Closed 2h 20m
Hero's Welcome
Midtown E
75

Hero's Welcome NYC Reviews and Tickets

75%
(18 Reviews)
Positive
78%
Mixed
22%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Slow, Disappointing, Great writing

About the Show

Part of 59E59's Brits Off Broadway fest, Alan Ayckbourn's new comedic drama chronicles a war hero's return to the town he fled 17 years earlier.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (18)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
77
Absorbing, Slow, Clever, Surprising

See it if you want to see Alan Ayckbourn still proving his talent for clever wordplay, sly plot twists & class system commentary 55yrs into his career

Don't see it if you have no patience for a slow Act 1; you expect a laugh-out-loud Ayckbourn comedy. (This is "comedy" in the Chekhovian or Shavian sense.)

72
Great acting, Cliched, Entertaining, Long.

See it if You want to see the latest Alan Ayckbourn play. Interesting to see in repertory with Confusions. Amazingly versitile and talented actors.

Don't see it if You prefer shorter plays. The first act is almost an hour and a half long.

Critic Reviews (27)

June 13th, 2016

“Though it is Mr. Ayckbourn’s most recent play, it is also one of this most old-fashioned...A comedy, at least in the sense that Chekhov called his plays comedies. Its characters are enjoyably silly in their pretensions and eccentricities. They are also capable of acts of genuine evil and genuine heroism...A crowded work...It has more twists of plot than a season of ‘Coronation Street.’ But never make the mistake of thinking Mr. Ayckbourn doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
Read more

June 11th, 2016

"Having churned out some 79 plays over 55 years, Alan Ayckbourn could easily have run out of plot twists—but this seemingly facile master is far from depleted...The couples bounce off each other like charged particles, and if you think you know where the story’s going, you assuredly don’t. Ayckbourn is as crack a director as he is a dab playwright, and the cast is top-notch—especially the heliotropic Hoskins, who starts out shadowy and subdued, only slowly finding her light."
Read more

June 16th, 2016

"'Hero’s Welcome' is one of the most poignant dramas that Mr. Ayckbourn has given us…The straightforwardly plotted 'Hero’s Welcome' contains none of the virtuoso theatrical prestidigitation that is Mr. Ayckbourn’s trademark, but it does make splendidly effective use of two stock types from his rogue’s gallery of men…Has there ever been a playwright who directed his own works more skillfully and imaginatively? I doubt it."
Read more

June 9th, 2016

"As Ayckbourn proves in his tremendous new drama, he's just as wily and incisive now as he was in the early days of his career…The writing blends Ayckbourn's signature style of menacing darkness underneath uproarious situational comedy. It's an excellent, compelling look at human resilience in the face of terror, and the things people are willing to do to make each other both miserable and happy. The performances are top-notch."
Read more

June 14th, 2016

"A rich theatrical piece…It is an emotionally charged story that keeps you captivated from the first moment to the last…This is storytelling at its finest, a complex human drama full of twists and turns. The characters are distinctive and wonderfully crafted. The cast completely masters their respective roles capturing the drama and humorous moments in the story...’Hero’s Welcome’ is a theatrical gift to metro area audiences."
Read more

June 20th, 2016

"Now having its American premiere in repertory with 'Confusions', one of Ayckbourn’s earliest plays, with the same actors in both, the production which is directed by the author is from the Stephen Joseph Theater, Scarborough, where most of the author’s plays have had their world premieres. This is a powerful and engrossing study of friendship, love, jealousy, competition and betrayal."
Read more

June 14th, 2016

"It’s an ironic play with amusing but bitter elements. The irony is tinged with wisdom-of-the-ages sadness, but it does end on a hopeful note…The acting is first-rate as is the direction, with twists and turns created by a first-rate intelligence. 'Hero’s Welcome' is a play you take home with you, furrow your brow and think about, It’s proof that even at 79, Alan Ayckbourn can still create diverse plays with interesting characters. Anything he writes is well worth seeing!"
Read more

