Henry IV

Henry IV NYC Reviews and Tickets

(40 Ratings)
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious, Clever, Great staging

About the Show

St. Ann's Warehouse brings the cutting-edge Donmar Warehouse's 'Henry IV' to New York following raves in London. An all-female cast tells the story of Prince Hal against the backdrop of an at risk women's prison.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (40)

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68 Reviews | 63 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You love Shakespeare but also Orange is the New Black, you love a diverse all-female cast, you are a Harriet Walter or Donmar Warehouse fan

Don't see it if You don't like people messing with your Shakespeare, you can't handle strong women, you can't understand thick British accents.

170 Reviews | 162 Followers
Masterful, Must see, Riveting, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if u love Shakespeare & super acting. Harriet Walter starts things off brilliantly w/ her speech as King Henry IV's. 2 1/4 hours later you're

Don't see it if well into the chronicles portrayed here in the "Greater Tetralogy." Can't help a Readers' Digest-y feeling from time to time. It's aces!

121 Reviews | 31 Followers
Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Must see

See it if You like Shakespeare & want to see a truly unique production; you are interested in seeing a production based in a Woman's prison.

Don't see it if You have a small bladder, or if you have trouble sitting for too long. It's well over 2 hours with no intermission. Worth it, but pee first!

563 Reviews | 194 Followers
Clever, Great acting, Original

See it if You want to see a non-traditional version of Shakespeare. You want a show w/political intrigue. You want to see great acting.

Don't see it if You don't like Shakespeare. You prefer more traditional interpretations of Shakespeare. You don't want to travel to Brooklyn.

175 Reviews | 20 Followers
Absorbing, Epic, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you appreciate Shakespeare's history plays and welcome a non-conventional approach to their casting and staging.

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare traditionalist.

99 Reviews | 17 Followers
Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You want to see a unique and thoroughly entertaining modern staging of a Shakespeare classic.

Don't see it if Modern staging matched with traditional Shakespearean dialogue turns you off.

74 Reviews | 9 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if fab actors are your thing

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

294 Reviews | 54 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great staging, Intense, Original

See it if you want a different take on a classic: this is all female production in a prison. It works.

Don't see it if you insist on literally accurate interpretations of Shakespeare.

Critic Reviews (40)

The New York Times
November 11th, 2015

"There’s something about putting these fighting words into the mouths of women that makes us listen with newborn ears for the ring of absurdity and desperation within. This production reminds us that casting against the grain can be a potent tool in theater...They also bring to the production the combustible energy of pent-up souls who have finally been allowed a source of physical release...It’s an exultant spirit of freedom with which these captive women burn."
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Time Out New York
November 12th, 2015

"At times, it’s unclear whether we’re watching a well-acted, accessible 'Henry IV' that just happens to be set in a prison, or an unstable, rough-hewn version being acted by female prisoners...While there are dry patches in the intermission-free night (a bit over two hours), the frame still gives you something to think about, and the cast is a lively, diverse mix of veterans and fresh faces."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 12th, 2015

"Though the conceit is carried out in numerous ways, some of which border on kitsch, it is more than just a gimmick...The acting, where permitted to be so, is thrillingly successful. But insofar as the production is also a serious attempt to see what new meanings and colors a female perspective, and a prisoner’s perspective, might uncover in the material, it is hampered by a countervailing tone I can only describe as cutesy…By overdoing the concept, the production undermines it."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 12th, 2015

"Unfortunately, the prison setting, while certainly novel, adds little to our appreciation of the play…It's all very silly and distracting, and a shame, really...Harriet Walter reaffirms her status among the great Shakespearean actors with her compellingly forceful turn in the title role…The company's previous production, 'Julius Caesar,' worked somewhat better because the contrast between the onstage action and the framing device was less jarring. Here it mainly feels extraneous and trivial."
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AM New York
November 11th, 2015

"Lloyd never offers a clear explanation for the prison setting. It appears that the women are enacting the play as a kind of educational exercise, although some of it hits the women hard emotionally, which the guards may not have predicted...After a while, you just go along with the concept, which brings a rough vigor and punk aesthetic to the familiar drama. It also turns the tables on the Elizabethan tradition of all-male troupes performing Shakespeare."
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November 17th, 2015

"One would think that this story of a top dog, challenged for supremacy on several fronts, would have a special resonance in an environment as tenuous as prison. Instead, it feels more like a fashionable package in the age of 'Orange Is the New Black'...The acting really is stellar...This is an excellent opportunity to see top-notch actors perform a classic Shakespearean history. But if you're expecting it to say something insightful about the prison-industrial complex, you're in for a disappointment."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 12th, 2015

"The framing device sometimes acts as a straitjacket on these skilled players…Walter's Henry is a complex, commanding figure…This is a performance that can stand up to any of the Henrys I have seen…Too often, we're noticing Lloyd's staging ideas rather than the narrative they are meant to clarify…As a result, this 'Henry IV' is both tantalizing and something of a missed opportunity."
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The Huffington Post
November 11th, 2015

"The major triumph of this triumphant undertaking is Lloyd's work with the actors. Harriet Walter, in the title role as usurping King Henry, proves she's not only a first-rate Shakespearean in female roles. She's also a first-rate Shakespearean actor in men's roles."
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