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Natural Shocks

From 25 member  reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Relevant, Slow, Cliched, Intense

About the show

The WP Theater presents this darkly comic solo show, in which an unnamed woman is forced into her basement when she finds herself in the path of a tornado. Obie Award winner Pascale Armand. More…

Trapped there, she spills over into confession, regret, long-held secrets, and giddy new love. But as the storm approaches, she becomes less and less sure where safety lies — and how best to defy the danger that awaits. "Natural Shocks" marks the New York return of Lauren Gunderson, the most produced female playwright in America today.

Member Reviews (25)


Disappointing, Relevant, Slow, Cliched, Intense
Avg Score

Cliched, Deceptive, Great staging, Disappointing, Relevant

See it if u want support the mission of WP (to promote women's theatre) even w/mediocre material about a woman riding out a literal & figurative storm

Don't see it if you want to avoid a miscast, contrived solo play [Armand's a good actress, but out of her element here]; you expect a potent #metoo play.

Disappointing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if see more

Don't see it if see more

Also we caught the last performance and enough has been said about the work... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Cliched, Insipid, Dishonest, Banal

See it if you follow playwright Gunderson, like 1-person shows & are patient with ridiculous melodrama on a current topic, are ok with lying narrator

Don't see it if don't like 1-person shows & little action, perverse foreshadowing, hate lying characters in service to a social causes, strained situations

Also Exasperating evening, nothing turns out to be true, meant to hit the a... Read more Read less

Boring, Banal, Disappointing, Relevant, Slow

See it if you like 1 person shows about women's issues, philosophizing, a bit of humor and a person trying to cope with life's problems.

Don't see it if you favor 1 person plays that deal in depth with the character's problems, provide perceptive insights and maintain interest.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Intense

See it if you enjoy new and interesting plays.

Don't see it if the strange reality of the world is all too much for you.

Also I was on the edge of my seat for the entire play. OMG! This is a mind ... Read more Read less

Interesting quirky intense dark 1-woman performance, Great set-design / strong lighting & sound-effects, Clever set-up / predictable arc / shocking resolve, Important / relevant / thought-provoking / humorous

See it if you like supporting important theater companies (WPT produces works of women & trans artists). Very relevant, important subject-matter here.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy one-person​ 4th-wall breakage story-telling, or productions having anything to do w/physical, emotional abuse, or violence.

Also If you're looking for speed...... Read more Read less


See it if You have no interest in a play being believable. Nothing about this was authentic. The polite applause at the end was damning.

Don't see it if You value your time, and are not in need of a nap. The writing is abysmal, but better acting would have made it more acceptable.

Intelligent, Slow, Disappointing, Intense, Too talky

See it if you want to see a one woman show where she works very hard to entertain.

Don't see it if you want to see a well produced and directed show where you can identify with and care about the actor.

Also I felt that the timing was off in this play. With different timing and... Read more Read less

Solo performance, Edgy, Well acted, Unrealistic

See it if you care more about the acting than the content.

Don't see it if you do not like plays with only one performer. The dark central topic should have been tackled directly, not obtusely.

Excruciating, Confusing, Slow

See it if you want to observe a Freudian therapy session of a highly delusional woman

Don't see it if you hope to care about and/or believe the only character.

Also I would like to be able to offer a set of "fixes", but this is a profo... Read more Read less

Intense, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You like a one-woman show and you are prepared for an intense hour.

Don't see it if You are looking for simple entertainment--this is definitely not that. There is humor, but not an ounce of fluff.

Cliched, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if You want to see an engaging performer tick all the hot topic boxes: diversity, domestic violence, guns, mass shootings, gay affair.

Don't see it if You want theatre that makes you think, questions preconceived beliefs rather than reinforcing what you already agree with.

Cliched, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You like looking at a great set design because that was the best thing about this play.

Don't see it if You don’t like one person shows.

Also To be fair I saw a PREVIEW and I went in knowing nothing. HOWEVER...Wh... Read more Read less

During previews
Entertaining, Interesting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if very well acted. Relevant themes explored on the 2nd half. Timed just right at 70 min.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person​ shows.

