Already closed | Brooklyn

The Prisoner

From 18 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking

About the show

TFANA presents the New York premiere of "The Prisoner," a provocative examination of law and justice, punishment and redemption from Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne. More…

A man sits alone outside a prison. Who is he? What is he doing there? Is he free? Or is he the prisoner?

Member Reviews (18)


Absorbing, Disappointing, Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Simple, Primal, Affecting, Focused, Beautifully played

See it if you’d like to see a primal fable, as complex as all humanity, simply, affectingly enacted.

Don't see it if you know from experience that extremely simple theatrical means fail to engage you.

Also By simple means director Peter Brook evokes the most complex feelings ... Read more Read less

Slow, Intelligent

See it if this play was too much in its head

Don't see it if so boring and contrived

Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Precise

See it if You love the innovative spirit of Peter Brook, whose fingerprints are all over this. Great acting with precise physical work from the cast.

Don't see it if You need a complicated nuanced story: The direction and acting are both terrific, but if you also need great acting, well, the story is thin

Absorbing, Intelligent, Ambitious, Overrated, Thought-provoking

See it if If you admire Peter Brook and appreciate his aesthetic, love metaphor and don't mind periods of static staging or anodyne philosophy.

Don't see it if You hate Peter Brook, like realistic sets and traditional dramatic structure and plays that involve explicit characters and conflict.

Disappointing, Slow, Confusing

See it if If you love peter brook and want to see any play he directs.

Don't see it if You dont like very slow moving, unconventional theatre focused on a single idea.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Profound, Intense, Slow

See it if Because late work can surprise or reveal even if not conquer your heart or head -Brook and the cast have earned it.

Don't see it if You need word and especially action with a clear purpose.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Riveting, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You like theater that challenges your intellect, that you have to chew on for a few days after

Don't see it if You want to be entertained, you don't want to pay very close attention for 75 minutes, you want the points to be immediately obvious

Slow, Overrated, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if Peter Brook story-telling at its most minimal and fable-like. Meditative and a calm unfolding. Solid cast and thoughtful story.

Don't see it if No magic, no pulse. Ideas and suggestions but no passion. Not hypnotic but sleep inducing. Not recommended.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy different type of theater, and f you are a fan of Peter Brook's direction. Based on an actual event. I found it mesmerizing.

Don't see it if you like big productions.

Also Heard many people in the mezzanine complaining that they couldn't hear... Read more Read less

Quirky, Ambitious, Intense, Edgy, Confusing

See it if you're looking for a different off-broadway play

Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional performance

Great acting, Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if You want to have seen something directed and creator by Peter Brook.

Don't see it if You understand the difference between love and child abuse.

Also Look. I love Peter Brook, I do.... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Disappointing, Intelligent

See it if You want to see a very simple story about justice and punishment

Don't see it if You expect much of anything in the way of staging. Very simplistic dialogue

Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You want heavy drama and deep thought

Don't see it if You want to be entertained

Absorbing, Confusing, Slow, Great staging, Excruciating

See it if you appreciate theatre that immerses you into it's environment and world

Don't see it if you want a show that engages you, it's a very slow show with little dialogue

Ambitious, Great acting, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if You enjoy non-traditional and diverse casts who take up roles that are not stereotyped or cliched.

Don't see it if If you want anything like a cohesive narrative. Some elements of the plot are gratuitous and P. Brooks can't write convincing, 3D women.

Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if I honestly can’t think of a reason. The acting is decent but there is no material to speak of. Staging is decent but not a masterpiece

Don't see it if You are a discerning theatergoer. It tries to overwhelm you with its self importance to distract you from its utter lack of...well..anything

Also The emperor has no clothes.... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Disturbing, Exceptional, Preposterous, Sublime

See it if stagecraft holds more importance than plot. Directorially, Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne conjure up magic on this fairly bare stage.

Don't see it if you simply refuse to tolerate a plot in which incest between a father and daughter is presented as a love defying cultural norms. WTF!

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Resonant, Intense

See it if You appreciate a masterful play presented as a thought provoking allegory. Great acting and unusual staging adds meaning to presentation.

Don't see it if You don’t appreciate serious and uncomfortable thought provoking issues.

Also Well worth the trip to Brooklyn. A must see and unusual experience tha... Read more Read less

December 10th, 2018
“’The Prisoner' asks audience members to fill in blank spaces with their own imagination. What it lacks is the sense of inevitability...the feeling that every gesture and image onstage is there for a reason and that if you just concentrate on what’s before you, a pattern and logic will emerge...T...
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December 10th, 2018
"The mind that will enjoy Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne’s 'The Prisoner' is one that’s more content in stillness than mine...I admit that, because of this slowness and despite my sympathy with the play's anti-incarceration message, I don’t find the work entertaining or engrossing; it’s a ...
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December 11th, 2018
“The performers are possessed of a gravity, marked by emotions carefully held back, that feels connected to French classical tragedy. But everything is done with such economy of means that the smallest gesture has an enormous effect...’The Prisoner’ has a spiritual quality one doesn't often find;...
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December 11th, 2018
“A fascinating parable, and Brook and Estienne have brought it to remarkable life...’The Prisoner’ is stunning in its simplicity and universality...Brook’s profound understanding of Dostoevsky and Beckett informs ‘The Prisoner’. Though the place is never specified, the landscape of ‘Waiting for G...
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