Soho Rep presents a series of provocations that overlap, intersect, and explode to create a theatrical and irreverent play about how we talk to—and about—each other. More…
How do you love, learn, work, mate, marry, watch, shop, listen, win, dress, think, feel, fight, eat, take, beg, birth, give, weigh, serve, scream, write, die, play, walk, worry, laugh, share, sleep, lose, dance, piss, age, bleed, bake, yell? And how do you talk about it? Alice Birch's new play, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz, explores it all.
"'Revolt' is this master culmination of every single female voice and the strides they’ve made in the theatre...What an amazing fit director Cruz was to Birch’s words. She mastered the simplicity and stark, alienating tone of the first half, and the gutting, explosive second half...You must (must must) go see for yourself. It is certainly the diadem on the crown of feminist theatre. You’ll be thinking about this one for years to come." Full Review
"The author's steady, unforgiving gaze, her ruthless way with clichés, and her radar-like ability to unearth buried notions about class and prejudice command one's attention, with alternately hilarious and horrifying results...All four performers, under the superbly controlled direction of Lileana Blain-Cruz, repeatedly deliver...Such fierce originality is exhilarating. This may be the most audacious debut by a British playwright in New York since Caryl Churchill." Full Review
"Exhilarating and exhausting...I urge you, nay require you to see 'Revolt.' to witness the final sequence of the play that will not soon leave you and may, instead, leave you speechless and stumbling for words…Lileana Blain-Cruz leads an expert cast of four—Daniel Abeles, Molly Bernard, Eboni Booth, and Jennifer Ikeda—through a series of scenes with naturalistic ease…This latest Soho Rep concoction is an important one…Get yourself down here." Full Review
"It's funny, a bit mysterious, and filled with verbal surprises...Birch has a distinctive theatrical voice, blunt but humorous. At times, her colorful dialogue calls to mind some of the work of Caryl Churchill, but nothing in 'Revolt' is derivative. As performed by four engaging actors, 'Revolt' is a roller-coaster 65-minutes of theater. Blain-Cruz keeps the actors moving at a compelling pace; and, under her guidance, they operate like a well-calibrated Rube Goldberg contraption. " Full Review
"It’s street-smart, brash and brazen, talks fast and demands you keep up with it...The episodes begin to bleed into one another, and Birch’s play, astoundingly, evolves at the midway point past its own initial premise into something stranger and more daring...Director Lileana Blain-Cruz wisely keeps the focus on Birch’s dense language...The cast members are giving some of the most impressive, ego- and vanity-free performances on the New York stage right now." Full Review
"Birch’s plotless, semi-absurdist material takes an angry feminist ax to many issues, often hilariously, but as the play progresses, its tone increasingly darkens...Feminists will love this stuff and others will want to argue with it, but it will certainly make people talk...And, since it’s staged by Blain-Cruz with such fiery intelligence and given such sterling performances by Abeles, Bernard, Eboni Booth, and Jennifer Ikeda, it's unlikely anyone will be unimpressed by its theatrical power." Full Review
"Alice Birch’s implosive play about the conundrums of being female in the 21st century...The ferocious energy that courses through this short, sharp shock of a production might be characterized as, well, kind of beautiful...Directed at the pace of a speeding cannon ball by Lileana Blain-Cruz...With a cast that revels in acting up and acting out, Ms. Birch’s work finds the theatrical exhilaration in civil disobedience." Full Review
"Hilariously spot-on about the ways in which men and women talk to one another…There are one or two other in-your-face elements in 'Revolt' that are less shocking than annoying after several decades of deployment. But the 29-year-old British playwright establishes her exquisite ear and her distinctive voice from the very first scene…In all of the vignettes, we don’t learn exactly what’s going on at first; in the best of them, the language keeps us engaged and the unfolding satisfies." Full Review
"'Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.' brings to mind the anarchic works of such predecessors as Sarah Kane ('Blasted'), or Jean-Claude van Itallie ('America Hurrah')...But Alice Birch, still in her 20s, offers an original and significant voice, and director Lileana Blain-Cruz and the fine cast at Soho Rep are giving that voice a chance to be heard in this all-out presentation of the play's U. S premiere." Full Review
"An invigorating production…As Birch digs more deeply into the archaeology of gender, our civilization appears corrupted at the root. Her central question grows increasingly urgent: How can we imagine a new world free from the vestiges of ancient oppression?…For Birch every document of our civilization is a document of barbarity. If only we could start again. But with Birch's dauntless vision as exemplar, we can try — in our imaginations, at least." Full Review
