Quietly
Closed 1h 15m
Quietly
81

Quietly NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(56 Reviews)
Positive
89%
Mixed
9%
Negative
2%
Members say
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the Show

Irish Repertory Theatre presents Owen McCafferty's new drama about what occurred in a particular bar in 1974, and what happened in Northern Ireland from the 1960s to the '90s. Part of Origin’s 1st Irish Festival.

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Member Reviews (56)

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75
Ambitious, Relevant, Slow, Intelligent, Well acted

See it if you enjoy "quietly" learning about political conflict and its human toll. Q illuminates No. Ireland's past and brings the story up to date.

Don't see it if you need action; this displays the Irish gift of the gab. Exposition gets tedious; accents are heavy. Strong acting helps. Don't go thirsty.

85
Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if You want some serious drama about a serious topic. You're willing to take a close look at violent acts and their aftermath.

Don't see it if You want a lighter experience.

Critic Reviews (32)

The New York Times
July 28th, 2016

“It is difficult to imagine a piece of theater more perfectly suited to our jittery, antagonistic American moment than ‘Quietly,’ Owen McCafferty’s rage-filled, wounded, mournful play about terrorism, civil war and the damage that remains after the hatred cools. Directed by Jimmy Fay, this delicately acted production arrives on the stage like Dickens’s ghost of Jacob Marley, dragging the chains of sins committed long ago.”
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Time Out New York
July 28th, 2016

“The play unfolds in real time with the tension and urgency of Greek tragedy...O’Kane is harrowingly good, a bullet-headed knot of anger and bilious rue. Conlon’s stoical Ian is more contained, until he’s provoked past the paralysis of his guilt. And Zawadzki maintains a fine balance between the two, a gently comical observer, the bemused outsider. Jimmy Fay’s direction is rock solid and the terse, lean play grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go.”
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Theatermania
July 28th, 2016

“McCafferty unpacks their story in that most Irish of fashions: extended monologues recounting painful memories. Luckily, the three actors in this cast are particularly good at painting vivid pictures with their tongues...Director Jimmy Fay endows this production with plenty of deafening silences as the three men stare up at the TV screen. The air is charged with electricity...Maintaining a vague air of menace and intrigue, ‘Quietly’ never allows us to settle into a false sense of security.”
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Lighting & Sound America
July 29th, 2016

"A taut, intensely focused piece…Under Jimmy Fay's tense, highly observant direction, Conlon and O'Kane offer stunning performances...'Quietly' is only too relevant in this summer of terror; all the more valuable, then, is its eloquent argument that violence solves nothing, instead causing lasting harm to everyone whom it touches. At the performance I attended, it was received with the kind of rapt silence that occurs only when an audience is truly listening, hanging on every word."
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Talkin' Broadway
July 28th, 2016

“This is a bracing gut-punch of an evening that hits all the buttons you need but never quite goes where you expect it to...Fay's direction highlights this in its subdued tension, which is always roiling away just beneath the surface. O'Kane and Conlon make superb foils for each other...O'Kane is violently energetic, Conlon looks burned out from the eyes downward, and it's impossible to say who is scarier...'Quietly' rings out loud and clear.”
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TheaterScene.net
July 29th, 2016

"Both of the lead characters have such striking similarities that at times they come across as mouthpieces academically articulating 'The Troubles'...The production has accomplished actors in it that elevate the script...Fay has staged this small-scale work that’s essentially a series of interactive monologues with technical flair...'Quietly' is a theater piece that’s well rendered but is characterized by being overly schematic and doesn’t quite soar to the profound heights it aspires to."
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Theater Pizzazz
July 28th, 2016

"You could hear the proverbial pin drop in the hushed silence of the theater, as the two men spoke their truths, sometimes quietly, other times harshly and, hard to believe, eventually in a somewhat reconciliatory manner so that a level of understanding could be reached. McCafferty’s writing precisely controls the pace and emotional bits and pieces of the grief that each has lived with all these years...The threesome is brilliant as directed by Jimmy Fay."
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CurtainUp
July 28th, 2016

“Director Jimmy Fay complements the intense slow-burning dramatics with unhurried skill. But he also doesn't soft pedal one character's stunning bursts of brutal physicality...At its best, ‘Quietly’ is an impassioned play filled with gritty unpretentious dialogue. And the three terrific actors are splendidly recreating the vivid characters...It is a chilling reminder of how the climate of racism and intolerance and the threat of a terrorist attack has not significantly changed over the years.”
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Front Row Center
August 5th, 2016

"This is a story of great magnitude…The text of this story, however, does not measure up to the task. The dialogue between these two men lacks credulity. Two enemies don’t pour out their hearts within 15 minutes of meeting. Plain and simple. This is a tale that begs for twists and switchback turns…As a play, it lacked the passion of the reality on which it focused. The direction and performances did little to raise the bar. Still, it got me thinking."
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Stage Buddy
August 2nd, 2016

