Already closed | 1h 45m | Upper E Side

The Dead, 1904

From 57 member  reviews
Members say: Great staging, Enchanting, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

About the show

Irish Rep revives its immersive adaptation of James Joyce’s novella about a holiday gathering in 1904 Dublin, staged in a historic Victorian mansion. More…

At the party are students, friends, a celebrated tenor, a lost alcoholic, and a couple: Gabriel and Gretta Conroy. Over the course of the evening, there are conversations, music, dancing, and dining. There are speeches and disagreements–polite and impolite–and when it is all over, Gabriel learns something about his wife that changes his sense of who she is and who they are to each other, and what it actually means to be alive–or dead. An audience of 40 guests attends the party alongside the actors, moving from room to room, and dining on a meal inspired by the menu in the novella. 

Member Reviews (57)


Great staging, Enchanting, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing
Avg Score

Delightful, Entertaining, Immersive, Great staging, Fun

See it if Great immersive play in a beautiful setting. Acting is great and it's an overall great experience. Delicious food! :-)

Don't see it if The story doesn't really have an arc, but several interesting interactions that keep us entertained throughout.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Immersive, Delightful

See it if You enjoy immersive shows. The setting really enhances the experience. Great performances and costumes. Production is perfectly executed.

Don't see it if It's a nice story but it's not the most exciting or dramatic. Go for the experience not necessarily the story.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you want a truly immersive experience of Joyce's novella, including good alcohol and exquisite (yet simple) food. You feel you're in 1904.

Don't see it if a slow and steady pace without much "action" or you're not prepared to spend the cash to see it. It's special but very expensive.

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if are a fan of James Joyce or if you specifically loved this book. It is enchanting to meet these iconic characters in a party/dinner.

Don't see it if have rigid rules about how theatre happens. This is a differnt kind of experience...emersive theatre with dinner and drinks. Lovely!

Great staging, Absorbing, Intimate

See it if you love immersive theater where you are part of the show. you love James Joyce, you want to see the American Irish historical society

Don't see it if if you don't like to be part of a show if you don't like a PLAY vs a musical if you want to bring kids - not the type of show for kids

Also I went by myself and completely enjoyed meeting other audience members... Read more Read less

Romantic, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if magical evening, celebrating Christmas at the home of spinster sisters in 1906 Dublin. Audience eats & drinks as dinner guests.

Don't see it if Unable to suspend disbelief to enjoy dinner “theater” in a historic townhouse, Irish Historical Society.

Also Do dress up! Dinner and drinks are served to the “audience” who are al... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if Immersive theatre delights you

Don't see it if If you are not familiar with the source material.

Enchanting, Great acting, Great staging, Refreshing, Must see

See it if Show is about a gathering in Dublin in 1904. The setting in Irish Historical Society sets the tone. Audience gets immersed in the show.

Don't see it if If your into musical theater you may not appreciate it.

Also Audience becomes part of the show. You share a delicious meal and drin... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Phenomenol, Great staging

See it if you want to attend a superb dinner party-fine dining and all in 1904 in Dublin and become part of Joyce's novella, The Dead in play format.

Don't see it if you don't want to immerse yourself in a dinner party as part of a play and aren't interested in a period piece written by James Joyce.

Enchanting, Great staging, Great acting, Slow

See it if you like an immersive theater experience and you want to be part of the show

Don't see it if you can't stand for long periods of time or are uncomfortable in a non-traditional theater setting

Enchanting, Visuals, Great staging

See it if you want an opportunity to see a turn of the century mansion, but the play is a little disappointing.

Don't see it if you want to experience more than the virtue of the setting. Joyce doesn't really make much of an appearance

Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Profound, Must see

See it if If you love interactive theater and James Joyce, one of the best nights I have spent at the theater, I was inside a work of literature. Love

Don't see it if If you don't like adaptations, if you don't like to see the story happen around you and the actors interact with you as with a dinner guest.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Great staging, Slow, Absorbing

See it if You want an ambitious, unique theatrical experience.

Don't see it if you are looking for a riveting plot or great dialogue

Also The best parts of the script are the long passages from Joyce's book, ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Delightful, Must see, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if Very intimate experience. Audience is a part of the party that takes place within by the play. Very charming!

