Closed 1h 30m
Knives in Hens
Midtown E
72

Knives in Hens NYC Reviews and Tickets

72%
(11 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
0%
Negative
9%
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Profound, Slow

About the Show

59E59 presents this brutal fable of awakening consciousness: a stark, fierce study of sex and knowledge set in a timeless and spartan rural community.

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Member Reviews (11)

91
Going to split the audience: some will see as a confusing snooze, others as a beautiful and profound allegory

See it if uses beautiful choreography/precise script 2 tell story of Eve-like woman; packs power of Biblical story/infidelity-murder-tree of knowledge

Don't see it if some will find this quiet tone poem to be insufferably slow and pretentious; I found woman's description of finding God in nature inspiring Read more

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a haunting play about a woman’s self discovery. The mysticism in the play is enhanced by the intimate stage and setting.

Don't see it if You don’t like dark plays or fables. Read more

Critic Reviews (8)

October 29th, 2017

"A becomingly modest production...Simply a simple story that vibrates with ever-widening resonance and implications...It’s the linguistic aspect of 'Knives in Hens' that is so profoundly moving...Takacs and his movement director, Yasmine Lee, give expressive life to the physical relationships among these characters...The performances are precisely focused without being intensely emotional. Nonetheless, the sum effect of their talk and actions is deeply emotional."
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October 30th, 2017

“Ninety minutes of inarticulate characters struggling to express inchoate feelings in language stripped of any specificity…Instead of simulated sex, the production offers movement sequences, adding another level of off-putting stylization to a production already loaded with them. Nothing good can come of this and indeed, before long, a killing will occur -- although, since it is impossible to care about what happens, it unfolds to little effect.”
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October 29th, 2017

"Compelling if occasionally opaque...Has the feel of an Appalachian folk tale that has been shaped through many generations of retelling...Spare and often lyrical in its exposition and dialogue, 'Knives in Hens' is open to varied interpretations...But director Paul Takacs keeps things anchored largely within the post-Eden analogy...The play truly belongs to Robyn Kerr, who beautifully captures the transformation of Young Woman from a state of child-like innocence to one of self-determination."
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November 1st, 2017

“Scottish playwright David Harrower's poetic and metaphoric ‘Knives in Hens,’ produced in Edinburgh in 1995, is now first having its New York premiere. Best known in New York for the two-handers, ‘Blackbird,’ ‘A Slow Air’ and ‘Good with People,’ this play expands his cast to three but is a great deal vaguer about time and place. Unlike those plays, we aren't given much information about the characters or their lives in this challenging play which will infuriate some and fascinate others.”
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October 29th, 2017

"Harrower’s characters may appear simplistic but they are complex and multi-layered because of their unconscious impulses and sensitivities revealed in their dreams...The director’s staging is impeccable and concise...The hauntingly lovely music during the movement sequences heightens the symbolism of the lovers’ dance...In some instances, clarity was sacrificed to convey the demographic of Pony and Young Woman."
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October 29th, 2017

"The visuals are ripe and perfectly set for the telling of this multi-dimensional fable... Surprisingly though, with so much intensity and engagement from the talented cast, 'Knives in Hens' remains head bound, and doesn’t translate down into our heart and our emotional core...Although Harrower’s seminal work suggests an inner quest for knowledge and freedom from the norm, the play and this production is surprisingly unmoving."
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October 29th, 2017

“Takacs has crafted a production combining elements of theatricalism and naturalism, but the result is drearily sluggish, uninvolving, and not particularly enlightening. There's no way a viewing of this production would inspire thoughts of a 'modern classic'…Little in the production plumbs the potential depths of Harrower's play. The actors, dressed in garments of indeterminate vintage…muffle the poetic starkness of the language and fail to do more than communicate the basic narrative.”
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November 2nd, 2017

“’Kerr, Taylor and Haqq pour out with furious intensity Harrower’s almost musical staccato dialogue...The tension between the actors is palpable. It may be winter in the story, but these three performers create intense heat...The characters forge intense connections with one another, but the Young Woman’s transformation is astonishing in the short period over which the story takes place.”
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