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The Nap (Broadway)

From 47 critic and 438 member reviews
Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Quirky, Great acting

About the show

MTC presents a new comedy by the author of the rollicking, award-winning Broadway comedy 'One Man, Two Guvnors,' which offers a comic look at the world of snooker – the British version of pool. More…

Dylan Spokes, a fast-rising young star, arrives for a championship tournament only to be confronted by the authorities warning him of the repercussions of match fixing. Before he knows it, Dylan is forced into underhanded dealings with a cast of wildly colorful characters that include his ex-convict dad, saucy mum, quick-tongued manager, and a renowned gangster, to boot. It’s a fast-paced comedy thriller where, in an exciting twist, the tournament unfolds live on stage.


"Harold Pinter meets David Mamet meets Neil Simon meets Alfred Hitchcock in the richly suspenseful comedy, 'The Nap,' which originally played at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, England, where the play is set. While its title might suggest a snooze of a play, as written by Richard Bean (of 'One Man, Two Guvnors' fame) it ricochets with more trigger turns than an ess curve." Full Review


“It’s a comedy. And it is very, very funny...’The Nap’ is totally original and thoroughly modern...Bean has populated his play with a classic set of comic characters...The performances are uniformly top notch...The real hero of this production is Bean. He has intertwined a hilarious comedy with a thriller filled with surprises. What more could we ask of a play designed to simply entertain? Pure comedy is back on Broadway.” Full Review

Front Row Center

"It’s sophisticated, adult humor that doesn’t rely on pratfalls or banana peel physicality to get laughs...There are clever plot twists that I have to admit I didn’t see coming – and I’m an avid mystery reader who can usually spot the plot. And, some innovative staging and casting. Tony award-winning director Daniel Sullivan keeps the pace up and the focus sharp, which can be challenging when you have a wonderful comedic cast of characters, and a script that loves to veer off into little side... Full Review

Stage Left

"If you do like comedy and are seeking an escape from the horror of the daily news, I dare not try to snooker you, please, just get a ticket for this hilariously funny and refreshing new play...While 'The Nap' is set in the high-stakes, low-rent world of Snooker, you need not know all of this to enjoy the play...Under the precise and skillful hand of director Daniel Sullivan, this ensemble of kooky characters is superbly comical, poised, and perfectly cast." Full Review

Diandra Reviews it All

“Outlandishly funny direction by Sullivan and writing of Bean. ‘The Nap’ is 100% a comedy...There is a laundry list of characters that make you laugh at their madness...’The Nap’ is a total example that shows thrive on characters. You will walk away with a favorite, and a few one-liners you pray you will get to use in a conversation. Moreover, its live match of snooker is riveting; allowing the audience to really feel like they are watching a real sports event/fraud before their eyes.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Bean, arguably one of the funniest writers alive, introduces us to the colorful snooker sub-culture of Sheffield...It’s great live theatre, but the true delight of this caper lies in the colorful coterie of characters – fortified by Bean’s hilarious one-liners...The cast is uniformly excellent, and veteran director Daniel Sullivan pulls it all off with panache – both the comedy and the suspenseful match...It all unfolds as smoothly as the snooker tabletop that Dylan strokes at the top of the... Full Review

The New York Times

"Delicious new comedy directed with an assured balance of blatancy and subtlety by Daniel Sullivan...Its success is achieved not by sustained assault but by dexterity, and by always keeping the other guy (in this case, the audience) off guard...The cast members shape their characters with just enough comic exaggeration to stay credible and also to suggest that not everyone is what she or he seems." Full Review

New York Stage Review

"Mr. Bean possesses a comic sense which is wild, fantastic and at times insane. He doesn’t simply offer a barrage of jokes; he plants them, marinates them, and finally allows them to burst forth at his hapless auditors...No, 'The Nap' is not quite as broad as 'One Man;' it would be unreasonable to expect it to be, wouldn’t it? But it is easily the funniest new play on Broadway. So go get snookered." Full Review

The Wrap

"In one of the most astounding Broadway debuts in recent memory, Alexandra Billings devours the role of Waxy Bush and, without breaking a sweat, nearly consumes every drop of oxygen in the Friedman Theatre. What a first act! From Dylan to Waxy, the careful calibration of upping the comic ante is a marvel to behold...Also terrific is the running joke the playwright gives Conlee’s character." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“The laughs are there in the off-beat comedy...directed by expert Sullivan, who demonstrates his know-how for cleverly staging a farce. There is also some technical wizardry at play...The fun comes in the collection of the oddball characters and the very amusing writing by Bean, who gives them often-hilarious dialogue to spout and zany situations in which they are placed...Other excellent cast members contribute to the madcap events and relationships.” Full Review

Theater Life

"A tightly-knit caper thriller...Playwright Bean weaves together a bizarre cast of characters and outlandish story strands, creating a tremendously satisfying whole...Director Daniel Sullivan hits just the right tone of contained insanity and arch cynicism...The staging and script could have veered into excessively violent Martin McDonagh territory, but 'Nap' stays within the bounds of credibility—just—and lands its snooker balls expertly into each comic pocket." Full Review


