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The Ruins of Civilization

From 57 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Slow, Great acting, Intelligent

About the show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents the world premiere of Penelope Skinner's exploration of our need for free will and connection, even in a world on the brink of extinction. More…

Sometime in the future, spouses Dolores and Silver (TV star Tim Daly) are living their lives within the constraints of a new world order. In an act of what seems like generosity, Dolores secretly opens their home to a stranger in need, but will she come to regret it? Can her actions have an impact or is it just too late?

Member Reviews (57)


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

During previews
Spectacular set, Disappointing, Over acted, Brave new world not, Pretentious

See it if You like Tim Daly, wonderful set design by Neil Patel, you don't mind predictable futuristic theme suggesting future environmental disaster.

Don't see it if You don't mind use of phoney British accents to mask bad writing and stilted acting, non PC themes. You need more than a beautiful set.

During previews
Disappointing, Confusing, Banal

See it if You like futuristic theatre. The actors. need to settle into their roles a bit more. Tim Daly looks fantastic and has GREAT shoes in this.

Don't see it if Want a plot that makes sense. Poison Milk for cats that somehow sneak into the apt., letting a total stranger live with you. Confusing.

During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You have to- but I walked out at intermission (which I never do!). Too slow, confusing, not interesting.

Don't see it if You don't want to understand what's happening until the second act. I didn't wait.

During previews
Dark, Long

See it if you want a less intense Children of Men.

Don't see it if I don't know, it's hard to tell because it was only the second preview but there's some strange dramaturgical stuff I wasn't into.

During previews
Safe, Committed actors, Melodramatic, Clean design

See it if you're addicted to the trend of dystopian plots with plenty of drama, but are not expecting to see an articulate point of view.

Don't see it if you're craving something adventurous or if you're looking for a drama to leave you hanging onto the edge of your seat. This is not that play

During previews
Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

See it if You like dystopian-lite, global warming freaks you out and you're itching to feel righteous anger, you're looking to feel empty inside.

Don't see it if you require subtlety.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Profound, Intense

See it if you like a suspenseful play that is relevant and thought-provoking.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a dramatic or intense play

May 18th, 2016
"The production sometimes shows the strain of its densely packed thematic weight...The cast only rarely engages us emotionally. Still, for a doomsday play, 'Ruins' is remarkably pleasurable: well paced, well spoken and very deft in planting slyly placed clues as to what the future will be…Much of...
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May 18th, 2016
"Roxanna Hope and Orlagh Cassidy, as a bureaucrat named Joy, breathe life into side characters, but the central couple is vapidly written and the world they inhabit is thinly drawn. One can only hope for a future in which Skinner has written a second draft of the play."
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May 18th, 2016
"However accurately forecasters have predicted bleakness, one can only hope that the future is less boring than the one depicted in the not too subtly titled 'The Ruins of Civilization'…It's not just that the play's themes feel so distressingly familiar. It's that they're also rendered in tedious...
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May 19th, 2016
We need more dystopian plays but ‘Ruins’ isn’t the right one…Skinner tackles weighty topics, from the plight of refugees to government control over women’s bodies, but Margaret Atwood she is not. The show may have worked better as a dark comedy, and Tim Daly’s character gets close to that territo...
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