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The Home Place

From 84 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Slow, Disappointing

About the show

Irish Rep presents the New York premiere of Brian Friel's historical drama. In the hot Donegal August of 1878, the fruits of Colonialism and the ambiguities of loyalty are tested within the background of impossible love. More…

Christopher Gore, the liberal minded Anglo-Irish landlord and his son, David, reside at The Lodge with their “chatelaine” Margaret, with whom they are both in love. Christopher’s cousin, Dr. Richard Gore, arrives with the intention of pursuing a Darwin-inspired scientific theory: by measuring the craniums of the indigenous Irish, he hopes to crack the genetic code of the indigenes, demonstrating their inferior place in the natural order. Set in the era of the rumblings of violence and uncertainty at the dawn of The Home Rule movement, Friel explores the aftermath of Dr. Gore’s experiment as deep animosity is dangerously ignited among the suspicious villagers of Ballybeg.

Member Reviews (84)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Slow, Disappointing
Avg Score

Absorbing, Entertaining, Slow, Exquisite, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy shows that paint more of a portrait of a period and place in time rather than an actual story. There’s a story here but not much.

Don't see it if You’re looking for action or even a good story. This is a beautiful portrait of a certain place and time. It’s beautifully done but slow.

Clever, Funny, Great staging, Resonant

See it if You like this type of play. If you like Brian Friel s plays. It has good acting, staging and very funny.

Don't see it if You don't like the Irish plays with this kind of genre. The show can get away from you if you don't pay attention.

Intense, Enchanting, Sad, Exquisite, Resonant

See it if Woman struggles to preserve a fragile peace among those she loves, who are in turn threatened by a fragile political situation.

Don't see it if You are not interested in intricate, tense character interactions combining the personal and political.

Also Everything made sense to me, including the emotional climax, when unde... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Slow, Resonant, Disappointing, Well acted

See it if Despite being well acted & designed, Friel's populist, end of land act era drama plods along w/heavy 1st act exposition nearly crippling it

Don't see it if With one to many story lines (one bordering on soap opera) & Moore's stolid direction, drama lacks the needed dynamism to sustain interest

Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Fantastic set, great directing

See it if you love Brian Friel, Charlotte Moore, a great set and some great acting.... And can quickly adjust to the various dialects.

Don't see it if Still not enough"loos". 2nd row of seats not raked. First 4 or 5 rows seats not staggered.

Ambitious, Clever, Great set, Good performances

See it if You're a fan of Brian Friel, enjoy Irish plays, interested in class issues in 19th century Ireland, care about rise of populist movement

Don't see it if You don't like slow but steadily building plots, have difficulty with Irish accents, don't quite understand Irish/English land holding laws

Absorbing, Funny, Intense, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You want a modern take on Irish history. You want that history seen from more than 1 POV. You want an intriguing story that holds attention

Don't see it if You prefer a play writen on the time period depicted on stage. You don't like a mix of drama & comedy. You want a light night out.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you like plays concerning Irish and English relationships. Some wonderful confrontations. Thought provoking.

Don't see it if you have problems with Irish dialect. Some characters' dialogue were hard to understand.

Also I was a bit disappointed with the ending but the story before it is wo... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Stunning set design by james noone, Great acting, A tad long, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy Irish drama, especially by Brian Friel. This production is so well done by Irish Rep—even if it is second- tier Friel.

Don't see it if you do not like Chekovian drama. Or if you don't like Irish drama.

Disappointing, Great set, Glacial plot devlopement, Lacks paasion, Slow

See it if Brian Friel's last work, Irish drama, Irish Rep, & their new space are on your bucket list

Don't see it if glacially paced storytelling, mismatched love interests, lessons about historical moments are not on your bucket list

Irish peasants resist having their heads examined

See it if Another resonant Friel examination of the abuse of the Irish by their English overlords. I think "Translations" is the better on this topic.

Don't see it if A sweet love story is folded in. Beautifully staged. Phil Gillen, the replacement Tommy Boyle, practically steals the show in a nifty cameo.

Perhaps it was just an off night for the cast..., Uninspired, Largely unintelligible, Disappointing, Bland

See it if you get the note that says the cast is not going to phone it in.

Don't see it if you don't feel like taking a nap

Also I had wanted to see this since it was announced. I finally decided to ... Read more Read less

Modern play feels like period piece -not in a good way, Decent writing, Decent acting, Just not compelling

See it if If Friel or Irish drama or the Irish Rep is your thing, this is fine. If you want a story that merely skims the surface of historical...

