Already closed | 2h 15m | West Village

Yen

From 148 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Intense, Edgy, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

About the show

MCC Theater presents Anna Jordan's play about two teenage brothers living alone with no adult supervision. Directed by indie theater vet Trip Cullman. More…

Bobbie and Hench are home alone. Days are filled by streaming porn, playing video games, and watching the world go by. Their mom rarely visits these days, and it’s chaos when she does. But when animal-loving neighbor Jenny takes an interest in Bobbie and Hench's dog, Taliban, the boys discover a world far beyond what they know. 'Yen' explores a childhood lived without boundaries.

2h 15m | Already closed | Lucille Lortel Theatre (West Village)

Member Reviews (148)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Intense, Edgy, Absorbing, Thought-provoking
75
Avg Score

90
Edgy, Funny, Intense, Bleak, Raw

See it if Neglected teens and other suffering characters reach out to each other for support and relief. Emotional, raw, surprising, inspiring.

Don't see it if You are looking for lighter fare.

Also Vibrant set, sound, video and lighting. These reinforce the sexual ene... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you like heart breaking tales. The UK seems to be enamored of teengae angst. Great acting by all 4 stars

Don't see it if you need a happy go lucky tale of lost teens.

Also The rating is again a compromise of partner's 90% and my 80%

87
Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Edgy

See it if you like new plays capable of surprising with two great young actors that also focus on the grittier side of life with daring staging

Don't see it if you're bored by coming of age plays, can't deal with a loud, out of control teen, don't want to see difficult family issues played out

45
Disappointing, Edgy, Excruciating, Intense, Raunchy

See it if you don't mind a slow burn. The first act is slow, but the story picks up in the second act.

Don't see it if you're overly sensitive to shrieking sounds. One actor often screams loudly, threatening any ear drum within earshot. Porn factors heavily.

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Difficult to watch at times because what is happening on stage is so strange and/or upsetting

See it if You want to see a very raw, intensely acted play. The actors were all incredible.

Don't see it if You do not like seeing upsetting intense drama. Not a "fun" show. It is engrossing and serious but also strange and sad.

55
Confusing, Slow

See it if Some good acting from the mom who shows her anger...

Don't see it if ...but plot is very slow-paced and confusing to follow. 2 hours 18 minutes.

54
Slow, Disappointing

See it if I get so upset with shows like this. The characters were all well written and the acting was good but the problem is nothing really happene

Don't see it if d. The could have done amazing things with these interesting characters but dropped the ball on it.

85
Intelligent, Intense, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you're looking for a dark & intense contemporary drama—a portrait of teens with absentee parents on welfare in poor socioeconomic situation

Don't see it if you can't stand vulgar language or do not follow urban British slang/colloquialism (this is not Queen's English), you want a light show

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Desolate

See it if you want to see a sad statement about the impact that a lack of resources of all kinds has on people, especially young ones.

Don't see it if you want something light, you have a problem with accents, or you are disturbed by depictions of sexual violence or animal cruelty.

Also Extraordinary performances in this bleak portrait of English working c... Read more Read less

75
Great acting, Edgy, Quirky

See it if You enjoy well acted unusual stories about poor parenting and socially challenged young people.

Don't see it if You want a happy story or if cruel and unfair treatment offend you.

70
Ambitious, Indulgent, Intense

See it if you are interested in exploring dysfunctional families in poverty.

Don't see it if you want to care about the characters.

86
Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense, Disturbing

See it if you can appreciate a raw, difficult look at the lives of kids whose upbringing is non-existent and whose very existence is precarious.

Don't see it if you aren't prepared to examine the harsh realities of kids who start life w/no chance. Hedges, Smith, Graynor, & Owen give stunning turns.

51
Confusing, Disappointing, Quirky

See it if You like strange, if you like crazy weird characters, if you like plots that make you work to understand.

Don't see it if If You find English accents hard to understand. If You do not like cursing. If you don't like violence and nutsy characters.

Also Set is dirty empty room in which two half brothers live or exist barel... Read more Read less

78
Great acting, Riveting, Heartbreaking

See it if you enjoy great acting, a drama about two brothers, a dysfunctional mother, and a girl.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy dark theatre. It was dark and sad.

