th, 2015

"I wonder if, somewhere along the line, someone decided that this brief, highly intimate play simply needed to be blown up to fit the stage of a midsize Broadway house. If so, it represents a major miscalculation on the director's part. He had at his disposal an excellent Pinter text and three highly skilled actors, which alone were enough to guarantee a fascinating, chilling evening in the theatre. The visual and aural distractions diminish the work."
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TheaterScene.net
October 13th, 2015

" Douglas Hodge doesn’t trust the material – or his audience. He has gussied up this minimalist, spare drama with a huge set which overpowers and distracts from the play. The loud, booming music gives an entirely wrong introduction for the play about to be seen...Unfortunately, director Douglas Hodge has made this revival provocative for all the wrong reasons."
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Theater Pizzazz
October 6th, 2015

"The test of any production of this enigmatic, talky 70-minute one-act is whether it keeps you engaged, and Douglas Hodge’s new production mostly does the trick...There’s little doubt that many theatergoers will be frustrated by the lack of a definite conclusion, and many will nod off more than here and there. But those who keep up with these 'Times' will be rewarded."
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CurtainUp
October 7th, 2015

"There is plenty of mystery, and it isn't just the plot, surrounding this revival. Most mysterious is the need for the kind of pretentious, if also a bit distracting, production enhancements that envelope its second revival at the Roundabout...It's good to report, however, that all that high-tech framing doesn't reduce the glow from the actors. Neither does it significantly diminish the suspense in a play that has intrigued audiences since it first opened on Broadway in 1971."
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C
November 17th, 2015

"Owen’s Deeley abounds with archness but doesn’t reach into the core of his pain or loss...But it’s Best who commands attention. Her Anna is smart, alluring, vulnerable and quixotic. 'There are things I remember which may never have happened but as I recall them so they take place,' Anna says at one point. 'Old Times' is just as slippery, mysterious and seductive."
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DC Theatre Scene
October 6th, 2015

"There’s no getting around Pinter’s deliberately cryptic text, and several of Hodge’s choices, rather than working to ground the goings-on in some recognizable reality and thus orient the audience, instead seem to revel in the play’s weirdness...'Old Times,' while certainly mysterious in its action and rigorous in its language, feels slighter than Pinter’s more familiar work because it is not as ominous nor charged, a puzzle not as worth the time to contemplate."
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The Guardian (UK)
October 6th, 2015

"Dwarfed by a vast set, this production of a Pinter play intrigues but never really disturbs it's audience...What should feel haunting, upsetting, frightening and menacing never quite does. This 'Old Times' feels smaller than its set would suggest. In the first scene Kate suggests, 'Anyway, none of this matters.' It should matter more."
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B
November 30th, 2015

"The play was not without its merits...The dialogue had moments of entertaining word play. Under Douglas Hodge’s direction, the usual long Pinter silences were virtually absent...I just did not find the competing memories that involving. Under better circumstances, I might have enjoyed it more. In my opinion, offering a 65-minute play at Broadway prices is pushing the limits."
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The Wrap
October 6th, 2015

"The actors share a feverish imagination that doesn’t have much to do with the text, but nonetheless illuminates it in quirky ways. I haven’t had this much fun in the theater since Ivo van Hove set 'A Streetcar Named Desire' in a bathtub at the New York Theatre Workshop. Having fun isn’t what you typically expect from watching a Harold Pinter play, much less one of his more indecipherable works...Pinter purists will hate this production."
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Newsday
October 6th, 2015

"Is it possible to be dazzled by the cast, stunned anew by the elusive meanings of Pinter's 'Old Times' and yet appalled by the production? OK, maybe "appalled" is too rough -- but not by much. Let's say that director Douglas Hodge's tricked-up staging of this gem is bizarre, at best, and betrays a lack of trust in the lean, unnerving brilliance we know as Pinteresque."
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The Huffington Post
October 10th, 2015

"Does it rise? Does it breathe? Sadly, no...One must point the finger at director Douglas Hodge. Whatever music is to be found in this Pinter play remains unheard. Whatever drama, mostly unseen...I really have no idea what Pinter is up to in this play. But I'm certain Hodge and his team haven't figured it out either."
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NorthJersey.com
October 7th, 2015

"Seldom has an enigma been as ravishingly compelling as in the provocative revival of 'Old Times' that opened Tuesday night. With a trio of fine British actors breathing life into their cryptic characters, the dance of memory and seduction in Harold Pinter's brief 1971 play never flags for an instant...Under the vibrant direction of actor Douglas Hodge, the actors give a flesh-and-blood dimension to a deep, clever, understated play that could, in the wrong hands, be simply fanciful."
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WNBC
October 6th, 2015