Don't see it if If you don’t like small venues, mingling with the actors

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if Immersive experience of another time- a holiday tradition.

Don't see it if You have trouble standing for periods of time or you want to be a true observer of the theater experience.

Entertaining, Great singing, Intelligent, Must see, Masterful

See it if The show was amazing and inviting. Different then other shows where audience participate with the members. Food was delicious!

Don't see it if You have children under 12

During previews
Entertaining, Great singing, Beautifully executed, Resonant, Charming

See it if you are interested in Irish traditions & would like a joyful holiday experience that includes a delicious meal & interactive performers

Don't see it if you cannot stand for 20 minutes or longer. There are a few seats but it is like playing musical chairs to get one. NOTE the uptown location

During previews
Absorbing, Delightful, Great staging, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You are part of a great experience. You back in time.

Don't see it if You will be standing alot. You want a theater setting

Also From the moment you arise. You are greeted. Going up the stairs it's l... Read more Read less

During previews
Enchanting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You want to immerse yourself in the 1904 Ireland of James Joyce in an historic home - dining & moving through the house with the actors

Don't see it if you prefer modern musical comedy.

During previews
Ambitious, Entertaining, Slow, Delicious food, Banal

See it if you want to see a period piece in a beautiful old townhouse with a delicious meal and a cast that serves as gracious hosts. It is enjoyable.

Don't see it if you are looking for a good, script that amounts to something. This adaptation of the Joyce novella is slow-moving and very slight.

During previews
Step back in time, Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging, Clever

See it if You want to be in an Irish mansion and enjoy libations & dinner with a family that has secrets that emerge.Enjoy their life room by room

Don't see it if If you cannot stand for long periods of time. There are chairs but not for all

During previews
Ambitious, Delicious, Great staging, Festive, Must see

See it if you love Irish things or unique immersive theater, want to glimpse inside a gorgeous historic building and/or just have an amazing meal.

Don't see it if you don't want to be on your feet for a couple hours.

During previews
Enchanting, Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing, Absorbing

See it if you want a light-immersive experience, theater before, during and slightly after dinner - a lovely take on some Joyce, slow but quite lovely

Don't see it if you want a very traditional theater experience, or if you want a very immersive experience - it fits somewhere between the two.

Also The price point for entry is extremely high... If not a lottery winner... Read more Read less

During previews
Enchanting, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You would like to go to a dinner party in a mansion with an Irish family in 1904. Immersive theatre. Play is subtle. Could be stronger.

Don't see it if You don’t like immersive theatre, family dramas, turkey and briquette.

During previews
Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Romantic, Great writing

See it if You enjoy Joyce's works, fine acting, sweet music in a beautiful setting of 1904 Dublin. You wish to dress up a bit, and "channel the era"!

Don't see it if You are bored by classic Irish theater, & literature. You wish a light comedy, musical in a traditional theater. You cannot stand for awhile

Also It would be wise for the theater company to post a large sign by the c... Read more Read less

November 29th, 2018
“It’s holiday-party setting gives ‘The Dead’ the cozy familiarity of turkey and mashed potatoes served with a heaping spoonful of agita...This is its third incarnation...Gilbert reprises her role as Gretta...Joyce's story was adapted for the big screen by John Huston in a 1987 film version and fo...
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November 29th, 2018
"Ciarán O’Reilly, the director, stages these happenings with an easy flow...The actors mostly provide natural performances...The exquisite detail and insightful characterizations embodied by Leon Dobkowski’s period costumes enhance the company’s fine portrayals...Although 'The Dead, 1904' cannot ...
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December 10th, 2018
“An immersive take on Joyce’s short story...The story is a meandering, genteel narrative...’The Dead, 1904’ suddenly hits us with emotional weight and sobriety...The final scene is a beautiful melancholy scene that left me wanting to learn more...Whilst the play feels relatively slow...the text f...
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December 8th, 2016
for a previous production "The performers inhabit their roles with vivacity, seemingly unaware of the audience members whose eyes are trained on them...But when the adapters translate Gabriel’s turbulent sensations into a long monologue, the spell of closely observed naturalism is inevitably broken...Ultimately 'The Dead,...
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