“An uncomfortable, infuriating and brilliant indictment of a patriarchal world...As led by director Lileana Blain-Cruz, the four-person cast is fearless, willing to embody the spectrum of emotion and physical surreality the play demands. Their commitment makes the more uncomfortable parts of the play hard to watch--but also impossible to turn away from...A jarring vision, but for those who live with the rising frustration of gender inequality, it's one that you may find a sense of peace in.” Full Review
“A puckish, yet deadly serious meditation on how language molds our experience of sex and gender...'Revolt' has the subversive and poetic desire to unmake itself before our eyes...Directed with anarchic gusto by Lileana Blain-Cruz...‘Revolt’s’ crescendo of demented femininity ends in a tremendous explosion, replete with epileptically flashing lights and smoke flowing into the audience.” Full Review
"The intriguing 'Revolt' aspect is that no matter how puzzling the exchanges are, only infrequently do they baffle or alienate the spectator. No less than a triumph of Birch’s will, the accomplishment is also due to director Blain-Cruz and the actors, all of them young and all of their consummately adroit...If patrons run into trouble following the expressed thoughts precisely, the underlying message of conflicting generational attitude is clear." Full Review
"Alice Birch’s angry flaying of the status quo, staged as a series of funny and horrifying vignettes. 'Revolt' comes in at 65 minutes, a perfect length. An hour and a half would seem conventional; two hours would grow unbearable. The linguistic and visual density that Birch and director Lileana Blain-Cruz achieve leaves you emotionally winded yet still engaged...If you peg 'Revolt' as a tidy, Caryl Churchill–esque feminist revue, wait and see how it takes arms against form itself." Full Review
"Some of the scenes are hilarious, others shocking, others scattershot…While many of the scenes are right on target, others seem too metaphoric and anarchic to make much impression, while others take on too many targets to make their point...'Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again' is challenging theater which doesn’t always land where it wants. However, Alice Birch is definitely a unique new voice in the theater and someone to watch closely in the future." Full Review
"While Daniel Abeles, Molly Bernard, Eboni Booth and Jennifer Ikeda are serviceable in their roles, their quartet feels too tidy to hit the high notes of Birch’s full-throttled scream of anger. As invigorating as Birch’s writing can be as she calls out behavior and language we are accustomed to taking for granted, 'Revolt‘s' extremes leave us at an impasse that we understand to be deliberate, but which is no less frustrating." Full Review
"She had me almost all the way through, did Ms. Alice Birch. Her play is a hot mess of slivers of relationships that rumble through our visual field like ball bearings in a blazing skillet...In the script notes Birch states: "Most importantly this play should not be well behaved." This cast follows these instructions and is guided very well indeed by Lileana Blain-Cruz’s direction...In the final, cruel scene, Ms. Birch chucks us all off the apple cart...It felt like a body tackle." Full Review
"You don’t see many plays like Birch’s anywhere in NYC...But, under Lileana Blain-Cruz’s direction, the other scenes feel hectoring and disjointed. Neither Abeles, nor co-performers Eboni Booth and Jennifer Ikeda can match Bernard’s stage presence and they seem a little lost as Birch’s writing leads them into ever stranger places...All this comes close to being total drivel...But Birch delivers a welcome burst of avant-garde energy, even if her talents could do with a little more discipline." Full Review
"Birch’s first few vignettes are inventive, fast-paced, and deliciously funny...The play takes an uncomfortable and ultimately unsuccessful turn during a scene about motherhood that turns into a bloodbath of self-mutilation, and there it starts to lose us...We’re left with a final image seemingly pulled straight from a Taylor Swift music video that feels forced and confusing rather than empowering, leaving us with the dated and infuriating idea that feminists are trying to eradicate men." Full Review
"A caffeinated and confrontational production…With its shocking tableaux, pithy false epiphanies, and pulsating scene transitions, 'Revolt' feels like an extended version of that 'Saturday Night Live' sketch about the theater troupe of socially conscious teens. In truth, Birch's writing is a lot funnier than anything you'll hear on 'SNL'…All of the performers do a fine job with this difficult work...'Revolt' is an orgy of revolutionary thought, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Full Review
See it if not if but when! To me this is what theater is about, making you think, laugh, cry, question.