90
Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Disturbing, truthful

See it if you want 2 see a drama that is raw, disturbing, but truthful about 2 brothers living alone & how a girl awakens them 2 the realities of life

Don't see it if you don't like dysfunctional family plays that are upsetting and show us how regular people live and survive.

71
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Raunchy, Intense

See it if You want to see fine young actors tackling difficult , if predictable themes

Don't see it if You have problems with accents and violence

78
Ambitious, Excruciating, Intense, Great acting, Improves

See it if You like theatrical intensity and family dysfunction. Want to see a couple of fine young actors.

Don't see it if Are put-off by loud, irritating, vulgar sounds and language. You are looking for a light evening at the theatre.

Also Couldn't hardly tolerate the first half-hour -- nearly left, finding t... Read more Read less

0
Ambitious, Cliched, Banal, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you need refuge from a rain storm for a couple of hours.

Don't see it if you enjoy an interesting afternoon/evening in the theater. It's just NOT worth the time you will have invested.

Also The story of this play deals with characters you will not identify wit... Read more Read less

89
Great acting, Excruciating, Intense, Riveting, Heartwrenching

See it if you like physically intense, emotionally upsetting contemporary plays and don't mind bloody theatricality.

Don't see it if This is a raw, intense, unhappy play. Consider skipping if you have triggers (child & animal abuse, sexual violence, language).

Also An absolutely stunning first half is followed by act two that expands ... Read more Read less

90
Riveting, Raunchy, Intense, Edgy, Great acting

See it if you enjoy gritty shows. This one is about two feral teenagers living without supervision in an abandoned apartment in a housing project.

Don't see it if your favorite cable channel is the Hallmark Channel.

Also If this were a movie it would be rated R. There's a lot of very crude ... Read more Read less

86
Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Profound, Riveting

See it if Justice Smith is fantastic! All the actors, but, Smith is the 1-2-watch. Subject matter is tough & kept me wondering of the direction.

Don't see it if Hate profanity, psoriasis, smoking on stage, intimacy, European accents, porn, dysfunctional families, partial nudity

70
Dizzying, Edgy, Great acting, Raunchy, Thought-provoking

See it if you like powerful, tense plays with an extremely dysfunctional family and a lot of teen angst.

Don't see it if you want happy, make me smile for two hours type of entertainment. These are unlikeable, angry characters in a very difficult situation.

49
Great acting, Disappointing, Excruciating, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if like your shows loud and disturbing. All the performances are excellent, but the play is not. Acting salvages otherwise bad play.

Don't see it if care about intelligent dialogue

83
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You like strong acting by young actors given a good script. 14 & 16 year olds on their own, left by dysfunctional mom. Happy ending.

Don't see it if You don't care about adolescent angst.

72
Absorbing, Edgy, Quirky, Slow

See it if you are looking for something that will challenge you. Great acting all around.

Don't see it if you are looking for something lighthearted. This is a very intense story.


January 31st, 2017
“These feral creatures, who live on their own in a rancid apartment in a suburban London housing project, are portrayed with equal sensitivity and fierceness by Lucas Hedges and Justice Smith…’Yen’ is a thoughtful play, for sure, but too often you’re aware of the wheels churning behind it...You m...
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January 31st, 2017
“Writing with vigor and sympathy, Jordan evokes the boys’ volatile combination of poverty, misogyny and piss-poor communication skills, and Trip Cullman once again adeptly charts a modern teenage wasteland. Although ‘Yen’ peters off after its climax, the intense and soulful Hedges and the astound...
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January 31st, 2017
"Were 'Yen' content to explore this one situation, it might be a successful-enough lost-boy social drama…But it is much more ambitious and open-ended than that, reaching toward the bigger and bleaker greatness of poetic dramas like 'Of Mice and Men'…The play and production never make a false step...
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January 31st, 2017
“The play doesn’t offer so much a slice of life as a barely digestible bite…The play’s descent into turgid, contrived melodrama at least rescues it from the tediousness that had preceded it...Director Trip Cullman tries to energize the slow-paced proceedings with jarring sound effects and video p...
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