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Noura

From 181 member  reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

About the show

Playwrights Horizons' new drama about an Iraqi-American charts the intricate pathways of motherhood and marriage — and the fragile architecture of what we call home. Based on Ibsen's "A Doll's House." More…

Eight years ago, Noura and her family fled their home in Iraq. Today, she plans the perfect Christmas dinner to celebrate their new life in New York. But when the arrival of a visitor stirs up long-buried memories, she and her husband are forced to confront the cost of their choices, and retrace the past they left behind.


Member Reviews (181)

MEMBERS SAY:

Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting
76
Avg Score

70
Middling, Cliched, Slow, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if It's somewhat interesting and thankfully short. Acting is nice. some interesting dramatic parts.

Don't see it if This is more about feelings characters' issues than anything really to do with immigration.

Also The main character is more annoying than villainous.

65
Disappointing, Slow, Uneven

See it if You enjoy family dramas. Cast is good and show is well acted.

Don't see it if I found the first hour to be slow and meandering. The last 20min or so were good but by that point I didn't feel invested in the characters

70
Ambitious, Confusing, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if You want to see as play about Iraqi immigrant's.

Don't see it if If you want a deep more fluid play

75
Thought-provoking, Confusing, Relevant, Frenetic, Distant

See it if Interesting themes of cultural dislocation and mental chaos from past trauma. Actors convey the anxiety, confusion & emptiness.

Don't see it if Characters are insufficiently developed to make their suffering convincing. They emote a lot over their guilt, but I didn't empathize.

81
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Intense

See it if Raffo is a talented writer and actor Acclimation a tough challenge. Ending is wonderful. 90+ minutes Clever use of the shawl. Teen Talent.

Don't see it if Not quite "A Doll's House". 90+minutes Ending could be a problem, ........ forgot.. more .for above:. great set.

66
Slow, Speechifying, Good acting, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if u want to see a modern A Doll's House, where many issues are raised about immigration, motherhood & marital obligations... with few answers.

Don't see it if you expect a true Ibsen redux [This is a pale adaptation/inspiration]; you don't have the stomach for heavy-handed diatribes & speeches.

74
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Slow

See it if Raffo's Iraqi rumination on Ibsen's A Doll's House is equally compelling & contrived It's a taut study in disconnection & disenchantment

Don't see it if Despite excellent performances (esp Raffo & Elouahabi) often feels preachy & didactic Direction can be a little static Nice ambiguous ending

79
Absorbing, Great writing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Unpredictable

See it if you like family sagas, curious about Iraqi Christian immigrants, plight of women in Iraqi culture, forgiveness & blame, writer as lead actor

Don't see it if not interested in Iraqi culture & how it follows immigrants to this country, or in woman's struggles or in dialogue that must be listened to

82
Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a Dolls House-inspired drama about refugees & family dynamics. You want a relevant play that deals w/of the moment issues.

Don't see it if You're not in the mood to pay attention: you'll need to in order to work out the relationships before the action. You want a light comedy.

80
Riff on ibsen's doll house, presents many rich issues arising from iraqi immigrant (1) caught between iraqi past & american future & (2) trying to be a strong, independent woman in an oppressive patriarchal arab culture

See it if profound; beautiful, poetic script & striking set/staging show Noura's paradoxical struggle 2 both embrace & break free from Iraqi roots

Don't see it if overstuffed, poorly paced; last 20 minutes so densely packed w revelations of secrets & feminist outpourings, makes your head spin

Also If references to "A Doll's House" aren't obvious enough, Noura is name... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy character driven plays with contemporary themes, excellent acting, and a plot twist which you never saw coming.

Don't see it if you prefer plays in which the characters take second stage to the plot; you prefer musicals to serious drama; you dislike philosophical chat

70
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if Noura is highly intelligent, likable with a good heart; terrific acting & interesting theme; happy to be in US but doesn't feel like home.

Don't see it if Too many issues going on in Noura's mind, some difficult to believe could have happened without immediate consequence. Heavy handed.

75
Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you want to see characters you don't typically see on stage/screen: Iraqi-American Christians. Great acting and play tackles relevant topics

Don't see it if you're looking for more in terms of compelling drama. It's more of a character portrait than an edge-of-your seat drama.

