See it if Fantastic performance, timely theme, excellent writing, fantastic staging.
Don't see it if it's a very entertaining play unless you are severely repelled by the issue of addiction. Read more
See it if Real & Raw depiction of the struggle of addiction, expertly performed by Gough. The staging is spectacular. Def worth the trip to Brooklyn
Don't see it if Even if you aren't interested in addiction/mental health issues, it's an interesting story & excellent performance
See it if for the stunning performance by Gough (altho she cries too often). The staging also dazzles. Addiction 101 w/a little room for hope.
Don't see it if you dislike the subject, hate loud noises/bright lights (used infrequently), you question the 12-step reliance on spirituality/surrender. Read more
See it if An absolute masterclass in acting. Intense and creatively staged. Heavy topic of addiction dissected like a slap in the face. Amazing!
Don't see it if The topic of addiction is interesting to you. If you don’t like heavy plays. It is intense.
See it if An addict journeys out of fog into her shrouded past and future. Incredible acting. Stunning staging. Gut wrenching climax with a twist.
Don't see it if You are not interested in an intense drama with dissonant sounds and flashing lights. You don't enjoy expressionist staging.
See it if you're hooked on great theatre. Powerful acting, clever staging, riveting story, authentic characters & smart script that avoids bathos.
Don't see it if you need your fix of frivolous, feel-good theatre; or you have a hard time being confronted with unsettling portrayals of drug addiction.
See it if you want to see some really exciting theatrical staging and production value, completely in the service of a deeply affecting play.
Don't see it if you're looking for a fun night out. This one is heavy. (But very worth it.)
See it if you want to see a great all around cast in a very new and hip theater setting
Don't see it if you are looking for something light and cheerful. This show is about drug addiction. Read more
“A thrilling, devastating and, yes, deeply unreliable look at recovery...The staging gives the illusion that something dynamic and new is happening...But I kept waiting for something bigger than fine stagecraft — and even Gough’s ingenious performance — to kick in...However valuable and accurate 'People, Places' is as a portrait of the addict’s nightmare, the play really wants to weigh in on a more fundamental issue about addiction and responsibility. And on this note it seems to waffle."
“Macmillan’s play is a searing exploration of a still-taboo subject, brilliantly elucidated through its parallels with his own chosen art form...Emma comes roaring into chaotic, devastating life in the person of Denise Gough...The rumors are true. She is that good...Macmillan and director Herrin expertly walk the line between morbid humor and excruciating honesty...But the brilliance of ‘People, Places & Things’ is that empathy — vital though it may be — is no cure-all.”
"It's the human core of Gough's fearless performance that keeps you glued...While the group scenes can be somewhat repetitive and overwritten, the playwright strikes a considered balance between respect for the methods of recovery and skepticism about their limitations...Herrin's directorial flourishes, impressive and bracingly physical as they often are, do tend to pad the text, making it seem stretched at two hours and 20 minutes."
“Although elements of Duncan Macmillan’s play feel all too familiar (toxic parents, inevitable capitulation), a vivid, no-holds-barred star turn and striking staging distinguish the London import...Gough, in her New York debut, gives an explosive, wildly emotional performance. She is matched by a visceral, pulsing production that worms its way the addict’s addled brain.”
“A superbly astute theater piece...Herrin's invigorating production is unlike anything we've ever seen in terms of sheer creativity...When it seems like Macmillan’s about to take a dramatically easy route, he doesn't hesitate to throw an 11th-hour wrench into the works...This play is written with a complex understanding of real life...Gough's full-on performance is almost hard to watch at times because of this starkly authentic physical and emotional nakedness.”
"Herrin and his team have all sorts of ways of signaling the depth Emma's distress...Macmillan's bluntly unsentimental handling of Emma's recovery is hair-raisingly evident...Throughout, Gough gives the kind of performance of which careers are made - hilariously awful when drunk, dazzlingly on the offensive when sober, and, finally, moving, as she learns to let down her guard, only to absorb psychological blows...The rest of the production is equally assured."
“The hype that surrounds an award-winning performance on one side of the Atlantic can often preclude its impact if and when it arrives on the other side. This is not the case, I'm happy to report, with the overwhelmingly powerful performance of Denise Gough who deservedly won the Olivier Award as Emma in ‘People, Places & Things,’ a new play by Duncan MacMillan, which premiered in London in 2015, and is now enjoying its American premiere at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn.”
“A play that blows the top of your head off...Some of the most inventive direction I’ve seen in years, a committed company, and a sensational central performance by Denise Gough...’People, Places & Things’ offers a number of compelling insights into the desperate struggles of the addict...There’s the over-arching question: ‘What is recovery?’ Emma attempts an answer at the play’s end—and it’s worth it to take the journey with her, just to hear it.”