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

The White Devil NYC Reviews and Tickets

72%
(151 Ratings)
Positive
71%
Mixed
22%
Negative
7%
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (151)

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219 Reviews | 88 Followers
87
Riveting, Great staging, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You like the combination of modern dress/props/staging with classic language. You are interested in plays from the 1600s.

Don't see it if You have a hard time with Shakespearean-style language. You don’t like dark humor or drama. Read more

154 Reviews | 20 Followers
86
Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a lesser performed Jacobean play filled with violence & infidelity. It is great, but don't expect a joyful night of theater

Don't see it if You dislike plays with "classic" language, that show (a lot of) murder & feature fairly irredeemable characters.

134 Reviews | 23 Followers
85
Refreshing, Funny, Great acting, Edgy, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a rarely performed Jacobean play done well. The play is funny and raunchy.

Don't see it if You don't like watching cartoon type gore on stage. There were a few points when I had to shut my eyes.

146 Reviews | 34 Followers
85
Great writing, Clever, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy classical theater, especially Jacobean drama, and something to think about, as well as great ensemble work.

Don't see it if you don’t enjoy figurative language, contemporary settings in translation of period works, dramatic theater and violence

128 Reviews | 15 Followers
85
Revenge is sweet.

See it if you like flowery language, high drama...and buckets of blood.

Don't see it if labyrinthian plots featuring lots of high-sounding characters don't appeal to you. Read more

445 Reviews | 56 Followers
82
Intense, Dizzying, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Jacobean theatre for the modern audience. Highly committed actors. Something different.

Don't see it if A lot to swallow and to digest. Dizzying. Period language.

205 Reviews | 53 Followers
82
Bloody good fun, Great staging, Confusing, Edgy, Entertaining

See it if Classic Jacobean play using stylized contemporary dress and staging, video display, modern weapons, violence, murder, revenge plots, fun!

Don't see it if Villains, adultery, murder not your idea of fun theater, Jacobean language hard to understand, confusing keeping characters straight.

73 Reviews | 9 Followers
81
Edgy, Clever, Great staging, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a rarely produced classic. Enjoy updating of period pieces. Appreciate thoughtful staging and overall direction.

Don't see it if You don’t like excessive violence. Can accept excellent acting by only half the cast. Accept confusion caused by contemporary clothing.

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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CurtainUp
April 1st, 2019

"Director Louisa Proske keeps the action moving swiftly, with generally logical tweaks to the script and a relentless focus on the play's bloody center...But as the play continues, its cynical amorality and celebration of death and bloodshed begins to wear...But as this excellent production proves, even an inferior play can create superior engagement, If 'Game of Thrones' is your kind of series, you'll find a lot to like about the Red Bull Theater Company's 'White Devil.'"
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