Privacy NYC Reviews and Tickets

85%
(176 Reviews)
Positive
97%
Mixed
2%
Negative
1%
Members say
Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining, Absorbing

About the Show

Daniel Radcliffe stars in the Public Theater's high-tech London import about what our technological choices reveal about who we are and who's keeping track of it all.

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Member Reviews (176)

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85
Fun, Original, Creative, Interactive, Thought-provoking

See it if Very creative/well acted/well staged. Refreshing & fun. You like breaking of 4th wall. Very informative & thought-provoking.

Don't see it if It's more fun documentary than real theatrical story. Still very enjoyable. Act 2 could be shorter.Needs counterpoints to its ideas–preachy?

80
Fun, Engaging, Entertaining, Clever, Interesting

See it if You want a fun night out. It's super interesting and informative. Plays out more like a documentary with fun audience participation.

Don't see it if You dislike audience participation. The story isn't very strong but it's a fun and interesting show.

Critic Reviews (41)

The New York Times
July 18th, 2016

“Viewed as a play, it is neither as profound as it aspires to be nor even entirely cohesive. But it ingeniously recreates that most venerable of entertainments, the magic show, in a form ideally suited to the second decade of the 21st century...I’m making ‘Privacy’ sound creepier and more compelling than it ultimately is...The parts of the show I can’t talk about—the many audience participation sequences—are both its giddiest and most sobering."
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Time Out New York
July 18th, 2016

“A sardonic but disturbing survey of data mining and surveillance...The piece is a fresh and engaging mélange of verbatim interview text, geektastic research and romantic comedy...Radcliffe is more assured and funnier than ever, a bemused Everyman learning how to open up without losing his sense of identity. The supporting actors are marvelous.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
July 18th, 2016

“So specifically and solely a discussion of privacy in the age of smart phones that it barely functions as anything else...The saving grace of this production (directed wittily by Rourke) is that it remains entertaining even when merely massaging information most of us absorbed years ago...Tech tricks lend it an atmosphere of surprise that its content sorely lacks, and also a sense of urgency that it cannot otherwise gin up...Like a lot of documentary theater, its point-of-view is too diffuse.”
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The Hollywood Reporter
July 18th, 2016

“The play is ultimately more informational than successfully dramatic, often having the feel of an intricate, celebrity-studded TED Talk. But it nonetheless emerges as a dazzlingly inventive and entertaining theatrical exercise...Director Rourke keeps the production's complex technological balls up in the air with consummate skill, and the performers superbly rise to their many challenges. Radcliffe employs his natural charisma and likability to excellent effect.”
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Entertainment Weekly
July 18th, 2016

"Believability, or plot for that matter, is not Graham’s primary concern...For a play about connectivity, 'Privacy' feels weirdly disjointed. The facts, figures, and revelations behind 'Privacy' are rather riveting — in a lecture-y/symposium kind of way. It feels tailor-made for an audience at South by Southwest…But as a play? You could probably remove Radcliffe’s character and get the same effect. Without the bang-up ticket sales, of course."
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Variety
July 18th, 2016

"A mind-bending theatrical experience...Daniel Radcliffe, who’s made auspicious Broadway appearances, is enormously appealing as The Writer in this confounding play...Dratch is especially persuasive as the M.I.T. professor Sherry Turkle...Over the course of this ever-surprising play, the Writer keeps learning how the Internet overrides what he thinks of as free will...But in the end, he can’t answer the big question: Who owns your life?”
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New York Daily News
July 19th, 2016

“Whether it’s cameras monitoring our every move, online gizmos constantly gathering data, everyone is always connected and sharing— whether they want to or not. That’s pretty much the point...Most telling is when the audience gets walked through the 'privacy' button on their phones, which actually double as tracking devices...Judging by 'oohs' from me and my fellow audience members - that’s when ‘Privacy’ gets eye-opening.”
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AM New York
July 18th, 2016

"A freewheeling, overstuffed adventure saga where the lone individual confronts the wonders and terrors of current phone and computer technology...Whereas Radcliffe has taken on some very challenging roles on Broadway in recent years, his function here is far more passive...but he does show off his considerable comic abilities...‘Privacy’ is all over the place, but it makes its points about the utter lack of personal privacy in today’s day and age with clarity as well as shock value."
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NY1
July 27th, 2016

