Grief Is The Thing With Feathers
Closed 1h 25m
Grief Is The Thing With Feathers
79

Grief Is The Thing With Feathers NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(35 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
9%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Intense, Ambitious, Great staging, Dizzying

About the Show

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Adapted from the novel by Max Porter, Enda Walsh's latest stars Cillian Murphy as the bereaved widower.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (35)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
74
Great staging, Great acting, Dizzying, Confusing

See it if You like great performances of esoteric material. Most of the confusion does get mostly cleared in the end. Touching and brutal.

Don't see it if you like your material coherent and logical at all times. Read more

70
Unconventional, Great acting, Confusing, Abstract

See it if You want to see a great performance from Murphy. I also enjoyed the staging and use of lighting & projections.

Don't see it if A little strange and confusing, def wont be everyones cup of tea. Ultimately it's well done but there were parts I wish had gone by faster.

Critic Reviews (13)

The New York Times
April 28th, 2019

"Walsh specializes in what might be called the theater of the elusive...Walsh has anchored the book’s abstractions in a recognizably mundane world...The muffled sounds of television and radio reports on the storms — and of sirens from the streets — beautifully evoke the way in which the whole world seems apocalyptic after a personal tragedy. And Mr. Murphy forges such a visceral bond with us that we do feel we hear and see through Dad’s ears and eyes."
Read more

Time Out New York
April 29th, 2019

"Walsh has adapted Porter’s heartbreaking little book into a handsome if frequently self-defeating stage version...When 'Grief' is at its best, though, Walsh finds a way to fully exploit the staggering talents of his frequent collaborator, actor Cillian Murphy...It’s not clear how sound designer Helen Atkinson does it, but she’s working some true ventriloquist magic. This is technically impressive but emotionally alienating."
Read more

New York Magazine / Vulture
April 28th, 2019

"Murphy’s volcanic performance anchors 'Grief,' which takes the tone and structure of its source material so much to heart that it can sometimes feel writerly and more than effectively fragmentary...Walsh’s play moves into that transcendent space where montage also becomes irresistible motion...'Grief' wouldn’t work without its returns to quiet, to the hard, hesitant lull of Dad and the boys’ daily life. Some of the show’s best moments are its smaller ones."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
April 29th, 2019

"Murphy is giving an extraordinarily accomplished performance, putting himself through a punishing physical and emotional regimen while switching between the dejected, defeated Dad and the demonic Crow...The production is a fine display of stagecraft, and, as such, will be of interest to anyone currently working in video and/or sound design. Murphy's work provides many pleasures, too, but there's no denying that, during the highly theatrical middle section, a disconnect takes place."
Read more

New York Stage Review
April 29th, 2019

"Indisputably this mad, murky, melancholy drama is a fine showcase for Cillian Murphy, who delivers a tour-de-force performance as a deeply grieving man...The challenging 'Grief is the Thing' may well prove to be a mystifying, at times even bewildering, event...If 'Grief is the Thing' proves to be a demanding, nearly exhausting experience, it also can be a rewarding one for theatergoers willing and able to hang on through such a stormy ride."
Read more

Front Row Center
April 29th, 2019

“Riveting, unsettling, uplifting – this play sears the heart...It brought a stunned audience to its feet...without a moment’s hesitation...I could not help but appreciate the directorial decisions that made it come crashing to the stage. Never again, I’m sure, will I see typography so violently displayed...Murphy embodies the character so completely that we cannot imagine anyone else owning the part...You cannot help but be moved by this play, especially if you’ve lost someone.”
Read more

Exeunt Magazine
April 28th, 2019

“Walsh pulls it off, he pulls it way off...Walsh has taken Porter’s gorgeous postmodern text and deftly conjured something wonderful...Walsh’s direction is stunning...Murphy is a master at work...‘Grief Is the Thing with Feathers’ hit so many raw nerves with such precision in its translation from page to stage that I can’t help but feel it will remain one of the most important nights I’ve spent in a theatre for a long, long time.”
Read more

The Wrap
April 28th, 2019

"In a tour de force performance, Murphy is at one moment dealing with his grief like a normal person and the next he’s wearing a big black hoodie and speaking into a small mic attached to the sleeve that miraculously turns his mild tenor into a booming, menacing bass...'Grief' is one of those that can’t sustain beyond 90 minutes because it exhausts...This isn’t a criticism of the play and its amazing production; it’s purely intentional on the part of Porter, Walsh, and Murphy."
Read more

BroadwayWorld
March 27th, 2018
For a previous production

"Walsh's ambitious, striking, but unsatisfactory stage adaptation of Max Porter's 2016 novel...Walsh's oblique script, emblazoned with his trademark frenetic energy, ritual, and cheesy 1980's music, is realised through a cocktail of Helen Atkinson's immersive, pitiless soundscape and Will Duke's stunning projection design...But the production's strengths are also its weaknesses...The visual effects...overpower the story. This sense is only accentuated by Walsh's uneven direction."
Read more

Exeunt Magazine
March 24th, 2018
For a previous production

"Walsh’s vigorous production is unafraid of incoherence, moving as if through swathes of irreducible despair. What gradually comes into focus is the heartrending picture of a household in mourning...Walsh translated repression into strikingly kinetic images...A verbally absurdist quality. That makes the script’s abrupt leaps into other narratives feel fitting...It’s immensely satisfying – then it all sobers up for the ending. Murphy is flawless in this electric production."
Read more

The Arts Review
March 21st, 2018
For a previous production

"Walsh’s superb adaptation of Porter’s heart-rending novella...Frightening, exhilarating, powerful, and irresistible...Remaining faithful to Porter’s original text, writer and director Enda Walsh still exerts his own considerable presence, with strong and subtle flourishes translating Porter’s textual energy into a formidable theatrical energy for the stage...A master class in theatrical excellence, showing near flawless levels of precision, execution, and split second timing."
Read more

The Guardian (UK)
March 22nd, 2018
For a previous production

"The collage effect is brilliantly achieved technically but at times seems overblown. In the ambitious attempt to find a theatrical analogue for Porter’s formal experimentation on the page, some emotional impact is lost, with the vulnerable figures of Dad and the boys swamped by the hi-tech dazzle. While Porter’s poetic text is emphasised something of its spirit and tone, its sheer strangeness and wild humour, remains elusive."
Read more

The Stage (UK)
April 2nd, 2018
For a previous production

"Walsh’s adaptation is faithful to Porter’s original text and is at its most affecting when Murphy and his sweet-faced boys are alone and disconnected in their chaotic flat...The overall emotional impact of the piece is somewhat diminished by Crow’s plummy, weirdly distorted basso profondo delivery. There is, too, a risk of sensory overkill...The deployment of tiny details partially corrects the imbalance."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
150+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (think Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and tries to corral others into enacting a…

Buy
77
Good
134 Reviews
Ends Oct 10
NYC: Midtown W

Following a sold-out run at LCT3, "Pass Over" will come to Broadway for a limited run this August.

Buy