"There’s something mysteriously appealing in entering the world of this pub-popular sport, here set in Sheffield, England, ground zero for snooker championships. Add high stakes, lowlifes and a wicked wit, and you’ve got a solid win...There’s in-the-moment drama as the audience follows on large overhead projections as the game is played, with tensions broken by the laughs derived from the hush-speaking commentators." Full Review


"It starts rather slow...But once playwright Richard Bean dispenses with the setup and we meet the rest of the cast, an unsavory bunch of characters, 'The Nap' wakes right up...It's heavily plotted with twists and clever word play that's both silly and irresistibly witty, and it ends with a genuinely suspenseful climax...This is an incredibly difficult play to stage. Comic timing is crucial and pacing can't flag. Happily, the cast nails it...A work so refreshingly novel, it defies description." Full Review


“Bean’s incredible wit populates this play...And his symbolism, related to what ‘the nap’ suggests, cleverly stresses the theme of going with the flow of fateful events. The playwright also configures the plot twists with facile, wild characterizations. Sullivan keeps the action vibrant. As he shepherds his cast, the mix solidifies with humor. Together the ensemble presents an altogether enjoyable evening...Hysterical production...On the other hand, some of the cast’s accents rankled.” Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"You don’t need to know much of anything about billiards to get hooked into this witty play from prolific playwright Richard Bean...Daniel Sullivan’s direction keeps the play moving briskly, and Schnetzer’s Dylan charms as the straight man at the center as this cart goes off the rails, but Billings is the one gleefully driving the train...In a smart twist, the game they’re playing is a real one, and either character may win or lose. But regardless of who gets the trophy, 'The Nap' is a charmi... Full Review

Broadway News

"'The Nap' has enough earthily funny dialogue, vibrant comic characters, and twisty plotting to keep a steady grip on our attention...The play draws its appeal primarily from Bean’s tart comic dialogue and the garish charms of the characters as embodied by the superb cast. The director Daniel Sullivan...draws out the play’s more muted strengths with a deft hand." Full Review


"Bean has developed a story about the world of professional snooker into a darkly entertaining crime caper...Manhattan Theatre Club has gone all out to support the wild and wooly goings with a pitch perfect acting and crafts team and one of its top drawer directors, Daniel Sullivan...'The Nap' isn't likely to have you napping even though it probably won't make it to the top of your list of really great, long remembered comedies." Full Review

AM New York

"A well-calibrated, verbally-charged comedy...As befits a farce, the craziness escalates in Act Two, using wordplay, surprises, identity reversals, and physical action...The production (staged with an ear for comic timing and an eye for physical bits by Daniel Sullivan) is great fun with thick English accents and foul language. Just a few weeks following the death of Neil Simon, it is nice to see that an old-fashioned, silly-but-smart nonmusical comedy can still find a place on Broadway." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"Bean’s very silly new comedy 'The Nap' probably takes the cake for Most British Thing on Broadway...A bouncy sports caper set in the world of high-stakes snooker...The play makes its personality clear right from the get-go...Personalities are the building blocks of Bean’s comedy, and there are plenty of big ones orbiting Dylan’s steady center...For Bean, the nap is a straight line to a good joke. He knows his game." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

"Bean’s irreverent comedy...The show opens at an unnecessarily sluggish pace, as we are slowly introduced to the colorful cast of characters...The tempo, and the series of twists and turns in the preposterously risible plot, pick up with the increasingly hilarious arrivals...The script is a no-holds-barred parody of the high-stakes danger and seediness of the underworld of gaming and gangsters...An entertaining evening of British-style humor and social farce." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"The title of this better-than-expected play starts to reveal its tightly defined and funny con-job of a play, pulling us sneakily into the high stakes intrigue and the surprisingly twisted world...The humor is not as smart as the plot twists and turns. Most of the jokes are simplistic, repetitive, and cheap, but they certainly are funny, at least for the first half...This is not a show to have high stakes investment in, but one to enter with low expectations and just roll with the shots fired." Full Review


"Director Dan Sullivan's production is fine enough, though the pacing can slack at times when the funnier characters are offstage and the budding romance between Dylan and Eleanor takes over. 'The Nap' may play better in Bean's home country, where audiences members are more likely to have a familiarity with the sport, but even on this shore it's a genial diversion with many good laughs." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Messy, enjoyable farce...Bean has a filthy-as-Mamet pen, his scenes tend not to end with the snap of a button but to just end, he's peddling intricacies of snooker that may not resonate as resoundingly in the States, and he never met an obvious joke he didn't like. That said, a lot of those obvious jokes are pretty damn funny, and he keeps you guessing...No masterpiece, 'The Nap,' just a traditional, comfortable, fun, funny evening. In times like these, that's no small gift." Full Review


"Bean's slow-build comedy...The comedy can border on mean but mostly it's laugh-out-loud wacky. Director Daniel Sullivan should have streamlined that interminable first scene, but he has a sure hand with the insane goings-on post intermission, at least if this kind of slapstick humor is your cup of tea...You're never quite sure where this cross between sitcom and B-movie thriller is going as it works to its twisty conclusion." Full Review


"Daniel Sullivan’s direction keeps the plot and actors constantly moving and you really have to pay attention to the dialogue. Because of the regional British accents in the show, it makes it difficult to understand all the punch lines, thus extra listening is required to get the most out of them...'The Nap' is not as rambunctious as its predecessor, but still a delightful evening of hi-jinx in the theater." Full Review

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if Fast-paced, great plot twist, superb acting, entirely delightful

Don't see it if you don't enjoy farce.

Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Intelligent, Hilarious

See it if You like British farce with a dark side and with a witty script.

Don't see it if You aren't into accents, don't like witty banter, or like dark dramas.

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you like sports centered comedies

Don't see it if you wanna go see a musical

Great cast!, Clever, Fun, Brilliant set changes!, Great writing

See it if Amazingly talented cast. The show's more about them than snooker, which I know little about. It was a very fun evening.

Don't see it if Cast speaks with heavy accents, but I got used to it and it's part of the charm. Very enjoyable.

Also I gave it 95 instead of 100 because I still don't know what "The Nap" ... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Quirky, Very different, interesting theater.

See it if if you have ever liked the game of billiards - though this is snooker which is quite different, if you are British or have lived there.

Don't see it if You hate billiards and want a run of the mill story.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if Very funny show. Clever, entertaining. Learned about snooker

Don't see it if Can’t see why someone should avoid this show unless you don’t like to laugh

Clever, Funny, Entertaining

See it if Youi want to know more about snooker, like British humor and accents, and want to know more about a gangster named Waxy Bush.

Don't see it if You can't appreciate someone named Waxy Bush or are not into British humor.

Funny, Intelligent, Hilarious

See it if You want to see a funny, fresh and fast moving show and learn about Snooker.

Don't see it if You are looking for a traditional show.

Entertaining, Great writing, Great staging, Funny, Clever

See it if love British humor, talented cast members that portray fun and/or quirky characters; interesting setup - learn a little about snooker

Don't see it if want something dark, profound or related to current political climate; don't want British accents

Also Almost didn't see this. Sometimes (especially in this political climat... Read more Read less

Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if See it if you want to laugh out loud, see excellent acting, and if you appreciate word play and exquisite timing by the ensemble.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy laughing.

Also It took me about 15 minutes to get into the play, but once I was in, t... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Hilarious, Delightful

See it if Loved it! Go if you like warped family life and a guy trying to make it out.

Don't see it if If you don't like British humor.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky

See it if enjoy great acting with a non-cliche plot.

Don't see it if have a hard time understanding strong accents.

Clever, Ambitious, Funny, Great acting, Must see

See it if Want to see nicely constructed funny play with a twist.

Don't see it if don't care about missing something original and fresh.

Nap beats the rap

See it if Daffy British hijinks in the snooker community. Great venue, great cast.

Don't see it if Foreign accents and situations are problematic. You may miss an occasional word.

Also Great sets and tech. The game unfolds on a screen in real time, and th... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you enjoy comedies and fast paced performances. Actors did a great job especially Waxy Bush.

Don't see it if you have difficulty with British accents and profanity.

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you enjoy British comedy and humor and having a mild good time.

Don't see it if you don't like British accents, etc.

Also I enjoyed this play. I actually believed the entire thing until the wr... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious, Refreshing

See it if you are a fan of the playwright or enjoy British comedies

Don't see it if you find English accents confusing (although if you can’t understand a Sheffield accent...I’m sorry), or would rather see a musical

Also Richard Bean manages to make snooker an exciting sport to watch, which... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You want a break from heavy issues and just want to have fun watching something fresh and funny about something you've never seen on stage.

Don't see it if You always need to spend your theater dollar on something that makes you think.

Ambitious, Clever, Great writing, Funny, Intelligent

See it if you want a smart play that's humourous with brilliant writing, you can sit through a long exposition

Don't see it if you're not into British humour, you really don't care for long plot-points, you want something super dark

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You like a play with a great, funny story.

Don't see it if No reason not to see this play. It was a delightful surprise.

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you enjoy great British humor, an excellent ensemble cast , and a totally entertaining play with a great twist.

Don't see it if you are looking for a deep, moving theatrical drama or if you are not into British farce.

Also This was a thoroughly entertaining comedy that was well written, kept ... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if you want a light two plus hours in the theatre with LOTS of laughs, fine acting and great set changes. Knowing/liking snooker not necessary.

Don't see it if you don't like farce

Clever, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if If you want 2 laugh, c great performances, solve a plot full of twists & turns in a witty, clever script.

Don't see it if If you have difficulty understanding British accents or you want to see a musical.

Also Witty, actually hysterical...engaging and terrific performances and se... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Clever

See it if great acting, entertaining and a great twist in the end

Don't see it if if you don't care for British accents and farces

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if you like farce, silliness, good staging, predictable endings, a play that isn't deep but is fun

Don't see it if if you expect it to be as good as One Man, Two Governors; if you have trouble with rather thick British accents

Cast & Creatives (17)