Don't see it if you're a chauvinist? Wait no, then it's even more important that you see it!
See it if a whip-smart, playful, and ferocious play with trenchant and vital questions about patriarchy, revolution, womanhood, and cruelty. Electric.
Don't see it if you're looking for something less provocative and theatrical.
See it if Bring your smartest, woke-est friends to this. You're gonna want to unpack it afterwards. Cool design, committed performances, vital ideas.
Don't see it if Like it or not, the oppression of women is at the core of how we think speak and behave. How do we acknowledge & move beyond this?
See it if you enjoy experimental theatre that makes you more self-critical, you like confronting "real life" with edginess and wit
Don't see it if you want to sit comfortably and mindlessly, you don't like subtle jokes, you don't like absurd and gory imagery
See it if You like far- out performance art, clever use of language and like being surprised at every turn. Very downtown vibe !
Don't see it if You are offended by raw language and any depiction of violence. You want to see a well structured play. This is performance art. Shocking !
See it if You are a feminist, if you're willing to be challenged and made uncomfortable, if you are open minded. Great work by a promising playwright.
Don't see it if You want a fun night of entertainment, also don't bring kids. Also SoHo rep is not exactly handicap-accessible.
See it if you're game for unpredictable jolts of non-narrative/post-dramatic theatre; if you wanna see really good actors dig in to complex material
Don't see it if you need a clear story; if you like a play to set its own rules & then follow them; if you prefer to "understand" what's happening on stage
See it if You're in for a wild, crazy, & thought-provoking night of theatre. Breaking down feminism has never been so exciting, hilarious & scary! <3
Don't see it if you're a pig-headed misogynist? I kid. If you are though - SEE IT. But if you want a linear, plot-driven play, this is not the one for you.
See it if You're into fast-paced smart verbal combat where failure to empathize and communicate is foregrounded and no happy ending is offered.
Don't see it if You need formal plot structure, a long running time for your money, or detest that stage haze or a touch of pretentiousness.
See it if You like well-acted, well-staged, non-traditional plays about language and feminist/humanist ideas.
Don't see it if You prefer traditionally structured plays with set characters and a plot and prefer a story that gets neatly tied up by the end.
See it if you are ready to confront issues (mainly feminism) and theatrical devices that are way outside the box; you appreciate smart, edgy theatre.
Don't see it if you can't handle provocation, confrontation, uncomfortable subject matter or explicit sexual language. (All presented with a sense of humor)
See it if you appreciate straight forward thought that bounces off the walls and around the room and hits you over and over. Aha. She said. Aha again.
Don't see it if you can't deal with shame, find no humor in this world, or if you just don't like to think.
See it if you're passionate about feminism and want to see exciting and ambitious new writing
Don't see it if you can't handle extremely loud music, strobe lights, or blood/vomit on stage.
See it if you like to challenge yourself with edgy theatre, you love language, & you love women even when they speak, even if they speak their minds.
Don't see it if smoke and claustrophobia happen 4u, bright lights and loud sounds freak u out, u need everything explained, u want easy laughs -- uwork4this
See it if you like opinionated female playwrights & don't mind their point to be presented more than a bit in-your-face. Also, if you like stage blood
Don't see it if you think that argument presented without going overboard is much more compelling. Also, if diappointing misuse of good ideas annoys you.
See it if you are okay with seeing something start out promisingly but end up in a cliched, confusing dystopian vision.
Don't see it if you are put off by mediocre acting (by some of the cast) and by confusing, theme driven staging.
See it if You're a woman, care about women, love a woman, or know a woman.
Don't see it if You have no interest in the female experience or female equality. Actually... you're the ones who probably should see it the most...
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