18
Selfish

See it if You want to see a play about people from Iraq trying to fit in and live in America

Don't see it if If you are hoping to make a connection and feel for any of the characters in the play. I don’t think many people can relate to this

Also The main reason for my low rating is because I think the playwright wr... Read more Read less

60
Disappointing, Slow, Indulgent, Beautiful set, Predictable

See it if You like overwrought family dramas dressed in relevance. an oblique discussion of identity. Christian and Muslim Arabs relating.

Don't see it if You dont like predictable plot lines. You dont like listening to a shrill, whiny lead or you want consistent characters. with true stakes.

Also I really quite hated this play.... Read more Read less

67
Slow

See it if You enjoy talky family dramas, with references to A Doll's House. You enjoy sets that complement the story and themes.

Don't see it if You want something that's active or mind-blowing.

85
Absorbing, Intelligent, Immigrant story, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a tale about the difficulties of leaving one country and coming to another.

Don't see it if you want a lot of action. The story is about the characters, not a lot of action.

79
Great writing, Great acting, Relevant

See it if great acting and well-written family story of those looking for home

Don't see it if want fluff - this is drama

80
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Cliched, Indulgent

See it if You are interested in refugees. You like stories about families trying to adapt to new value systems.

Don't see it if You don't like arguing. They argue a lot.

81
Absorbing, Relevant, Great acting, Thought-provoking, A bit muddled

See it if you like naturalistic drama, evocative of THE HUMANS or THE PROFANE -- about Iraqi-Americans grappling w/cultural boundaries & dislocation.

Don't see it if you want something big & splashy. This is thoughtful drama -- although the messages are a bit muddled at times. Superb acting all-around.

59
Ambitious, Indulgent, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you find it interesting to have the playwright star in her own play as the lead character.

Don't see it if a story about a Christian Iraqi refugee, born in Mosul but now living in New York who celebrates Christmas just doesn't interest you.

Also My favorite thing about Noura was the set. The set for this play was b... Read more Read less

71
Relevant, Slow, Intense

See it if If you enjoy psychodrama and theater that explores patriarchal attitudes and ensuing tragical events

Don't see it if Plays that end abruptly with the stage going black drive you bonkers

64
Absorbing, Melodramatic, Great acting, Relevant, Intense

See it if You want to see a melodrama. Despite the very relevant aspects of the play's plot, it is very much a melodrama of the first degree.

Don't see it if You dislike plays that depend more on "twists" than character development. Dislike uneasy resolutions.

Also "A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed." -... Read more Read less

69
Underwhelming, Topical, Disappointing

See it if you are interested in the issues faced by educated, middle class immigrant families; women's concerns & identity

Don't see it if you're looking for light entertainment or fast-paced, high drama-this one is talky, talky, talky

Also There were important concerns laid out but I just didn't find the dram... Read more Read less

78
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Profound

See it if want to see a play about the plight of Iraqi immigrants in America. They know life is better here but regret that they can never go home.

Don't see it if you prefer lighter fare - this play is very intense.


December 10th, 2018
"Compelling and ambitious but also, under Joanna Settle’s direction, a bit blurry. With so much going on inside the title character, much of it contradictory, the audience may feel, along with her family, flummoxed by her whipsawing...Settle’s production is long on mood, short on clarity. Yet man...
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December 10th, 2018
"The first half-hour of Raffo’s family drama 'Noura' is lovely...Raffo is at her best when she’s in this preparatory phase... When the actual plot kicks in, 'Noura' becomes both predictable and, whenever Raffo gives herself a speech, strangely overwritten...Raffo has taken inspiration from Ibsen’...
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December 20th, 2018
"Raffo has given us a human drama...One of the finest new plays I’ve ever reviewed in this space...Full of unexpected revelations and flashes of sudden, blinding illumination. Time and again, Raffo’s characters casually tell us things that open our eyes to the tragic complexity of their lives...d...
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December 10th, 2018
"Now receiving a darkly evocative production from director Joanna Settle, the occasionally too-wordy drama is likely to leave audiences with deeply unsettled feelings about everything...In both her writing and performance, Raffo harnesses the expressive power of the unsaid. Unfortunately, certain...
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