“Radcliffe turns in a fine performance, but the contrived plot is peripheral to the message…Writer James Graham collaborated with Josie Rourke on the multi-media production which comes off as an interactive tutorial in which audience members are encouraged to use their phones and the versatile cast gets to flex their improvisational muscles. More than a play, ‘Privacy’ is a cautionary tale, a most entertaining one that is as disturbing as it is enlightening.”
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Theatermania
July 18th, 2016

“Graham and Rourke's willingness to play with form to memorably convey content is enhanced by a cast that is more than game: Radcliffe embodies a character that is relatable and specific in his insecurities...Our desire for privacy has come in direct conflict with our narcissism. As Graham brutally shows, the latter seems to be winning at the moment.”
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BroadwayWorld
July 19th, 2016

"A cleverly done half-play, half-public service announcement…Daniel Radcliffe gives an extremely likable and empathetic performance as an introverted everyperson writer…The first half of the evening playfully demonstrates the multitude of ways our virtual identities are formed…But by the time Snowden appears describing a near future of lives being forcibly lived without secrets, we've been schooled in the multitude of ways our virtual identities can be used."
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Lighting & Sound America
July 25th, 2016

"Not so much a play as a documentary filtered through a series of comic sketches...The result is undeniably entertaining, often uproariously funny...Gifted with a sharp sense of humor, a gamely engaging star, a talented supporting cast, and light-fingered, fast-paced direction by Josie Rourke, 'Privacy' is undoubtedly going to entertain a great many people. Whether it will enlighten them is another matter...And, at two and a half hours, 'Privacy' makes its points exhaustively, and exhaustingly."
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TheaterScene.net
July 26th, 2016

“‘Privacy’ is entertaining, educational – and frightening. You probably were aware of the information gathering on the Internet and smart phones but you have never seen it demonstrated to this extent. The use of information gathered from the audience causes a great deal of laughter but by the end it is no laughing matter: identity theft and other criminal uses are fully explored. At the end of the evening, you may be inspired to never want to use your smart phone again.”
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Theater Pizzazz
July 18th, 2016

"The fun and games with audience participation are very well done, but a little less might be a little more. Radcliffe easily carries the show. He’s casually likable, which can also be said of the play itself. The cast is of a piece; everyone is in sync with Radcliffe and each other....If parts of 'Privacy' state the obvious, so what? It’s also an eye opener. And the obvious bears repeating anyway."
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CurtainUp
July 18th, 2016

“Radcliffe is the only cast member who plays just one role. He's a charmer, even though his character is an emotional basket case...Fast-paced, fun and provocative as all this is, the dating aspects of the production tend to come off as somewhat forced. Ultimately this is an overly ambitious attempt to tackle a big fat bundle of Internet-related problems. The jokey business used to tease the audience into more serious-minded reflection, somehow doesn't work as well as it should.”
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Front Row Center
July 19th, 2016

"'Privacy' could easily have been a lecture on the fact that there is no such thing anymore. That, however, while interesting, would not have reached in and touched us between the ears. Graham and Rourke have created what we used to call 'A Happening'…The twists and turns of this production–and the cast is superb in every way–catch us off-guard and profoundly shift our perception of our relationships to all the electronics to which we are devoted."
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Front Mezz Junkies
July 18th, 2016

“This review of the brave and talented Daniel Radcliffe starring in James Graham’s new play will be about as vague as can be, while still telling you about this funny and deeply disturbing look at our world...Fantastically directed by Josie Rourke...The cast is smart, funny, and totally on-point as they each inhabit numerous real and imaginary characters...Every one of these actors are a joy to behold.”
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C
July 22nd, 2016

“How fascinating you will find ‘Privacy’ - which I felt was sometimes engaging and largely tedious over its two-and-a-half hours - will depend on how little you knew before about how invasive technology can be, how dazzled you are by Rourke’s admittedly inventive staging, and how delighted you are just to be in the room with its star, Daniel Radcliffe...Graham’s germ of a story is, indeed, a good one, so it’s a shame he basically abandons any form of conventional dramatic storytelling.”
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DC Theatre Scene
July 18th, 2016

“If this sounds more like a TED talk than conventional theater, the impression is reinforced by there being little plot to speak of (or worth speaking of. There is a bullying director and a therapist and a long-lost love, all of it fairly perfunctory.) Still, the creative team works hard to keep us engaged, not just with the interactivity, but with Duncan McLean’s artful and useful projection design, and a kind of trickster theatricality.”
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The Wrap
July 18th, 2016

