Closed 1h 10m
Tremor
Midtown E
71

Tremor NYC Reviews and Tickets

71%
(57 Reviews)
Positive
68%
Mixed
25%
Negative
7%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Disappointing

About the Show

Part of 59E59's 2018 'Brits Off Broadway' series, this world premiere drama is about how we choose to see things and live in a world riven with tension, anxiety, and division.

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Member Reviews (57)

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50
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Excruciating

See it if you want a plain Jane play that does not delve deep enough into the characters. Unemotional show about unfortunate incident.

Don't see it if If you want a play that could have been more. If you like a play that leaves you wanting. It is both confusing at times and very slow at oth

75
Short, Intense, Schizoid, Bare, Powerful

See it if you find it exciting to experience several turns of plot per hour.

Don't see it if frequent turns of plot make you seasick. Read more

Critic Reviews (15)

May 22nd, 2018

The success of Birch's play depends on a series of carefully timed revelations...Mercatali's direction of this taut, brief two-hander builds successfully to a climactic speech...A wounding recollection of two lives caught up in a disaster that became a political flashpoint and tabloid fodder...A tale of making decisions with far-reaching consequences, and of traumas that continue to reverberate until the present day...Has much to say about the sour, pre-Brexit mood of Britain.”
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May 22nd, 2018

“Starts off promisingly with an air of mystery and tension...Unfortunately...it lands with a thud at the end of a lot of lengthy speeches leading to faulty conclusions...Neither of the characters is developed much, not through the performances nor Mercatali's direction, which keeps them emotionally detached...It appears that the playwright wants to use the forum to talk about socio-political issues...He conflates too many separate ideas that do not support the play's conclusions.”
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May 25th, 2018

"Tremor is more of an actors' exercise than it is a play. The two-character work concerns Sophie and Tom who come together for the first time in years. They are two of seven who survived a bus accident which killed 32 and which may have been a terrorist act on the part of the bus-driver, who, we're eventually told, was 'Muslim.' Like so much else that transpires in this 60-minute dialogue by Brad Birch, it's an unresolved enigma."
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May 22nd, 2018

“Birch’s intense, riveting drama...A simmering verbal confrontation that starts out strong and never looks back as the two-character play careens forward...A beautifully constructed back and forth that seems to never stop for air...Mercatali keeps the production’s brisk pace on track...The tension never lets up. You find yourself hanging on every word, engrossed in the dynamic of two fine actors and their absorbing characters."
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May 23rd, 2018

"It’s tense and exhilarating, as directed neatly and with an increasing level of anxiety by David Mercatali...Starring two very capable and gifted actors, Lisa Diveney and Paul Rattray, who do a sexually charged dance around one another, scratching at the pain in their souls that is just itching under their skin...It’s a beautifully urgent and electrifying tango, frighteningly revolving around fear, judgement, punishment, and panic attacks."
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May 23rd, 2018

"The head-scratching conclusion of this otherwise flavorful onion seems to belong to some other dramatic veggie…While the play's multiple issues may sound like playwriting overkill, Birch juggles them sufficiently well to hold our interest if not necessarily to convince us one way or the other about any of them…Rattray, a pleasant-looking guy with a rich Welsh accent, and Diveney, a pretty woman, are fully invested…regardless of the audience in the tiny venue being only inches away."
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May 22nd, 2018

“All the makings of sparse British play with much cerebral potential...Although covering so much ground in such a short period of time borders on inundation, the play is so expertly written and the story so carefully unveiled that this potential excess is not too negatively felt...Diveney and Rattray tell the story with clear talent and skilled professionalism...Director David Mercalati effectively stages the actors...He expertly shaped the piece in line with the playwright’s intent."
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May 28th, 2018

"This gripping opening is ultimately squandered by a series of clumsy revelations and awkward sermonizing on contemporary politics, at which point the characters cease to be complex individuals and become stand-ins for competing ideologies...The dialogue is fast paced, full of stops and starts, which all works very well under David Mercatali’s tight direction, until the move away from mystery and tension and toward all-out exposition and speechifying."
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April 22nd, 2018
For a previous production

“An estranged couple’s struggle to come to terms with past trauma is hampered by a poor choice of set design...Diveney and Rattray are very able actors but, restricted to standing or moving around the circle...their characters come across as constructs...Information is too limited to allow the audience a view of what actually happened. The suspense...feels like a manipulative device; the production presents, without quite satisfactorily dramatising, disturbing polarities in our society.”
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April 18th, 2018
For a previous production

“A timely, relevant new play...Rattray and Diveny bring a tangible nerviness to their portrayal of the mistrustful pair...Dialogue is snappy and believable, and if some speeches seem over-rehearsed, it is perhaps forgivable, since each has spent much time in deep, solitary reflection. Birch allows the narrative to unfold with admirable subtlety; this ebbs away as we near a denouement which is perhaps too literal...Still, 'Tremor' is an absorbingly tense hour of drama.”
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April 21st, 2018
For a previous production

“Raw and relevant...It’s thrilling...Diveney and Rattray are excellently cast...It’s as much about the actors’ ability and chemistry as it is about Mercatali’s command of the production...The script fails to drop enough hints and makes the reveal far too sudden. The enormity of the moment is by no means diminished, but Birch is asking the audience to make one leap too many...An extremely balanced and thought-provoking script, and Mercatali has moulded it into must-watch theatre.”
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April 18th, 2018
For a previous production

“Diveney and Rattray excel in their portrayal of ex-lovers inextricably linked and divided by past actions. There’s real tension in the pair’s sparring...Sadly, though, Birch’s slow-burning script lurches to a strangely hurried ending that’s rather too on-the-nose politically. Any ambiguity suddenly crumbles away, even rounded off with familiar political slogans to clunkily underline the play’s message. An unsatisfying conclusion to an otherwise intriguing play.”
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April 18th, 2018
For a previous production

“Feels fresh, with conversations that veer towards the poetic but not the contrived...There are times when the imbalance between the characters doesn’t quite hit the mark...As the play progresses, they feel less like people and more like mouthpieces for differing political views...Engaging and politically astute, there’s a lot to like about 'Tremor.' Its closing moments, while perhaps slightly heavy-handed, nevertheless pack a punch."
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April 18th, 2018
For a previous production

“Diveney and Rattray carry the piece fluently...Staging ‘Tremor’ in the round, while sometimes dizzying for an audience following the actors, is cleverly directed by Mercatali to follow the dialogue and action of the play...An intelligently put together production, an appropriate showcase for Birch’s writing. Distilling some of the biggest questions about the world we live in through a single event and relationship, it’s at times overwhelming...But Birch writes a succinct snapshot.”
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T
April 18th, 2018
For a previous production

“‘Tremor’ has the potential be a divisive, anxiety-ridden performance, exploring two vastly different personalities that present strongly opposing ideologies about politics, religion, resilience, and justice...The staging is clever and representative, but the acting and the content of the play don’t quite have enough weight to make it dynamic and carry it off. ‘Tremor’ has potential, and it’s not unenjoyable. But, this performance smacks of cliché, and its lack of dynamism is disappointing.”
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