Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown E

Knives in Hens

From 11 member  reviews
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. More…

In a preindustrial rural world, poised on the cusp of transformation, a ploughman and his wife live a simple existence until they, along with the hated local miller, are drawn into a struggle of power and attraction. 'Knives in Hens' unpacks the subtle power of words and ideas to liberate, empower, and lift the mind and soul.

Member Reviews (11)


Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Profound, Slow
Avg Score

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

Also Focus on the power and concomitant danger of language is central to th... Read more Read less

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.

Also The acting was exceptional, particularly Robyn Kerr as the Young Woman... Read more Read less

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

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.

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.

Also I was really swept up and captured by the rhythms and nuances of this ... Read more Read less

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.

Also On the surface, this show is about a woman who learns to love language... Read more Read less

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.

Also Superb acting. Very intimate space and thoughtful movement choreograph... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Intense, Visceral

See it if you want an intense and visceral show with beautiful choreography representing making love, a morality play about awakening senses; rawness

Don't see it if you want an easy to understand and view play about nonsense or a musical; this show is fierce.

During previews
Self consciously poetic, Elemental fable, Unconvincing production, despite committed acting

See it if you appreciate experiments in theatrical imagination, you like creations of worlds where people speak and behave in non-realistic ways

Don't see it if you are impatient with attempt to create a mytho-poetic rural past or incantatory language that no human ever spoke

Also I was interested in this play mainly on the strength of the playwright... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Absorbing, Intense, Refreshing, Profound

See it if You like unconventional theatre, you enjoy really artful movement work, you want to see a show that is exciting and refreshingly dramatic

Don't see it if You like linear, straight-laced theatre, you are sensitive to some dark topics

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.

Also Even though there were things I didn't care for, I so appreciated the ... Read more Read less

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 amo...
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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...
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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 la...
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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 ...
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