June 9th, 2016

"While 'Confusions' ranks in the lower region of Ayckbourn's amazingly large body of work, 'Hero's Welcome' deserves a place in the top tier. Though not without its comic moments, the emphasis this time is on romance — with a true and tender love story interwoven with several youthful love affairs gone wrong…Richard Stacey is believable and touching as the soldier…This mix of sweet and sour makes for a satisfyingly complex several hours of theater."
Read more

June 11th, 2016

"The NYC premiere of 'Hero’s Welcome' is theater where all the pieces – writing, directing, and acting – impeccably fit together...Mr. Ayckbourn hasn’t lost his touch. He also directed this production, a playwright uniquely able to optimally serve his text...I have not one negative criticism of the production. With the direction and entire cast equally splendid, it is perfection."
Read more

T
June 9th, 2016

"The six actors deliver authentic and engaging performances. Less engaging is the script itself. The script is convoluted and its characters underdeveloped. While Murray’s, Alice’s, and Kara’s conflicts are clear and their motivations believable, other characters lack authentic conflicts…'Hero’s Welcome' rehearses Mr. Ayckbourn’s important themes with a less than contemporary feel. Still, 'Hero’s Welcome' is an interesting story with redemptive themes and worth the visit."
Read more

June 10th, 2016

"‘Hero’s Welcome’ offers yet another lesson in the magic of good acting...It uses comedy sparingly to tell a story with rather serious events, including a killing, a stroke, and arson; there are some raucous laughs, but the tone definitely leans toward the dark side. Ayckbourn’s genius is such that even when his characters and situations tend toward nastiness humor ripples through the subtext and performances."
Read more

June 10th, 2016

"'Hero’s Welcome' feels less sturdily constructed than 'Confusions'–its mysteries are perhaps too easy to solve, some of its characterizations less nuanced than they might be...Ayckbourn directs with a reliance on vivid performances, evocative costumes and cheap furnishings. The actors he has assembled are gutsy and supple. A couple of them are inclined to overplay their parts, but this is clearly done with his approval...Though neither is a major work, each play is absorbing on its own."
Read more

June 10th, 2016

"Acykbourn weaves the strands of the overloaded plot into somewhat of a soap opera, except that in his hands the play comes across as more than that. There is mordant humor underscoring the complications as well as serious observations about character behavior. Despite so much jammed into in the play, Ayckbourn and his marvelous cast can keep us riveted, and his direction is lean and pointed."
Read more

June 12th, 2016

"Ayckbourn stirs us with mystery and conflict. We become completely engaged in how events transpire. Indeed, what Ayckbourn offers is a journey of revelation...From beginning to end, 'Hero’s Welcome' is a sterling production...The directing and acting combine to make for a breathtaking, heart-wrenching finish...This finest of Ayckbourn’s works reveals most importantly that without unsung heroes we are left to face alone the impossible battles within."
Read more

June 10th, 2016

"'Hero’s Welcome' demonstrates a profound understanding of quiet, upper-middle-class suffering."
Read more

June 27th, 2016

“What becomes clear in ‘Hero’s Welcome’ is how easily people are willing to believe the worst about others...Standing out in this story as a rock of integrity is Baba. Hoskins does an excellent job not only in making her appealing, but also in working with Ayckbourn to allow the character to blossom...The ending is somewhat ambiguous. It shows events coming full circle while leaving the characters with several questions...Then again, that’s been Ayckbourn’s point throughout.”
Read more

June 10th, 2016

"Here’s our bottom line on 'Hero’s Welcome:' we loved it and it’s clearly another Ayckbourn hit...The play is rife with plots and subplots...The cast of 'Hero’s Welcome' consists of the same three men and two women. To be sure, Richard Stacey truly comes into his own here in the starring role of Murray. Nor is this to to say that the other members of the cast aren’t just as good here as they were in 'Confusions' for they truly are."
Read more

June 9th, 2016

"Of the many good things in the play, one of them were the actors…Of the things that bothered me, and some of the rest of the audience as they stepped out, was the play’s duration. There were some scenes that could have been cut out…Having said that, even with its long duration, the play was able to keep the audience members glued to their seats, but only if they are willing to commit to it."
Read more

