Poison NYC Reviews and Tickets

(35 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Slow, Intense, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Origin Theatre Company presents the English-language premiere of Dutch playwright Lot Vekemans' two-hander about two lovers who reconnect after a painful separation.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (35)

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475 Reviews | 59 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting

See it if you want good drama, excellent directing and acting

Don't see it if you find the topic of a son's death too upsetting

360 Reviews | 76 Followers
Cathartic, Absorbing, Painful, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you've ever been privy to an imbalanced relationship, when one moves on while the other stays stuck. Also, if you enjoy terse writing.

Don't see it if You don't want to face a heart-breaking situation, one with which you may already be all too familiar. Read more

179 Reviews | 29 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if grief for the loss of a child is very realistically enacted. One parent was able to overcome his sadness, to make a new start not the other

Don't see it if you can't partake such a sad story

393 Reviews | 101 Followers
Great acting, Intense, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, A truthful requiem

See it if You're ready to watch two very fine actors work through pain, loss, and the truthful cathartic avowel of life, grief and change.

Don't see it if You want simple entertainment; you've neither the patience nor desire to see a deep meditation on grief & acceptance, or existential dramas. Read more

243 Reviews | 67 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Slow, Riveting, Intense

See it if You would like to witness a couple's self -therapy session dealing with the loss of their child, and marriage with subsequent rapprochement.

Don't see it if Going so deeply into wounds that you come out the other side isn't what you want from theater. The play is universal, and very cathartic.

536 Reviews | 279 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if you want to see two sterling performances by Birgit Huppuch and Michael Laurence in a European play that has worldwide appeal.

Don't see it if you don't like slow-starting plays that then slowly draw you in. This is also a deeply personal play that may make one feel uncomfortable.

93 Reviews | 36 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Resonant, Slow

See it if You like dramas exploring human relationships. The different way a divorced couple handled a tradgedy and the emotional fall out

Don't see it if You are not interested in an emotional discussion between 2 characters that goes on for 90 minutes. Minimal staging.

457 Reviews | 101 Followers
The countertenor nearly did me in, but the play was meaningful

See it if you have ever had a relationship which felt unfinished. you like mostly calm, lucid examination of a shared point in time in the past

Don't see it if you want melodrama. you dislike COUNTERTENOR voices. you are uncomfortable with exposition of a painful past experience. Read more

Critic Reviews (12)

The New York Times
November 23rd, 2016

"This austere play begins coolly but becomes, ever so slowly, a tear-jerker. Emotionally bare, at a few points scraped raw, it is never maudlin...Their defenses erode, hers more rapidly than his, and we see the tenderness that took root 20 years ago, when they first laid eyes on each other. It’s still alive in them, and that is what’s so searing: that they might have found their way through that lostness together, and come out of it so much less broken."
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November 19th, 2016

"This translation of ‘Poison’ teaches so many lessons, on so many different levels, that it is truly astounding…This beautiful production brings so many simple ideas with major significance behind them to fruition…It is truly amazing how simple conversation that goes on between these two characters can create a play that is so impressive because of the emotional depth it is able to reach…I was honestly riveted...It's a truly poignant show that will bring tears to your eyes."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 30th, 2016

"She comes off as a nag; He is a little easier to take, but in neither case has the playwright supplied the telling details that might make them come alive as individuals. They remain as generic as their names, posed figures on a battlefield of sorrow…This is a dispiriting experience; rather than making real drama of it, 'Poison' oversells its tragedy, trapping it in a generic atmosphere of gloom. It wants to browbeat us into caring about its characters; that's not the way it works."
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November 17th, 2016

"Finely performed, very well written and strikingly staged, Vekemans’ 'Poison' is an engrossing but heavy going 90 minutes...Ms. Vekemans’ dialogue has a precise, literary quality and though her plot and characters are familiar, she has crafted a compelling drama...Laurence and Huppuch have great chemistry together and beautifully perform this intense and difficult material...'Poison' is a challenging and insightful exploration of the human condition that has been perfectly rendered."
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Theatre is Easy
November 16th, 2016

"Grapples with the messy subject of grief, and does it in a thoughtful and energizing way...Huppuch and Laurence are magnetic. Under the direction of Erwin Maas, these two artists effortlessly unpack a text loaded with emotional unrest...Maas’ direction allows us to peer into this extremely intimate moment and reflect on our own messy conversations and their effects...A play for the lover of European theater and its tradition of tackling tough questions head-on, with no artifice or spectacle."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
November 17th, 2016

“A sparingly-produced, Beckettian two-hander, performed at a funereal pace, with much of its dialogue spoken at just above whisper level, creating less tension than watching grass grow...Both Laurence and Huppuch are respected actors but their muted performances, flecked with innumerable Pinter-like pauses, kept me at arm's length...Vekemans's play has received much acclaim elsewhere, thus making it another example of the adage that one man's meat is another man's poison.”
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
November 20th, 2016

"Annoying before it starts...It seems a total affectation to have to observe Laurence doing nothing except making one wonder when the play will begin...The dialogue comes across as a verbal dance of emotions, both articulated and repressed. Huppuch and Laurence are very good at what they do, and at times we feel for them as people whose lives were shattered...When She flies into a rage, the effect is withering."
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Blog Critics
November 16th, 2016

"This compelling play digs into the guts of a couple’s personal tragedy…Huppuch has an admirable capacity to reveal currents of feeling during the most restrained passages of dialogue, then to reach summits of emotion without ever going over their tops...Only in stretches of the last scene does the energy flag…Maas seems to direct with a light hand, allowing the actors to appear to truly live their story. It’s an impressive accomplishment all around."
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