Already closed | 2h 30m | Midtown W

Romulus the Great

From 26 member  reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Slow, Ambitious, Entertaining, Quirky

About the show

A historical comedy without historic basis, Friedrich Dürrenmatt's absurdist re-imagining of Romulus the Great sees the Roman emperor choose not to be 'great' at all. More…

Facing the increasing peril of the Germanic invasion and the demise of the Empire, Romulus prefers to stay at home breeding chickens. Is his refusal of responsibility to govern stupidity? Or does he have other plans?

2h 30m | Already closed | TBG Mainstage Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (26)


Disappointing, Slow, Ambitious, Entertaining, Quirky
Avg Score

Well designed, Smart, Absurd, Political, Philosophical

See it if you have an interest in Theater of the Absurd, Brecht’s descendants, philosophical theater, parables of power or the postwar European psyche

Don't see it if you have no taste for theater that is not a naturalistic story.

Also As I’ve written before, I have great respect for the small theater com... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Dated, Great staging, Relevant, Slow

See it if You want a non-historical, satire of old politics that's relevant to new politics. You want to see a rarely-seen classical play.

Don't see it if You prefer contemporary political satire. You want a revised classical play. You want an equally trained classical cast-some good, some not.

Also Patience pays off. While it gets off to a slow start & opens with the ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Clever, Funny, Absorbing, Great staging

See it if It's funny at times. I mean if you're interested in the time. But you don't really have to even like the time to see this.

Don't see it if Well it's kind of long and if you really hate this time

Also You have a 10-minute intermission is general admission so you can sit ... Read more Read less

History satire based on classic play

See it if Large cast in wonderful costumes romps through the late Roman Empire. Adaptation of a German play that reads like a Shaw history play.

Don't see it if over-acting bothers you, but it's part of the satire. Some of the script is repetitive. The Emperor's fondness for chickens is priceless.

Amateurish, Uneven acting, Disappointing, Slow, Quirky

See it if you're interested in historical shows treated in a farcical manner. This show admittedly plays fast & loose with the truth.

Don't see it if you have little patience with amateurish attempts at humor.

Also During one long scene,half of the fake mustache of one of the actors k... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Excruciating, Amateur

See it if you want to see how a great satire can fall apart in the wrong hands. The director and cast do not understand this art form.

Don't see it if you expecting to see one of Durrenmatt's great plays well done.

Hilarious, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Resonant

See it if you like Monte Python genre political satire and understand parallel to current political events, English spoken rapidly, and Roman history.

Don't see it if you cannot sit for 2 hrs. with 1 interval, do not understand English spoken rapidly or political satire, or prefer musicals to comedy/drama.

Also If you see the show, please let us know if you agree with my suggestio... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Cliched, Indulgent, Quirky, Slow

See it if you want to take the opportunity to see a performance of one of Durrenmatt's most famous plays.

Don't see it if you can't put up with actors who rush through their lines, failing to enunciate clearly; don't like "camped up" versions of classics.

Also The first act was really pretty awful. The staging was "over the top" ... Read more Read less

Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Dull, Sophomoric

See it if You can put up with something that feels like it came out of a freshman drama class.

Don't see it if You want cohesive story, good acting, or a point to it all.

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid

See it if You have a very high tolerance for ham acting, ludicrous costumes, awkward staging, and endless boring dialogue.

Don't see it if You were hoping to see a clever and witty updating of a classic old play. You will be disappointed.

Wildly uneven production of early durrenmatt parable, Note: not a barrow group production; showcase by yangtze rep theatre, Occasional flashes of wit; misguided direction

See it if you want to see a rarely produced (with good reason) faux-Roman history featuring emperor who is quite willing to let the realm fall apart

Don't see it if you can't indulge amateurish performances alongside more polished ones; can't overlook muddled directorial approach to tone & content

Also The postwar politics of Dürrenmatt's 1949 parable may indeed have some... Read more Read less

Muddled, Disappointing, Creaky, Long-winded, Slow

See it if you're scouting for set designers. Chika Shimizu's savvy single set is playful, inventive, handsome, and economical.

Don't see it if this will be the first play you ever see of Friedrich Durrenmatt. This is not the playwright's strongest work.

Ambitious, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if you enjoy solid set design.

Don't see it if you’re expecting a cohesive piece and translation.

Slow, Disappointing, Banal

See it if you want to support a small company that is trying new things

Don't see it if you want to see a clever fast paced relevant play

Entertaining, Intelligent, Funny, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you relish intelligent tragicomedies inspired by historical events that, under cover of satire, transmit a profound message.

Don't see it if if plays that straddle the satirical and philosophical realms by using characters from Roman antiquity would not appeal to you.

Great staging, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if like wonderful sets, good staging, shallow Chinese style comic opera like performance, and slap stick

Don't see it if enjoy good comedy drawn on historic events, good engaging stylized comedy performances.

Also The space was wonderfully designed and the theater was a lovely space.... Read more Read less

Quirky, Slow, Thought-provoking, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy the drawn out lead up to a punchline and an intense enndig.

Don't see it if You are not ready to sit through the slower first act and to enjoy the build up to the 'punchline'.

Also It started out as somewhat dull and funny aand turned into dramatic an... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Ambitious

See it if It’s ambitious, I’ll say that. Tries to make a fascinating period of history relevant.

Don't see it if It tries for comedy but seems nonsensical and farcical. It’s campy.

Quirky, Mildly amusing, original

See it if Inventive staging and costumes. Somewhat amusing and original.

Don't see it if Heavy on dialog, and some of the cast rushed through the dialog and did not enunciate clearly.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great writing, Intelligent, Clever

See it if you are interested in Roman history that is heightened, exaggerated and presented as farce. Broadway quality set and design.

Don't see it if you have no interest in history or works by the great Swiss author, Friedrich Dürrenmatt and if you don't want to laugh at the absurdity.

Disappointing, Confusing, Slow

See it if you want to see a fun set design.

Don't see it if you don't like historic comedy.

Clever, Entertaining, Semi professional,

See it if You want to support an enthusiastic company in a clever show with good sets in a small comfortable theater .

Don't see it if You have no patience with a semi professional performance.

Clever, Great staging, Entertaining, Confusing, Slow

See it if You want to see talented actors in beautiful costumes on a gorgeous set playing with a “historical” dramedy.

Don't see it if You don’t like classical text or having to think too much to keep up with the plot.

Thought-provoking, Confusing, Great acting

See it if lots of very strong performances.

Don't see it if you prefer musicals of fluff.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Delightful, Funny, Uneven

See it if you enjoy theatre that speaks to our current political climate, terrific performances, above average production values.

Don't see it if you are easily aggravated by an inconsistent tone or occasionally weak acting/directing choices.

June 22nd, 2018
“The spirit on stage, where Chika Shimizu’s geometrically spare set incorporates palace and chicken coop with a feel for pop-art imperium, is farcical and more than a little absurdist. Especially with that opening dance routine...The play, perhaps, invites immediate analogy to whatever conditions...
read more