B
May 28th, 2016

"One of the pleasures of an Ayckbourn season is becoming reacquainted with fine actors who have appeared in previous seasons....Billington, although an apparent newcomer, fits in seamlessly as the toxic Brad…Past events are explained more fully in a way that generates compassion for the characters…The play is plot-heavy and would benefit from a bit of tightening. While it does not represent Ayckbourn at his best, it nevertheless offers much to enjoy."
Read more

September 9th, 2015
For a previous production

"Ayckbourn's talent for recording the wanton damage we do to each other, whether with a smiling face or a savage sneer as in the case of Brad, remains undiminished. His production is also well acted by Richard Stacey as the trouble-making Murray, Elizabeth Boag as the brooding mayor, Stephen Billington as Brad and Emma Manton as his verbally abused wife, whose relationship is that of jailer and prisoner."
Read more

September 9th, 2015
For a previous production

"I’m afraid it’s more filler than killer…Ayckbourn, who also directs, lays out too many scenes in televisual segments, making it slightly stop-start. Some of the characterization is sketchy; we could do with more depth, less plot. Only some of the writing bites…Aside from one odd bit of miscasting the acting is more than serviceable, especially from the wiry, intense Richard Stacey as Murray."
Read more

T
September 8th, 2015
For a previous production

"So it’s a play about lies, and bitter memory, and smalltown jockeying for advantage, and the pitfalls of marrying-up or marrying-down, and the idea of a hero. And the ingredients don’t really meld together as well as they should…There are more problems than is comfortable. I don’t quite believe in a sudden woman-to-woman rapprochement between Alice and Baba; nor am I sure why Alice collapses, or of what illness…Still, I was never bored."
Read more

T
September 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Hero's Welcome' is Ibsen-black in its darkness yet still hugely humorous…Stacey's well-meaning Murray may be the maelstrom, but Ayckbourn is more intrigued by the older man, Dixon's stand-out Derek, and once more he goes to the heart of dissatisfied, frustrated women with such rare male insight. At 76, he is writing with a devastating combination of the sage and the rage."
Read more

September 9th, 2015
For a previous production

"As past skirmishes and twisty back-stories slowly unravel on three overlapping acting spaces, you just yearn for the plot to cut to the chase and skeletons to rattle out of closets...It’s Ayckbourn’s excellent cast who make them stick together, notably Stephen Billington as a smarmy brute of a husband, Emma Manton as the nervy wife trapped in an abusive marriage, and Terenia Edwards as the foreigner discovering the true meaning of English words like “hero”."
Read more

September 11th, 2015
For a previous production

"The play often feels as generic as its set of interlocking Ikea-style show homes. What’s more, the amiable antics of Ayckbourn’s often self-effacing characters are an uncertain basis for the dark, violent turn that the play takes late on. And yet Ayckbourn continues to charm as a playwright with his warm characters and crafty storytelling that holds you to the end. It gets off to a clunky start, but the actors go on to present something much more lively."
Read more

September 4th, 2015
For a previous production

"Ayckbourn masterfully teases the undertones and nuances from his own text…There are heart-rending moments of clear-sighted observation…Where I have reservations is around the unsettling feeling that the play is for much of its length ‘getting going’, laying down smouldering fuses for the bombs which go off surprisingly late...It is a play, then, which lives in the mind and reveals depths and nuances in retrospect, but which is somewhat frustratingly imbalanced in the watching."
Read more

October 11th, 2015
For a previous production

"Funny, vibrant, fast-paced and thoroughly entertaining, 'Hero's Welcome' does not disappoint…An enticing mix of intrigue and suspense in a drama which is both constantly engaging and amusing. There are certainly no dull moments in this play…The real beauty of 'Hero's Welcome' is that it weaves a multitude of personal stories into one cleverly crafted piece of theatre. It is sharp, sassy, moving and comical, a winning combination."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
1K+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: East Village

This family-friendly show celebrates the power of percussion and the sheer joy of banging on things.

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

An actor drinks heavily (in the vein of Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and then tries to corral others into…

Buy
81
Great
27 Reviews
Opens Aug 09
NYC: Upper W Side

Shakespeare in the Park is back this summer with Jocelyn Bioh's joyous adaptation of "Merry Wives."

Buy