Knives in Hens
Closed 1h 30m
Knives in Hens

Knives in Hens NYC Reviews and Tickets

(11 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (11)

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774 Reviews | 332 Followers
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

154 Reviews | 31 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you appreciate a pared down stage with 3 excellent actors performing a many- layered, somewhat inscrutable script.

Don't see it if it is not for need patience and concentration to appreciate this show. Read more

398 Reviews | 120 Followers
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

266 Reviews | 27 Followers
Intense, Raunchy, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you like plays that involve relationships among people you probably never come across in your daily life; you like serious plays

Don't see it if you want to see something that's fun; you don't like plays that you might find tedious

286 Reviews | 23 Followers
Confusing, Slow

See it if You want to watch a team of capable actors try to tackle this confusing snooze.

Don't see it if You don't want a 90 minute slam poem that's impossible to hold focus on.

15 Reviews | 5 Followers
Great acting, Profound, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you like a well-acted show in an intimate setting and you are comfortable with ambiguity.

Don't see it if you are not comfortable with a show in which the meaning is open to interpretation. Read more

1 Review | 0 Followers
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like to be challenged. If you enjoy stripped down, bare, visceral stimuli. If you can analyze art from varying perspectives.

Don't see it if You are looking for cheap slapstick humor. If you are only entertained by over the top productions. Read more

79 Reviews | 58 Followers
During previews
Absorbing, Exquisite, Slow

See it if You want to see tremendous acting in a cozy setting.

Don't see it if A bit slow of a show. I personally didn't care for the movement. Also the double ending threw me. Read more

Critic Reviews (8)

The New York Times
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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Lighting & Sound America
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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Talkin' Broadway
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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Theater Pizzazz
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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Front Mezz Junkies
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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Theatre's Leiter Side
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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