Already closed | 2h 55m | Midtown W

A Day by the Sea

From 121 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Absorbing, Entertaining

About the show

The Mint Theater Company revives N.C. Hunter's forgotten 1953 play, a warm and often humorous depiction of the 'crisis' of middle age. More…

Set in Dorset after World War II, 'A Day by the Sea' examines shattered ambitions and personal isolation. Julian Anson, a once-promising Foreign Service employee, confronts professional disappointment and personal failure while visiting his mother at the English seaside. Jolted into the realization that maybe it’s not too late, he seizes an opportunity to correct his past mistakes and start fresh—but will the results be any different? Directed by Austin Pendleton.

Member Reviews (121)


Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Absorbing, Entertaining
Avg Score

Funny, Enchanting, Profound, Intelligent, Introspective

See it if Beautiful language, wonderful characters, regrets, fears and hopes ... an insightful, melancholy contemplation of life.

Don't see it if You prefer more action and intensity.

Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Resonant

See it if Enjoy classic well made play format (3 acts), a Chekhovian flavored melodrama, moving performances

Don't see it if Have little patience for the well crafted play which takes its time (3hrs) to resolution, the "Masterpiece Theatre" genre

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Banal, Slow

See it if you like discovering lost English plays from the early 20th century, like Chekhov pacing, outstanding costumes, reflect on aging and success

Don't see it if you can't enjoy a three act, slow, old fashioned style play with sad, mournful characters contemplating what they have made of their lives

Good acting, Good staging, Intelligent, Charming, Slow

See it if you enjoy quirky characters with heart, who either cannot express their feelings or cannot stop. This would be wonderful with a long edit.

Don't see it if you will have trouble sitting through a slice of life story, with three acts that run close to three hours.

Also The play has some truly wonderful moments.

Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you want a simple story with witty, quirky characters who contemplate their missed chances in life & their futures; wonderful performances

Don't see it if you want a complex plot or a fast-moving story. With 3 acts & 2 intermissions some may find it too long. Also if you don't like Chekhov.

Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if You like Chekhov. If you like depressing unhappy but realistic endings. If you want thoughtful interesting theater. A good not great Mint.

Don't see it if You want short plays. This is three hours including two intermissions. First act very slow. If you don't like Chekhov you will not like this

Great acting, Resonant, Slow, Thought-provoking, Classic-in-feel

See it if you have three hours to become immersed in this slowly-paced but well-acted Modern play; can relate to mid-life crises and growing older.

Don't see it if you need intense action, elaborate staging, famous actors, musical numbers, or a quick turn at the theatre. This play requires commitment.

Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting

See it if Beautiful revival of a play by the incredible Mint theatre. Excellent acting and staged beautifully. An absorbing drama.

Don't see it if If you do not like classical dramas. It's important to have a leisure look at this absorbing play

Great acting, Entertaining, Dated, Intelligent, Slow

See it if Great acting in a neglected play.

Don't see it if Wish for more action - this is a play of words.

Clever, Great acting, Delightful, Enchanting, Slow

See it if Lovely show from a time when storytelling was subtle and took its time. If you are looking to unplug from contemporary life, see this.

Don't see it if This will not dazzle you as it slowly reveals its relationships and plot. But, for a theatre purist, it is a delight.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Refreshing

See it if you'd like to see a rarely performed older show with a traditional plot structure, strong character development and excellent acting,

Don't see it if You dislike revivals and prefer more modern, edgy drama with more action,

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Charming

See it if you are entering (or once entered) middle age, or if you simply enjoy well-crafted plays.

Don't see it if you prefer modern plays.

Intelligent, Slow, Good acting, Charmingly old-fashioned, Thought-provoking

See it if you like leisurely plays with a period feel as long as they are well-acted and present characters that are interesting.

Don't see it if you really object to plays that are too long!

Great acting, Great staging, Dated, Intelligent

See it if want to see some very good acting and good character development sprinkled throughout with a nice sense of humor & set in a different era.

Don't see it if you can't sit through a three hour play that is engaging but takes its time to build the characters - can be a bit slow.

Also The acting was quite good - special kudos to Julian Elfer. I liked the... Read more Read less

Slow, Intelligent, Great acting, Dated, Cliched

See it if you are a fan of Checkov and British uptightness. This is truly British Checkov at its most iconic. Very good acting but interminable.

Don't see it if you want happy endings and action. It almost feels as if it happens in real time. There is nothing unexpected but it is all well done

Absorbing, Enchanting, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if Like interesting people portrayed as if character = destiny. Love language (British) and well made immersion in time and place

Don't see it if You are impatient, action oriented, or don't like plays which are somewhat "talky" and somewhat "philosophical." Otherwise, see it!

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound

See it if You'd enjoy a terrifically acted, directed & produced English gem from the '50s. A play w/ wry humour, observations about humanity, & heart.

Don't see it if You're looking for a play with a lot of action or something experimental. This is a straight forward play in 3 acts (or something short!).

Relevant, Refreshing, Masterful, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if As usual, a play that showcases a wonderful story with clever staging!

Don't see it if You prefer to skip quality productions.

Entertaining, Slow, Subtle, Looooong, Bittersweet

See it if you are willing to sit through a slow three hours of a well-acted play. The Mint did what it does well, reviving older works.

Don't see it if you are waiting for the edited version. Read Terry Teachout's article on play length in the WSJ.


See it if some good lines & thoughts

Don't see it if you hate long shows > 2:30 hours

Clever, Entertaining, Great writing, Funny, Intelligent

See it if Can do three act play inwhich the first act is a little slow but it builds to a fantastic third act

Don't see it if You can't wait for the play to heat up, some left to early

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Resonant

See it if you love good theater as in plays not musicals. very relatable situations tho it is a play that takes place in 1953

Don't see it if if you aren't interested in a 3 hour solid drama about lots of relationships that feels very real

Disappointing, Slow, Intense

See it if You enjoy old fashion tales about British life

Don't see it if You prefer fast moving, action packed dramas

Also Lead character and his mother were very well acted...The first scene w... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking, Romantic, Overrated

See it if Mid century British works interest you. It is a bit slow moving, but well acted

Don't see it if You don't like long pieces about families.

Great acting, Charming, Good writing, Elfer wonderful

See it if you would enjoy a well-written narrative about coming to terms with life's limitations and learning to savor the ordinary

Don't see it if you only wish to see "cutting edge" innovative theater: this is well done, satisfyingly slow classic character development

August 25th, 2016
"This is a very well made play, and Austin Pendleton, the director, gets the most out of it…Mr. Elfer is terrific, and so is Ms. Firth, whose Frances gradually emerges during this two-intermission play as the most complex character on the stage. Their pas de deux is a beautiful study in conversat...
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August 25th, 2016
"Apart from the easily parodied genteel surface of Hunter’s work, one is struck by its derivativeness. At moments, it’s as if Hunter wrote on tracing paper laid over 'Uncle Vanya.' Of course, there are worse talents to ape, and Hunter is a sensitive observer of English neuroses and resilience. Th...
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August 25th, 2016
"The Mint has outdone itself with its latest effort…It is that rarest of rarities, a forgotten masterpiece, acted by the best ensemble cast I’ve seen in recent seasons and staged with taut vitality by Pendleton…Ms. Firth, a familiar face to fans of the Mint, and Mr. Elfer, who is new to me, are a...
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August 25th, 2016
"While the feelings presented in this play are universal, they're strained by the three-act structure, with too little action to justify its length…While 'A Day by the Sea' is surprisingly relevant (loneliness never goes out of style), Pendleton's production, no matter how attractive it is, canno...
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