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.

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Member Reviews (35)

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876 Reviews | 903 Followers
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

851 Reviews | 1006 Followers
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.

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
85
Ambitious, Weighty, Unconventional, Great acting, Riveting

See it if you appreciate Walsh's moody, evocative, idiosyncratic style; u want to see Murphy soar in a powerful, physical, intense performance.

Don't see it if you can't abide highly stylized theatrics, symbolic imagery & postmodernism; you are triggered by grief & bereavement of a lost wife/mother. Read more

677 Reviews | 152 Followers
72
Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if For fans of Enda Walsh & Cillian Murphy, enjoy explorations of deep, unwavering grief, multiple creative & surprising visual, aural styles

Don't see it if Don’t like depictions of intense grief, neglected children, imaginary characters, loud noises, chaotic surreal plots, personal head games Read more

510 Reviews | 129 Followers
83
Intense, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Tour de force acting by Murphy; pain of grief & healing is presented in a way that encompasses the cerebral, physical & emotional.

Don't see it if you are in need of something uplifting & fun or are easily overstimulated by light and sound; you prefer a more linear telling.

414 Reviews | 74 Followers
83
Edgy, Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like non-traditional, non linear theater, with some poetic sounding dialogue & a variety of projections; actor who plays a Dad & a crow

Don't see it if don't like Enda Walsh's work (see below), want happy fluff Read more

415 Reviews | 69 Followers
85
Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you like great performances and theater that explores feelings that are difficult to articulate accurately - in this case grief.

Don't see it if you prefer linear plays grounded in reality rather than symbolism.

418 Reviews | 46 Followers
50
Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if only if a fan of Enda Walsh's writing (which I'm not)

Don't see it if want a better and linear story. Felt very long.

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."
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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."
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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."
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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."
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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."
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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.”
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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.”
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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."
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