"A carefully cultivated revival...The sensory-assault announces we’re back in Pinter territory: abstract, and make-of-it whatever we will...The lack of action may lead you to find it polarizing -- I loved hearing one theatergoer confidently sniff to a companion: 'Well, this is art!' We can never be sure the truths the characters talk about are true at all. To paraphrase the playwright, the past is what these characters remember...or pretend they remember."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
October 9th, 2015

"Pinter's play is handsomely mounted, beautifully cast, and staged with care and affection by the gifted Douglas Hodge...If at times somewhat confused, I was aware that this company had created something unique...If you are intrigued by a play that is more a mood piece than story, a pas de trois for three perfectly cast actors, then get thee to the American Airlines, for you’re not likely ever to see this play more beautifully done."
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NJ.com
October 8th, 2015

"You go to a Pinter play looking for emotional fireworks, a sustained mood of unease, and some sort of coherent interpretation of the playwright's ideas — all of which is missing in the new Broadway revival...The three actors' performance styles; mood music by Radiohead's Thom Yorke; a backdrop that subtly changes colors — mostly feel like the efforts of a director throwing everything at the wall, and hoping something will stick. Nothing does."
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The Huffington Post
October 7th, 2015

"A haunting revival with a sterling cast...The result is an electrifying hour of theater that crackles like lightning...As always with Pinter there is an element of menace and mystery that creeps into the most banal banter, and Hodge's brilliant cast delivers both."
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StageZine
October 11th, 2015

"It is a bumpy ride. It is up to the viewer to disseminate what is real and in the present, and what is a memory that may or may not have happened. Or is the past a memory game that the players feed off each other and embellish on? It’s not enough to listen to the dialogue; you have to constantly gaze at the shifting eyes and the staunch bodies lest you might miss a clue along the way."
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The Associated Press
October 6th, 2015

"There's lots of lounging around, staring at each other and trying to repress the bubbling longings beneath the polite chitchat. This is a play where crossing or uncrossing one's legs is fraught with meaning. It is as hard to grasp as the cigarette smoke...A little more than an hour after it started, the play is over, as it began, with three slumped figures, filled with brandy but no casserole, and plenty left unsaid."
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Reflections in the Light
October 12th, 2015

"The lack of comprehension isn’t the fault of this production, it’s the play’s...I won’t try to capture the elusive message here. No one has come up with any conclusions for decades and meanwhile, Pinter also was awarded Pulitzer and Nobel prizes for his enigmatic plays, so what do I know...? But I will tell you what I liked about this production. The performances are passionate. And the set!"
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Z
October 7th, 2015

"This Pinter sizzles, thanks to a ramped-up atmosphere and some hot, hot actors...In 65 loaded minutes of shifting dynamics, I’m not sure if Deeley and Kate and Anna know anything about each other—or if we know anything about this play, which remains as alluring and sexy and ultimately unknowable as any of these sexy, sizzling stars. How can you use your memory to review a play whose message is that memory is completely unreliable?"
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American Theater Web
October 7th, 2015

"On some levels the concept---and the high-energy, fast-paced performances that it demands---serves the play, but only in a limited way..This 'Old Times' has a certain superficiality to it, and that the menace they pose to one another over their respective claims on Kate’s life becomes muted...While this excursion to 'Old Times' never bores---and in fact can be quite entertaining and is viscerally stimulating---it never delivers an emotional punch."
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Financial Times (UK)
October 7th, 2015

"Initially the actors appear more interested in posing than in acting, but eventually they form a true ensemble...An enormous backdrop of concentric circles and an icy, door-like slab suggest a vest-pocket Valhalla more than an English country cottage. But the actors’ skillful by-play helps blot out the images, as do the thumping snatches of original music supplied by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke."
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TheaterScene.com
October 27th, 2015

"Roundabout Theatre has placed great placards in the main lobby charting their devotions to Pinter over the years. The large audience, respectful, awed, attentive, pays tribute as well. That Owens, Best and Reilly do very little to deserve this adulation is somehow beside the point. The point is Pinter. Sir Harold must be smiling down from whatever heaven he chose to be in. Or not."
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The Telegraph (UK)
October 8th, 2015

"If this production stumbles at times, it’s in the stylised poise of Reilly’s performance. She’s a fantasy figure, rather than the fearfully blank space where a person used to be...This twisting, elusive play becomes a tale of a haunting. But here, the chill comes not from the supernatural but the past. The play prickles with unspoken trauma and Hodge succeeds in turning the temperature to sub-zero."
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BritishTheatre.com
October 12th, 2015

"The parts are played with vigour, brasher than you would expect to see on an English stage...The sexy edge is more angular, the stakes are higher, the comedy quite a bit funnier. All deliberately so. It reaps rewards often."
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