Don't see it if fact, also fine. Little nuance, little development, which is a pity because the concept and setting offer many possibilities.

Ambitious, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if Brian Friel's play about a family in the late 1800's in Ireland. Issues of colonialism and loyalties are themes in this historical drama.

Don't see it if If you only enjoy musicals or light dramas. There are strong Irish accents which are a bit difficult to understand in the beginning moments

Great acting, Confusing, Great staging, Ambitious, Slow

See it if you can appreciate a flawed play for its good acting and staging, despite underdeveloped characters and plot strands that go nowhere.

Don't see it if you want a fast moving play with an interesting plot.

Stereotype characterizations, Shallow, Disappointing, Relevant, Not nuanced

See it if you enjoy historical plays about the English abuse of the Irish and the evils in the belief of ethnic and racial superiority.

Don't see it if you like nuance in theater, realistic perceptive characterizations and dislike characters that are difficult to care about.

Charming, Dated, Lovely set, Refreshing, Romantic

See it if you enjoy Friel and a story that, while serious, is still charming and romantic and leaves you feeling that you've just visited with friends

Don't see it if heavy Irish accents disconcert you or if you are not interested in Irish plays.

Entertaining, Great acting, Great set, Absorbing

See it if you're a fan of Brian Friel and have an interest in Irish history. Only the abrupt ending was troublesome for me.

Don't see it if you don't like historical dramas -- with some singing thrown in.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow, Confusing

See it if You're interested in colonialism in Ireland.

Don't see it if It's expensive.

Also It's a good idea for a show, but it needs to move more quickly. There ... Read more Read less

Great staging, Great writing, Great irish history lesson,, Absorbing

See it if you want to learn about the peasant uprise against English landowner in the 1870's Ireland told through the eyes of 1 such landowner.

Don't see it if you don't like historical Irish plays or must see an action pact play

Ambitious, Disappointing, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you're a fan of Brian Friel-- this is the last play he wrote; you like traditional dramas; you're interested in Irish theatre or history.

Don't see it if you don't like "talky" dramas; have trouble with Irish and English acccents.

Also This is a long way from Friel's best.

Confusing, Intelligent

See it if I suggest that you read up on the 1878 history of Ireland before going as there is nothing in the Playbill to give contezt to the play.

Don't see it if You are not interested in Irish history and are going with any context for the play

Unnecessary, Disappointing

See it if Well, I suppose it touches on some important issues but Friel should have stuck to what he does best.

Don't see it if The accents and acting are both a mixed bag of bad to mediocre. I didn't "get" any of these characters except the drunk priest.

Also I have to confess I left at intermission. I was bored within the first... Read more Read less

Cliched, Disappointing, Dated

See it if you are a Friel fan (yes I am) with patience for a very weak play from a great playwright. full of stereotypes that add nothing new.

Don't see it if caricatures of Irish stereotypes offend you. There is so much more to day;.

Also I love this playwright and this theater but this was a huge, boring di... Read more Read less

Dated, Disappointing, Insipid, Slow, Great acting

See it if you like Brian Friel and are a fan of the Irish Repertory Theatre.

Don't see it if you want to see one of Friel's stronger plays where you care about the characters.

Also This is a weak play, but it does show how evil the belief in ethnic an... Read more Read less

October 12th, 2017
"A staging of hushed grace and delicacy, one that I wish Friel had lived to see...A history play of sorts, though its drama is wholly personal...Unabashedly Chekhovian, but it also contains a sharp nudge of Shavian satire...Moore's staging is so unassumingly natural that it feels as though the pl...
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October 11th, 2017
"Moore's production looks beautiful, but is markedly untidy when it comes to finding a dramatic arc for her actors. As a result, most of the central performances are lost in the loquacious terrain of Friel's script, though Pickup's headstrong portrayal of Margaret stands above the fray...Only in ...
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October 13th, 2017
"There's a lot going on in 'The Home Place,' but it ultimately feels like a finger exercise from the autumn of a great playwright's career; despite the plot's explosive implications, it is marked by a hushed, hesitant quality that prevents us from fully taking in his characters' longings and anxi...
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October 10th, 2017
"Despite its shortcomings, Friel's writing still shimmers with its customary lyricism...'The Home Place' has a difficult time allowing its themes of exile, identity, language and oppression to be explored to their fullest. The main reason for this is the miscasting of Windsor-Cunningham in the pi...
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