Also 1st half was interesting "to me" because I'm the kind who surfs Wikipe... Read more Read less

During previews
Well acted, Slow, Well written, Relevant

See it if A well constructed one person play. Story takes some unexpected turns.

Don't see it if You dislike solo shows. Parts of it are a bit slow but it held my interest for the most part.

During previews
Interesting, Solid performance, Heavy, Rambling

See it if A solid one woman show with an impressive performance. A bit heavy and rambling at times. 1st preview so moments where that was apparent.

Don't see it if You can’t hang for a longer one person show. You prefer lighter fare.

During previews
Uneven, Padded, Affecting, Important, Solo

See it if you’d like to see an uneven but ultimately powerful solo show that grapples with the issue of partner violence.

Don't see it if you don’t like solo shows: Until the gripping climax, this piece suffers from many of the problems most common to plays with a single actor.

Also I am glad I saw “Natural Shocks,” for its gripping final stretch & for... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Edgy, Slow, Relevant, Disappointing

See it if A figurative and literal storm forces a victim to seek refuge. A disarmingly light touch of a serious topic of violence against women.

Don't see it if This message comedy doesn't build suspensefully enough to the reveal. A reading was staged last spring with a more adept performer.

During previews
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Cleverly constructed, Well acted

See it if A strong solo performance running through all emotions & packing quite a punch. What may seem like rambling isn’t..

Don't see it if A play that unfolds slowly, bit by bit, & is a solo performance is not your taste.

During previews
Masterful, Great acting, Great writing, Absorbing, Smart

See it if a compelling, brave, intimate solo performance appeals. Pace varies, but always w/ emotional payoff. Arnaud is commanding & someone to watch

Don't see it if can't muster focused attention or patience in snug venue—soft snoring in 2d row. This is a nonlinear, winding story w/ a slow burn @ 80 min.

During previews
Maybe written for adolescent audience?

See it if You want to practice your eye-rolling. Couldn't help myself - rolled my eyes more than once over the simplistic, schmaltzy writing.

Don't see it if Where to begin?Dumbed down,unfunny monologue.Very superficial treatment of serious subject.Worst theatrical metaphor ever.Acting didn't help

During previews
Painful writing & troubled performance, Not up to wpt standard

See it if You are so interested in tracking playwrights or women centered theater that you can suffer thru mediocre-poor writing

Don't see it if Just don't for Pascale Armand's sake. Wait to see her with better material. She is normally very affecting but she cannot rescue this script

Also I learned from the description on WPT's website that Gunderson is curr... Read more Read less

During previews
Confusing, Cliched, Clever

See it if You want to see a one woman 75 minute show that is uneven but packs a punch at the end..I didn't see that coming ending...

Don't see it if You don't have the patience for a one woman show..

During previews

See it if Well-acted, held interest, but the you'll most likely figure the "reveal" before it's revealed. Fortunately it's short.

Don't see it if you don't like one actor shows or are looking for something unique.

During previews
Timely, Disjointed, Heavy-handed

See it if you enjoy podcasts.

Don't see it if you're looking for a taut drama.

November 9th, 2018
“An issue play that wants to be socially meaningful, with a would-be shocking ending...If its storytelling worked, ‘Natural Shocks’ would land potently on multiple levels. Yet this show, directed by May Adrales...contains vast stretches of tedium...And its construction is awfully rickety...The pe...
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November 15th, 2018
"An all-too-predictable 70-minute monologue by a battered wife whose husband collects guns...An example of what I call the theater of concurrence, whose practitioners take for granted that their audiences agree with them about everything and thus assert instead of arguing In addition to shedding ...
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November 14th, 2018
“Overall, the first half of ‘Natural Shocks’ doesn't provide enough detail for Angela to come across as a flesh-and-blood woman; instead, the script repeatedly harps on the same few points...The production design is the best thing about the evening...I won't reveal the outcome of ‘Natural Shocks’...
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November 14th, 2018
"Played by Pascale Armand, known for her Tony nominated Performance in 'Eclipsed,' Angela is the heroine of Lauren Gunderson's new one-woman play, 'Natural Shocks,' being given its world premiere by the Women's Project at the WP Theater. The play has previously been given over 100 staged readings...
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Cast & Creatives (4)