"What follows, anger and poignancy, acrimony and assent, exists equally in electrified silences and fraught discourse...Under Jimmy Fay’s assertive direction, it is the silences that offer a wider gap for us to step into, observe and absorb. 'Quietly' is a thrilling, moving and prompt reminder of the consequences of conflict on ordinary citizens from the ground up; highly recommended."
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Exeunt Magazine
August 2nd, 2016

"A powerful drama that extends beyond Protestants and Catholics and into questions of how violence and hate can wound and scar people...McCafferty offers no easy answers or moralizing. His characters are complex and imperfect...I saw this production three years ago and even knowing the story I found myself still in awe of the craftsmanship of the play and the intensity of the performances. Sadly, the message about the violent damage we do to each other remains just as timely."
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T
July 28th, 2016

"McCafferty skillfully gives his characters a treasure trove of figurative language and compelling imagery...O’Kane and Conlon deliver coercive performances...They build their characters with as much depth as they can and do that with honesty. One wishes the playwright had found a way to give his characters even more depth and roundness...Fay’s direction leaves more space between words than necessary...The importance of 'Quietly' is it in its relevance to the current socio-political climate."
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New York Theater
August 8th, 2016

“Feels deliberately slow moving, the latter half consumed with what are essentially monologues that in the wrong hands could come off as stagey...But, under director Jimmy Fay, the actors make it credible – O’Kane, as ferocious, lean and scarred as a boxer; Conlan, defensive, in denial, and scarred; Zawadzki like a stand-in for the world, observing it all indifferently. The performances, and the specificity of the two men’s lives, help drive home the many lessons of violence.”
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Broadway Blog
August 15th, 2016

"McCafferty’s writing is completely natural, but even with a brief 75-minute running time, it takes a while to pick up steam...'Quietly' takes us to a place where every politician needs to go. McCafferty’s piece is not about proving who is wrong or right. It is entirely about understanding and forgiveness...Offering a testament to the power of grace, 'Quietly' is the type of theater that will stick with you long after the curtain falls."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
August 25th, 2016

“‘Quietly’ is emotionally rich and beautifully acted, with thick Irish brogues, under Fay’s carefully orchestrated direction, but, even at little more than an hour in length, its drama and surprises begin to dissipate. The concept is stimulating but in practice is hard to sustain. Still, one wonders, what would a play be like about a present-day terrorist seeking reconciliation with a victim 35 years from now? If they keep killing themselves, though, there’s no way we’ll ever know.”
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The Huffington Post
July 28th, 2016

"'Quietly' is worth seeing—it absolutely is...The suspense and appeal lie in the adversaries’ give-and-take as they attempt to come to terms with their shared goal…Riveting as 'Quietly' is—the title appropriately indicates the tenor of the protagonists’ quarrel—it’s more like an appetizer than an entree. In the old days, it would have served as a strong curtain-raiser for the main event. Consequently, as they’re exiting, audiences may feel they’re hungry for more."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
July 29th, 2016

"By the end of this drama, emotions will have exploded against a backstory of Irish history, deftly revealed under the intense direction by Jimmy Fay…The skill of the writing, the acting and the directing combine to mesmerize the audience...By the end, one is ready to applaud what has emerged as a riveting theater experience and food for thought about past events that may remind one of unrelated happenings going on now elsewhere in the world."
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W
August 5th, 2016

"McCafferty’s slight play addresses the ease with which disaffected youth is enlisted in terrorist organizations. And one of that commitment’s personal tolls. Tension is ably sustained between explosive outbursts, but Ian’s lack of communication leaves us with only one side of the story. Acting is solid with caveats. I found gestures like Conlon’s holding his elbow with his hand at his chin less than believable as wary agitation and O’Kane’s yelling somewhat one-note."
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Theater In The Now
July 31st, 2016

“Both Conlon and O’Kane tapped into the emotional core to pull out raw and gritty performances...But when it came to Robert Zawadzki, he was relegated to being a prop...If you can get past the slug-like pacing and are intrigued by how history informs the future, ‘Quietly’ is for you. It’s a well thought out production but for those who like action, you will be bored...But you have to respect the production because it knows what it is.”
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Broadway & Me
August 20th, 2016

"The actors' accents are so authentic that it took a good 20 minutes for my ears to adjust...Each word said really matters because playwright McCafferty is probing the lingering damage that such conflicts inflict on all sides. Jimmy and Ian are given equal time to expose their wounds and, under Jimmy Fay's taut direction, the actors playing them are terrific...But there's such a static quality to the back and forth in 'Quietly' that I couldn't help wishing that it had made a little more noise."
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BlogCritics.org
July 29th, 2016

"'Quietly,' Owen McCafferty’s profound and understated work directed by Jimmy Fay, is about reconciliation and redemption...In this haunting play, McCafferty distills today’s themes that appear ever present and global about hatred, ongoing revenge, and youthful violence…The production’s theatrical elements (staging, lighting, sound, costume design, etc.), adhere beautifully. The talented director and cast create a provocative, thought-provoking show."
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Financial Times (UK)
August 1st, 2016

