The White Devil
Closed 2h 20m
The White Devil
72

The White Devil NYC Reviews and Tickets

72%
(150 Reviews)
Positive
71%
Mixed
23%
Negative
6%
Members say
Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Intense, Entertaining

About the Show

In Jacobean dramatist John Webster's tragedy, wickedness and beauty intersect in a hellish world, where endless deception weaves a tale of fake news, systemic misogyny, rigged trials, and hypocritical holy men. 

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Member Reviews (150)

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983 Reviews | 229 Followers
78
Profound, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Great staging and costumes. Good direction makes this worth while.

Don't see it if Can be confusing at times. A long show 2.5 hours. Must pay attention . If you want something on the lighter side.

746 Reviews | 124 Followers
70
Interesting staging, Excellent ensemble work, Indulgent, Too long, Ambitious

See it if you appreciate excellent ensemble work and because it is a rarely done historic piece.

Don't see it if violence and revenge expressed in Elizabethan English doesn't sound like fun. It is a very long play.

692 Reviews | 152 Followers
80
Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Perfunctory, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if to catch a rare revival of this Jacobean tragedy, enjoy violent bloodletting, murders & manipulation, along with irredeemable characters

Don't see it if difficulty clarifying many characters' relationships & with Jacobean language, don't like onstage murders & violence, like decent characters

687 Reviews | 115 Followers
75
Resonant, Intense, Slow, Edgy, Confusing

See it if Proske's techno-modernized staging of Webster's Jacobean revenge tragedy works fairly well in drawing parallels to our current polarizarion

Don't see it if As the machinations intensify & the body count rises, confusion (and fatigue) sets in Some actors more comfortable than others w/stylization

657 Reviews | 101 Followers
79
Violent action, Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you enjoy seeing a 1612 play with a lot of violent action. Very good acting and staging and use of video. You need a strong stomach.

Don't see it if you don't like a lot of violence. This is a Red Bull production. There is a lot of talk of revenge. These are not nice characters. Read more

513 Reviews | 129 Followers
69
Edgy, Keep that paper summary in front of you, Uneven acting, Raunchy, Slow

See it if you enjoy bloody, Shakespeare wanna-be plays with lots of evil characters, an occasional god fearing one and a compromised cardinal/pope.

Don't see it if you have trouble keeping track of who is who; play summary invaluable for keeping track of the characters. Some good acting/some very weak

414 Reviews | 64 Followers
59
Ambitious, Overrated, Confusing, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if Red Bull Theatre is your thing

Don't see it if Jacobean dialogue is hard for to understand

385 Reviews | 72 Followers
25
Excruciating, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you are curious. Red Bull usually does good things.

Don't see it if you dislike bare stage, no set. Audience on three sides. Written in 1600's yet modern dress, nothing made sense, ending absurd use of drills Read more

Critic Reviews (18)

The New York Times
March 31st, 2019

"The play bops from one shockaroo to the next, indicting religion, politics and the patriarchy, when it’s not busy with the blood packs. Sometimes the staging is too much but typically it’s stylish and spry...Because if the play is incontrovertibly over-the-top, decadent and then some, it has its own complexities...Nihilism can leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but Webster is such fun to bite into, an invitation to revel in people at their very worst, to taste depravity."
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Theatermania
April 1st, 2019

"Undeniably entertaining but insufficiently outrageous revival...Proske's staging deploys multiple blood packets, but it still feels sparing. The fight direction by Rick and Christian Kelly-Sordelet is sufficient, but not as jaw-droppingly inventive as it could be...Yana Birÿkova's video design is super cheesy, often inducing laughs with its cheap horror-film aesthetic. It made me wonder if 'The White Devil' might work better as a movie."
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Lighting & Sound America
April 2nd, 2019

“This production is good enough to make one wish it were just a little bit better...The best thing about Proske's production is that it lays out Webster's labyrinthine plot with crystal clarity...But Proske has been unable to settle on a prevailing tone...It is surprisingly lacking in a mordant point of view...’The White Devil’ is surely a play with much to say to us today, but it requires more overall discipline and a coherent vision if it is to work to full effect.”
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Talkin' Broadway
April 8th, 2019

“This is the kind of play where the plot has no importance, its role is to be at the service of scenes where dark comedy and tragedy become unlikely dance partners...Through the use of modern elements, larger than life performances, and a pace that rivals any action series on Netflix, this production feels like the kind of adaptation that would have Webster himself wanting to sit in the front row, smiling in anticipation of getting splashed by the fake blood."
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New York Stage Review
March 31st, 2019

"A smashing new staging...Anyone who enjoys a furious mix of sex, violence, murder, and generally nasty behavior by corrupt elites in high places is likely to get a kick out of 'White Devil,' especially when such dirty doings are performed so stylishly as Red Bull’s rendition...Inventively staged with modern accouterments by director Louisa Proske, who does it all up swiftly and smartly...The actors easily glide over its seismic changes. They also speak the play’s florid language naturally and clearly."
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Theater News Online
April 6th, 2019

“Red Bull Theater, is putting on a neatly modernized and fiercely acted account of ‘The White Devil’...The cast is outstanding, making a strong case for the tragedy...I’d call the piece Renaissance pulp if it didn’t come with such a rarefied literary pedigree...While it steals shamelessly from ‘Hamlet’, no one would call ‘The White Devil’ as brilliant as Shakespeare. Still, more laughs than ‘Titus Andronicus’? Maybe so.”
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TheaterScene.net
April 5th, 2019

"Webster's Jacobean revenge play, 'The White Devil,' has been given a juicy, vigorous modern dress production by Red Bull, which specializes in Elizabethan and post-Shakespearean dramas. While not as great as Webster's 'The Duchess of Malfi,' this second-rung tragedy from 1612 has been directed by Louisa Proske with live video and contemporary trappings in a style that is always riveting, always engrossing, particularly notable for a play that will be unfamiliar to most."
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Theatre is Easy
March 31st, 2019

“A sharp, contemporary take on Webster's feast of bloodlust...Red Bull’s pretty wicked and pretty satisfying new production...'The White Devil' rises and falls on its anti-heroine Vittoria, and this production never quite centers Vittoria’s story...It’s plot, not character, that ultimately drives Webster’s writing, and the crystal-clear, eminently accessible reading of the text, partnered with Proske’s nimble, active staging keeps the audience ever on its toes. The cast locates plenty of the humor."
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