Guards at the Taj
Closed 1h 25m
Guards at the Taj
86

Guards at the Taj NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(16 Reviews)
Positive
100%
Mixed
0%
Negative
0%
Members say
Absorbing, Great writing, Original, Great acting, Funny

About the Show

Atlantic Theater Company presents Rajiv Joseph's world premiere black comedy about two Imperial Guards in 1648 India, assigned to protect the Taj Mahal.

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Member Reviews (16)

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965 Reviews | 339 Followers
85
Riveting, Funny, Intense, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if you like absurdist works w a punch. Best new play of the year. Brilliant! Unsettling. Masterful staging. Great acting. Laugh and cry.

Don't see it if you are squeamish; difficult Act II in stage filled with blood. Everyone else should see this play in the tradition of Beckett. Read more

952 Reviews | 387 Followers
96
Intelligent, Profound, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like stories that make you look within, see yourself from perhaps a way you've never seen or wanted to see yourself and really grow.

Don't see it if You have no interest in maybe seeing that you've got a darker side than you thought.

605 Reviews | 226 Followers
90
Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Great acting, Original

See it if You want to see a dark comedy written by a great new playwright.

Don't see it if You don't like extremely dark comedies.

482 Reviews | 717 Followers
84
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Original

See it if you're looking for something original, fun, and intense.

Don't see it if you don't like the sight of blood.

534 Reviews | 488 Followers
80
Surprising, Resonant, Original, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want to see a touching, surprising story about a friendship placed under pressure by outside circumstances.

Don't see it if you can't handle blood.

228 Reviews | 57 Followers
89
Absorbing, Excruciating, Riveting, Cant' shake it

See it if You are ready to be queasy

Don't see it if You want to avoid violent subject matter Read more

ABG
162 Reviews | 73 Followers
80
Ambitious, Enchanting, Great staging, Great acting, Bloody

See it if You like cheeky, horror flicks or historical fantasies with satirical bents. Odd tone - but good payoff and a major surprise reveal.

Don't see it if You are squeamish or get woozy at the site of blood.

146 Reviews | 18 Followers
75
Entertaining, Graphic, Edgy

See it if you like good writing, and a complete story.

Don't see it if you don't like blood, gore.

Critic Reviews (24)

The New York Times
June 11th, 2015

"Does the fictional nature of the play detract from its effectiveness? Perhaps, since the dark denouement has less force when we know the details of the story are imagined. But 'Guards at the Taj,' which has been directed with a rich sense of atmosphere by Ms. Morton, raises potent questions about the human price paid throughout history for the caprices of the mighty, even when they result in architectural wonders that ultimately give pleasure to the masses."
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Time Out New York
June 11th, 2015

"Beauty doesn’t come easily in Rajiv Joseph’s wildly unsettling 'Guards at the Taj'...By its second scene, 'Guards at the Taj' has veered savagely from its funny, gently puzzled, 'Waiting for Godot–ish' beginnings into grotesque brutality, inspired by a legend of the Taj Mahal’s creation...Although the bittersweet final sequence doesn’t quite come off, by then Joseph’s play has done its gruesome work. It has the scary-comic impact of a demon mask, and you won’t soon forget it."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
June 12th, 2015

"Rajiv Joseph’s 'Guards at the Taj' concerns itself with the overwhelming power of beauty; naturally, it is brutal to an almost nauseating degree...How odd that a play aiming to dramatize an assault on sensitivity should perpetrate the same assault on its audience. But then, as Joseph demonstrates too well, anyone can be a tyrant."
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 11th, 2015

"This is a compact two-character play loaded with ideas and evocative imagery. It begins almost like a comedy sketch but develops into a haunting consideration of loyalty and betrayal between friends, of duty and blind adherence to barbaric command, and of the ownership of beauty...His attention to philosophical, existential and spiritual questions makes 'Guards at the Taj' a strange but unexpectedly moving experience."
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Entertainment Weekly
June 11th, 2015

"A warning for theatergoers with delicate constitutions: Steel yourselves before seeing 'Guards at the Taj', Rajiv Joseph’s riveting new two-hander...The play dissolves into perhaps the most astoundingly brutal tableau you’ll ever see on stage...Even amid any other aesthetic unpleasantness, you won’t be able to look away from these two actors."
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Variety
June 11th, 2015

"In his strikingly original drama, 'Guards at the Taj,' Rajiv Joseph entrusts the romantic legend of the Taj Mahal to two lowly palace guards...The playwright’s amusingly anachronistic idiom and two excellent performances from the likable actors in this two-hander keep us entertained — and totally unprepared for some shocking plot turns...The unveiling of the Taj Mahal becomes a magical onstage moment."
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New York Post
June 11th, 2015

"The play has lofty ambitions, but in reality it boils down to roundabout discussions between two dingbats who find themselves in over their heads. Sadly, the point is as lost on us as it is on them...The production may have worked better with slightly younger actors. Even then, it’d still be hard to shake the disconnect between the show’s lofty subject — the death of beauty! — and its glib tone."
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New York Daily News
June 11th, 2015

"It’s a fertile and timeless idea that’s worth exploring. Both actors deliver vivid performances under the direction of Amy Morton. But the play eventually spins its wheels. In the end, 'Guards at the Taj' leaves you hanging and comes down to something pretty obvious: Beauty comes at a bloody high cost."
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Trailer

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