"Declan Conlon brings those ancient hatreds to chilling life...The perpetually seething O’Kane doesn’t convey the same psychological complexity but is nonetheless convincing as a man whose life has been ruined by violence...They offer a thoughtful portrayal of the bloody ghosts that still haunt Belfast...But, under Jimmy Fay’s direction, 'Quietly' too often consists of Ian and Jimmy hurling over-scripted speeches at each other...The overall effect is unbalanced and stagy."
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Off Off Online
August 1st, 2016

"Irish Rep is doing a service by introducing the playwright, even if the work at hand has its drawbacks. The acting isn’t one of them...Fay punctuates the dialogue with long, awkward silences that thicken the atmosphere with tension. Still, it’s hard not to feel that the story may carry more weight for McCafferty and an Irish audience…There’s a whiff of unearned optimism in the ability of these men to abandon revenge in lieu of understanding."
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Epoch Times
August 13th, 2016

"The performances are excellent. O’Kane shows inner rage that inexorably links him to the bombing that’s still fresh in his mind...Conlon, meanwhile, perfectly embodies a man both terminally tired and guarded...Both intriguing and involving, 'Quietly' shows both how people can change over the course of time and how, yet, in some ways they don’t really change at all."
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TheaterScene.com
July 30th, 2016

"Pllaywright Owen McCafferty has burrowed into the throbbing bog of living with Belfast’s religious torn past...The cast is practically perfection. Patrick O’Kane as Jimmy deserves all the accolades he’s garnered...I have never seen him better. Declan Conlon’s genuineness is the rock all three actors build on. Without his honesty there’s only chaos…Director Jimmy Fay has handled his company so expertly it’s as if it all had to happen before us the way it does, a superb job."
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Times Square Chronicles
July 28th, 2016

"Under Jimmy Fay’s appropriately invisible direction, the trio of actors do a fine job...But in the line of storytelling, some cultures may need a bit more to make a play along these lines worthwhile…Mr. McCafferty’s play takes us nowhere we don’t expect it to. It has no revelations, no particular surprises. In a way it’s pub therapy...It starts out angry, it becomes tolerant...A rough rapprochement is reached...We’re left with the sense of a case history ritual having been played out."
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The Telegraph (UK)
August 3rd, 2013
For a previous production

"An inspired import…Impeccably directed by Jimmy Fay – albeit skirting too close to inaudibility – the piece packs sweeping questions about forgiveness and accountability into a tightly plotted encounter. Hypnotically watchable, O’Kane’s Jimmy convinces as a natural hard-nut made harder still by teenage trauma...When they revisit that day of carnage step by step, you listen, riveted. When they simply stand and regard each other, you could hear a pin drop."
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The London Evening Standard
June 2nd, 2014
For a previous production

"Sometimes it's the quietest pieces of theatre that make the greatest impact…A city’s legacy of hate, and possibility redemption, is distilled into this single encounter...McCafferty’s skill is to ground this edgy dialogue-across-the-divide in wonderfully plausible everyday mundanity. There’s a superbly triangulated relationship between Jimmy, Ian and Robert the Polish barman...Jimmy Fay’s production has a remarkable stillness to it."
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Financial Times (UK)
May 31st, 2014
For a previous production

"McCafferty draws decades of entrenched loathing and anguish into this modest room. And the three performances are painfully good. Patrick O’Kane is riveting as Jimmy...Declan Conlon matches him, bringing to Ian the leaden tread and watchfulness of a man who has spent his life carrying a burden of guilt and resentmen. Robert Zawadzki watches on, his body language delicately suggesting the changing mood in the room...Quietly excellent drama."
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The Guardian (UK)
November 28th, 2012
For a previous production

"An atmosphere of acute tension, carefully sustained by director Jimmy Fay…All three performances are gripping and nuanced. But Patrick O'Kane is extraordinary: with the drawn features of an insomniac, he looks like a man whose past is burning from inside. On paper, it sounds schematic, even contrived. But McCafferty skilfully avoids sensationalism or a simplistic resolution."
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T
May 30th, 2014
For a previous production

"O’Kane gives an outstanding performance as Jimmy…Conlon is equally strong…They both portray the extremely troubled men perfectly and take their time to tell their stories, using elongated silences expertly to build the tension and suspense in the room…The play commands the audience’s attention and is absolutely captivating from beginning to end. It is a magnificent piece of theatre; understated and totally brilliant. It is definitely one to see."
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Belfast Times (UK)
April 9th, 2014
For a previous production

"A very powerful one-act play. We the audience were leaning forward on our seats as we were drawn into the horror of the story...The language is pure Belfast and strong to put it mildly…The writing, the acting, the staging are all excellent but the direction by Jimmy Fay is worthy of mention as the pace of this piece of theatre is very sensitive, not rushed and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats."
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