New York | 1h 20m | Already closed

The Seagull and Other Birds

From 10 critic and 4 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Ambitious, Excruciating, Overrated, Resonant

About the show

Abrons Arts Center presents Pan Pan Theatre's concise reinvention of Anton Chekhov's classic about the gap that always exists between what people want and what they get. More…

The show centers around a new version of 'The Seagull' integrated with a number of works specially commissioned by the Irish company. Through the wormhole of the new work, Chekhov’s characters find themselves in extraordinarily different contexts: classic plays, TV shows, YouTube, and stuff they’ve just made up. Expect lots of talk about art, some action, and tons of love.

Talkin' Broadway

"What Pan Pan has done is to dig deeply into Chekhov's play, retaining its broad outline and filtering it through an Irish sensibility reminiscent of James Joyce or Samuel Beckett at their most enigmatic. And while parts of the production defy understanding, a lot of it is fun in a Mad Tea Party sort of way...You may leave the theater scratching your head, but you will certainly have experienced a wild ride with a smart and clever theatrical troupe." Full Review

New York Theatre Review

"Pan Pan Theatre Company delivers a piece that does veer slightly into territory a little too absurd but overall is very smart, straightforward and practical. Every person in the cast is full of intense energy and director Gavin Quinn channels that energy into a piece that bounces into every corner of the space to create a larger than life performance…'The Seagull and Other Birds' is a clever analysis of high art versus low art and whether they each have a place in our canon of classics." Full Review

The New York Times

"Pan Pan turns one of modern drama’s great seminal works upside down...Stretches of tedium are intentional, I presume, suggesting how in our search for the new in art we keep returning to the old...But this show also conveys the unquenchable energy that courses through the very attempt to make art...No matter how resistant you are to Pan Pan’s often baffling theater of anarchy, I’ll wager that you’ll find moments throughout that have you grinning." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The whole thing comes together into something weirder and greater than the sum of its parts, mixing rigorous movement theatre with precise, subtle acting choices...It is a little longer than it needs to be and resonates more if you know Chekhov’s original...While there are moments that are baffling and frustrating, every second of the piece is done with commitment and a kinetic sense of the entire ensemble as a living organism. It’s a strange piece, but it’s got some magic to it." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Deconstructing and subverting a text from within is usually dubious ground to tread...This is the central problem for 'The Seagull and Other Birds'...The result is an awkward and unwieldy chimera. Where 'The Seagull and Other Birds' most succeeds is in the realization of Chekhov’s 'The Seagull' as a comedy...There is not a single member of the cast who fails to play it properly straight, and the performances, taken at face-value, are frequently quite funny." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Here we are in the land of the authentically zany, and at its best 'Seagull' goes quite mad. But while Pan Pan made the sensational 'Oedipus Loves You' and 'The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane,' they are rather less successful with this riff on Chekhov...The performers are, without fail, charming...But the momentum goes wonky. Chekhov's original resists them, and in trying to force the Pan Pan spirit into it, the group tires itself out." Full Review

The Reviews Hub

for a previous production "It doesn’t get much more metatheatrical than this. It also doesn’t get much more fun: if theatre is meant to be a good night out, then 'The Seagull and Other Birds' definitely fulfills the brief...The show plays with notions of the dramatic, and challenges our expectations of performance...Though the company announces at the outset that there is no plot, they also want us to trust them...And we do. We are happy to go along for the ride, and Pan Pan does not disappoint." Full Review

Musings in Intermission

for a previous production "Director Gavin Quinn, stupefying the conventionality of theatre and our expectations of such, pulls the floor right out from under us...Pan Pan's 'The Seagull' doesn't walk us to that all too common line between traditional and avant garde but rather traces the transference of text between them; a stream of information that regenerates and changes constantly." Full Review

Irish Examiner

for a previous production "While their bizarre take on Chekhov’s classic 'The Seagull' is playful, daft, and ‘meta’, it’s also thrumming with something visceral and enigmatic, the sad, perhaps pointless passion of the human...There’s the odd dull passage amid the mayhem, but — redeeming their myriad dysfunctions — the wonky-feathered folk onstage effortlessly win you over." Full Review

Irish Times

for a previous production "Pan Pan Theatre, easily Ireland’s most searching contemporary theatre company, makes Chekhov’s play the main attraction within a crammed, noisy aviary: the 'other birds' here are short new texts, largely written by the cast...The logic behind this is deliberately elusive, and those only loosely acquainted with pop culture may find their attention snagging on references...Feels like the true anxiety of anyone who would attempt something new, knowing that it can’t always fly.." Full Review

Clever, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Original

See it if you like challenging performance.

Don't see it if you like your Chekhov straight-up.

Clever, Enchanting, Resonant

See it if you like experimental theatre

Don't see it if you don't know anything about the Seagull from Chekhov

Cliched, Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated, Slow

See it if Perhaps if you're younger than I am

Don't see it if You don't like unusual or experimental theater


See it if you like to have a good time and enjoy complex shows.

Don't see it if do not like a difficult plot.

Cast & Creatives (10)