“Watching ‘Privacy’ is not unlike being on a cruise ship where the nightly entertainment alternates between mentalists and hypnotists…‘Privacy’ is a play that is conceived more than it is written. In the Playbill, Graham’s author credit is below the credit 'created by James Graham & Josie Rourke,' which is as it should be. Rourke also directs...In the excellent cast, Rachel Dratch and Reg Rogers are especially effective.”
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Cultural Weekly
July 27th, 2016

“Really an excuse for a combination debate on issues of privacy and demonstration of tech wizardry...The proceedings are more fun than frightening, even when things turn somewhat sinister as the information gathered from the audience gets twisted into anti-government evidence...‘Privacy’ raises numerous important issues about our media-crazed, totally public world but addresses them with parlor tricks rather than serious thought.”
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USA Today
July 18th, 2016

“The difference between privacy and secrecy is one of many topical questions raised in this imaginative and absorbing work of documentary theater...As for Radcliffe, his role here may not seem as flagrantly challenging as past Broadway ventures into musical theater, psychodrama and pitch-black comedy. But it reaffirms his great gift for ensemble acting. This star, for one, clearly thrives on working as part of a community - in the old-fashioned sense of the word.”
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Broadway & Me
August 6th, 2016

"Radcliffe is totally charming. Meanwhile, under Josie Rourke's inventive staging, old hands like Michael Countryman, Rachel Dratch and Reg Rogers deftly whirl though characters and accents faster than you can say WikiLeaks...Still, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was in a Media Studies class taught by a professor more eager to make his students like him than to teach them anything new...The show doesn't really have anything more to say than you've already known for a longtime."
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Newsday
July 18th, 2016

“The riveting unconventional comedy - part metadata high-tech primer, part futuristic horror show about the present, part audience participation event with the spirit of a hip magic show - made me more paranoid than I already am about the intimate reach of the digital revolution...Ultimately, the play’s end feels inconclusive. But given the seismic ongoing transformation of our idea of privacy, a tidy ending would have seemed false.”
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The Stage (UK)
July 18th, 2016

“Since it premiered in 2014, the issues raised by 'Privacy' have only increased in urgency and traction...Josie Rourke’s production has been comprehensively overhauled since its debut, with the narrative around the author's own journey through this data minefield more hauntingly personalised...Radcliffe acquits himself well...He emerges more fully formed than the rest of the versatile company, combining amiability, vulnerability and curiosity.”
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NorthJersey.com
July 19th, 2016

"Although there’s a wisp of a plot...'Privacy' isn’t a play. It’s sort of a dramatized, semi-documentary, presentation/lecture, with audience participation and some laughs...Radcliffe reveals an appealingly quick wit in the ad-libbing that’s a substantial part of the evening. Aside from its helter-skelter progression, the biggest problem for 'Privacy' is that it urgently tells us something we already know, or suspect."
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The Huffington Post
July 27th, 2016

“Starring Daniel Radcliffe, whose considerable talents are squandered in a production that’s long on information, but short on dramatic tension. Radcliffe plays a depressed writer searching for his authentic self. But in the digital world, does one actually exist?...Co-created by Josie Rourke and James Graham, the slick, fast-paced show is aided by Duncan McLean’s projection design and audience participation.”
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Financial Times (UK)
July 19th, 2016

"The point is to illustrate Edward Snowden’s critique of government surveillance and the whistleblower himself duly pops up in a video recording…'Privacy’s' hypothetical denouement turns out to be so far-fetched that I felt less convinced by Snowden’s case at the end of the play than I had been beforehand…Documentary theatre works best when grounded in hard facts. By resorting to overheated speculation, Graham weakens the argument at the heart of his play."
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WNBC
July 18th, 2016

“A disquieting comic-thriller...Radcliffe offers another in a line of effacing and affecting performances…Agreeable supporting performances are turned in by a cast in multiple roles...I’m not sure any of the revelations come as a jarring surprise, though they raise substantive issues in myriad original ways.”
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The Telegraph (UK)
July 19th, 2016

"Short of recruiting Julian Assange to tap-dance in a negligée, Josie Rourke could hardly have applied more headline-grabbing, head-turning panache to this new, souped-up, New York-friendly version of her and James Graham’s techno-savvy play…The evening remains a mass of fascinating material and ideas, with insufficient debate about the security value of governmental snooping. Yet it’s inventive, funny and abounds with memorable images."
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NJ.com
July 18th, 2016

