The Saintliness of Margery Kempe
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The Saintliness of Margery Kempe

The Saintliness of Margery Kempe NYC Reviews and Tickets

(112 Reviews)
Members say
Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Quirky, Funny

About the Show

Austin Pendleton directs a new revival of this comic drama from the 50s, which follows the true-life misadventures of the famed English woman of the 14th Century. 

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Member Reviews (112)

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75 Reviews | 38 Followers
Enchanting, Clever, Hilarious

See it if You know someone who is full of themselves (dont tell them why but take that person with you and see if they identify!)

Don't see it if Its a long two act play better for an afternoon. Some characters play up to three rolls. If references to God and heaven offend you.

289 Reviews | 91 Followers
Absorbing, Great staging, Great writing, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if The Actors are wonderful and it's quite a compelling story about what drives us all. Very imaginative direction and there's a lot of humor.

Don't see it if You prefer straight ahead stories with a classic structures. Actors play many roles and switch mid-scene. I'm a fan of that. Not all are

74 Reviews | 22 Followers
Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You like Candide, A Doll's Life or A Doll's House Pt.2.; obscure gems which are relevant today ; wonderful language and great performances.

Don't see it if You don't like satire which sends up morality, egomaniacal megalomaniacs, religion and false puritanism; entering a landscape of the 14th c.

130 Reviews | 18 Followers
Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Witty, Historical

See it if you need an antidote to fluffy entertainment &The Dumbing Down of America. Funny, witty, thoughtful, insightful, with masterful acting

Don't see it if The hilarious self-centered saga of a 14thc. female mystic, feminist, & maybe saint has no resonance for you & you'd rather see Sponge Bob

505 Reviews | 130 Followers
Unexpectedly hilarious medieval comedy

See it if Expertly acted comedy (!) of religious mystic woman in 15th century England. Andrus Nichols on a comic romp as the obsessive Margery.

Don't see it if You have no interest in the Middle Ages. Director Austin Pendleton takes this story of a religious fanatic and turns it on its head. A riot!

297 Reviews | 51 Followers
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky, Slow

See it if you want a challenging comedy that takes place during the Middle Ages. It is about a woman who tries to gain as much power as possible.

Don't see it if you won't like a slow moving play with sophisticated comedy and language

249 Reviews | 116 Followers
Clever, Historical, Hilarious, Farce, 14th century

See it if you'd like a play 1st produced in 1959 in North Haven Maine, a funny exposition of women's lib in the 14th century with some slapstick.

Don't see it if You don't like history, comedy, good acting or anything funny related to women's rights.

465 Reviews | 64 Followers
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if you like shows with intelligent humor about religion and society that is as timely today as it was in yesteryear.

Don't see it if you don't like jokes about social commentary or are a devout Christian who is easily offended.

Critic Reviews (19)

The New York Times
August 1st, 2018

"The great Frances Sternhagen played Margery in the original Off Broadway production, in 1959, opposite Gene Hackman...The delightful news about Austin Pendleton’s uneven revival, is that the standard for those roles hasn’t slipped a millimeter...Nichols and O’Connell are delicious to watch...The play is most fun when it moves at high speed, and a languor overcomes the slack first act...Not all of the casting is as spot-on as the leads."
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Time Out New York
July 12th, 2018

"Performance-wise, it’s all over the place...Nearly half of Wulp’s comedy is repetitive and, in this iteration, unfunny. After a long stretch of dullness, the play finds a spark of energy in its second act...There’s relevance here—something about our seemingly endless appetite for attention, or about the performative nature of holiness itself. But the play needs more beauty, more speed, more strangeness, more noise."
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July 12th, 2018

"Something much duller than it has any right to be...With no rhyme or reason to Margery's victories, defeats, and internalized lessons, these ebbs and flows feel as arbitrary as her whims. Director Austin Pendleton has set out to dust off this 60-year-old play. Dust, however, isn't so much the problem as is 60-year-old clutter that this production dances around in lieu of doing a thorough purge...Our title character feels similarly stranded in a narrative that renders her less than the sum of her parts."
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Talkin' Broadway
July 12th, 2018

"One can understand the attraction...Ultimately, however, Wulp's play is disappointing. The play aims for big laughs, but not all of the ludicrousness lands...Still, Pendleton has drawn fine performances from his nine-person ensemble...The production benefits from a spare design, allowing the focus to remain on the strong performances...Despite its flaws, 'Margery Kempe' is a reminder that a woman does not have to be a saint nor a sinner to change the world."
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New York Stage Review
July 12th, 2018

"In one of my first jotted notes, I wrote, 'Is this a comedy?' I never laughed, but at the performance I attended there were a few titters. So here’s the benefit of the doubt: Okay, 'The Saintliness of Margery Kempe' is a comedy, but a bad one...On how to shake out this dust-ridden screed, director Pendleton is at a complete loss...The pseudo-poetic lines the nine actors are handed—all but Nichols doubling, tripling, quintupling—prove insurmountable."
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New York Stage Review
July 12th, 2018

"Neither a Monty Python-esque spoof of a darker age nor an amusing character study of an obstreperous individual. It is merely a mildly facetious comedy about a self-centered woman whose personal dramas endear her to no one other than a long-suffering spouse. Overlong at two acts and nearly two hours, the spotty play benefits from the sort of good, solid acting that typically characterizes so many of Pendleton’s productions."
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July 19th, 2018

"The cast list in the program reads more like a medieval phone-directory--even if there were no phones in the Middle Ages--than it does a dramatis personae. And then there's what happens to the characters during the course of the play which is as hard to say as it is to remember all of their names, let alone pronounce them."
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Theater Pizzazz
July 12th, 2018

"The thematic relevance of a forgotten play doesn't automatically translate into dramatic effectiveness…Much of interest but also something of a lump…Working under Pendleton's not particularly inventive direction…Nichols makes a dynamic and forceful Margery, embodying the comical and serious sides of her kooky determination…The arch manner in which Margery's experiences are presented, and the generally tepid quality of the humor, would try the patience of a saint."
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