“A great deal of earnest hand-wringing and some entertaining audience participation, but not much in the way of actual drama...Offers less of a story than a collection of sketches designed to illustrate its paranoid arguments...It is also worth noting that, in crafting this show, Rourke and Graham haven't done much to consider the opposing point of view - namely, that sacrificing a measure of collective privacy might yield possible benefit and create a safer society.”
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Village Voice
July 20th, 2016

"'Privacy' manages to be both hugely entertaining and somewhat glib. It's impossible to tune out from the event Graham and Rourke have orchestrated: Each fresh revelation of our private data works like a magic trick, eliciting shocked laughter and delighted gasps. But these digital sleights of hand can also obscure deeper discussion. The dichotomy suggested by The Writer's tale, which pits live intimacy against digital exposure, feels oversimplified."
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Reviewing The Drama
July 18th, 2016

“There's a lot of publicity surrounding the Public's production. Publicity is great, but the play's the thing and this play, written by Graham and directed by Rourke, is more like a theatricalized TED talk than a play. Plot or character motivation is used as a device to explore and demonstrate how little privacy we have...Kudos to the ensemble, who (except for Radcliffe) play dozens of characters.”
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Theatre Reviews by John Clum
August 1st, 2016

“The originality of this show is in its engagement with the audience. It's very much an audience participation show...Daniel Radcliffe is his usual charming self onstage and he is surrounded by an excellent ensemble including Rachel Dratch of 'Saturday Night Live' fame. The show is fun, challenging, frightening at times. It does overstay its welcome a bit. An intermission-less 90 minutes would have been enough.”
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Times Square Chronicles
July 28th, 2016

"It conflates exposé documentary, audience participation event and personal rumination to generally good effect, though for a script with precious little-long game dramatic tension, it goes on way too long…The high-tech aspects, staging and pacing are very well managed by director Josie Rourke, and it’s fun until it wears out its welcome. As to when that happens? It depends on how soon you start thinking, 'Jeez, all right, I get the point.' Your mileage may vary."
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The Guardian (UK)
July 18th, 2016

“A piece of docu-theatre that combines actual interviews with straightforward drama and a hugely innovative set of interactions with the audience...'Privacy' debuted at the Donmar two years ago and despite some fresh gags about Brexit, it also occasionally looks its age...At its worst, the play can feel like a primer for an 80-year-old...In what is, for the most part, a funny, smart, analytical play, the end is profoundly moving and even shocking.”
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B
July 17th, 2016

"The play is an informative essay on the uses and abuses of cyber-surveillance, wrapped in the tale of an emotionally closed British writer who moves to New York. The admirable Daniel Radcliffe plays the writer. The other actors skillfully play a multitude of roles...Occasionally the informative and entertainment elements of the play get in each other’s way. At other times the material threatens to become repetitive. Nevertheless, it makes for a most unusual theatrical experience."
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Variety
April 23rd, 2014
For a previous production

"Rourke’s superbly paced production and Graham’s dancing wit keep audiences riveted to a provocative exploration of everyday technology that we take for granted. Theirs is a killer combo, creating a theatrically sophisticated and unusually inclusive approach to deeply researched, sharply structured material that’s as fascinating as it is unnerving…Graham is far too smart to posit easy answers but the questions he asks are startlingly acute and urgent."
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Time Out London
April 23rd, 2014
For a previous production

"From a strict dramatic perspective there are many flaws with ‘Privacy’: the central 'plot' loses steam after a while, and the character of The Writer rings increasingly less true...'Privacy,' though, is an absolute blast. Directed at a gleefully lightning pace, it makes a virtue of the usual failings of the oft-dry medium of verbatim theatre, with notes of farce as the six strong cast shift from character to character and indulge in some supremely tongue-in-cheek audience interaction.'
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The Huffington Post
April 24th, 2014
For a previous production

"'Privacy' is a really sharp, relevant play that looks at the frightening impact of mass surveillance…In this dramatic, electrifying play, we are invited - no, demanded - to face up to the impact of this surveillance on our lives…There’s not much of an actual story to speak of in 'Privacy' - more a fascinating dramatized lecture. Nevertheless I thought it was a really well-written, dynamically produced piece of theatre that held my attention…The play is superbly directed by Josie Rourke."
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The Telegraph (UK)
April 22nd, 2014
For a previous production

"Though the play addresses serious and urgent themes it is often highly entertaining too…There is also an extraordinary piece of audience participation about which I’m sworn to secrecy…The great surprise about 'Privacy' is that despite its weighty subject matter Rourke’s production contrives to be consistently light on its feet, and is by turn funny, touching and downright scary."
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