St. Ann’s Warehouse presents an avant-garde, multi-media work by Tony winner Enda Walsh that conjures a strange and tender love story set in a terrifying world. More…
Isla sits in a waiting room in a tower as a man watches her, documenting her every move and pulling her dreams from her. In this brave new world, Walsh dares to imagine that the individual might somehow survive and that there’s still a place for love. A companion piece to 'Rooms' at the Irish Arts Center.
"A riveting fever dream of a play...Jolts the system through some of the most sophisticated visual and sound effects on display in New York...The subjects of these experiments are portrayed by Murphy, Doherty and O’Conor, in bravura performances...In the play’s final sequence, Walsh lets this entity explain itself...and I wish he hadn’t...As a whole, though, 'Arlington' is as creepy and compelling a vision of a blasted tomorrow as you’re going to find these days." Full Review
“A dystopian cocktail of theater, dance, and performance art that somehow still leaves you with the sweet taste of a love story…It's a testament to Walsh's talent for dialogue that we care so deeply about the connection between two strangers who have never met face-to-face...It's also a testament to Murphy and O'Conor's performances that they're able to nourish this subtle chemistry, as well as the charm and humor that Walsh embeds within such depraved circumstances." Full Review
“‘Arlington’ invests more attention on sensory stimulation than clarity or coherence…Walsh’s gift for dialogue shines through…For those theatergoers with a taste for avant-garde, multimedia performance art, ‘Arlington’ is well done. The two actors and the dancer are appealing and credible. The rock score is fast and furious. The design offers a near-constant barrage of in-your-face lighting changes, sound effects and projections.” Full Review
"So well acted and presented that it engages you emotionally almost against its better judgement...It’s an enigmatic, dystopian tale delivered with visual panache, an excellent sound design and three performances that breathe life into its mysterious story. If Walsh hadn’t shied away from the compelling plot he put into motion, it might have achieved greatness...Walsh sets up a marvelous dynamic. But the story we want mostly takes place in between the scenes we see." Full Review
"The play is no less defeatist than Walsh’s previous works, but for the first time there is a glimmer of resistance...'Arlington' is the type of play that invites a number of interpretations, all of which are right, and few of which can be supported with evidence from the stage...There’s no denying the play’s morbid charm. Charlie Murphy’s Isla is instantly endearing...O’Conor is a heartbreaking deer in the headlights, doing his best to remain human in a dehumanized wasteland." Full Review
"It’s hard to describe without trying to impose an interpretation, or see hints of '1984,' but we do so at the risk of reductivism. Walsh provides scant narrative from which to draw concepts like character, plot, theme, setting or meaning...Walsh manages to tap into both our nagging daily anxieties and our most conspiratorial fears. 'Arlington' looks and feels like that dream where familiar settings suddenly become menacing, for no identifiable reason, and we start running like hell." Full Review
“Walsh binges himself on multiple loose theatrical forms and multi-media formats, all expertly done, but the clang made when they all come together can make more noise than sense. At times. At other times, the raw emotion is astonishing...Amidst hard times, the done thing in creativity is to visit dystopian isolation. There’s a sense that whatever Walsh is doing here is far less political than it is personal, giving him free rein." Full Review
“Walsh withholds so much information – the time, the place, the relationship of the imprisoned Isla and her interrogator — that chronic disorientation is the immediate and arguably appropriate response to ‘Arlington’…The story of ‘Arlington’ becomes clear, not because of Walsh’s powers as a storyteller. It’s that he borrows so much from other sources.” Full Review
"A fairly straightforward drama, if an enigmatic one...I fear that such vaguely conceived dystopias tend to be surprisingly uninteresting...'Arlington' is never boring, however, largely because of the extraordinarily committed performances by its three-person cast...A lot happens but what it all means is never very clear. Walsh asks the audience to infer too much, and his intentions remain thoroughly cloudy." Full Review
"While there is frequently beauty in Walsh's works, there's also self-indulgence...Walsh is looking in the mirror, and he can't tear himself away. And when he directs, as he does here, we're fully in an environment of his devising, which only has one criterion: what's coolest...Taken in images, 'Arlington' is quite beautiful...Beckett and Sartre are clearly influences here, but Walsh hasn't got their bite. He's a sentimentalist, and a cheeseball one." Full Review
“I didn’t enjoy ‘Arlington.’ I don’t think you’re supposed to…I was ready to write it off. But the play keeps coming back to me…Walsh’s dystopian fantasy feels like a waking nightmare. It’s not plausible, but it’s not ridiculous, either...It gives me the shivers…Charlie Murphy’s Isla is funny, practical and engaging…We’re left wondering what the Hell is going on for far too long...Weird isn’t always poetic...Plot matters...'Arlington' is 80 minutes of situation." Full Review
“With the frantic yet ponderous ‘Arlington,’ Walsh’s confinement obsession has entirely run out of theatrical fuel. That dearth of new ideas is apparent from the director-playwright’s reliance on gimmicks…The only novelty is that Walsh attempts to blend his usual relentless comic style with a portentous dose of dystopian seriousness...The performers do their best to keep up with Walsh’s whimsy…But the material is so repetitive and so half-formed that their efforts are wasted here." Full Review
for a previous production "A tremendous exploration of the transcending of circumstance...Walsh – he also directs – and the creative team combine stunning effects with playful physicality: think Christopher Nolan meets Charlie Chaplin. There are neat tricks in Jamie Vartan’s set, with the design team making Isla’s room come alive. Jack Phelan provides some of the most stirring video work that’s been seen on an Irish stage and Emma Martin’s choreography is visceral." Full Review
for a previous production "A new form of theatre that includes drama, dance, music and visual art...I found 'Arlington' less fascinating for what it says than for the way it says it. Walsh is clearly out to demolish the distinction between drama and visual art...Walsh is also creating a theatre in which movement exists on an equal footing with text...When I’ve forgotten the ideas, I shall still recall Walsh’s boldness in weaving his closely textured poetic prose into a new form of category-defying theatre." Full Review
for a previous production "A brave and thought-provoking production...The end result is a technical masterclass, with 'Arlington' delivering a technically tight and complex show, beautifully and brilliantly executed. Yet despite its embarrassment of riches, 'Arlington' isn't always as strong as its individual components...'Arlington' brings disparate elements together to riff and improvise around a structure, and more often than not they hit the mark...An utterly unforgettable experience." Full Review
See it if you want to be floored by amazing performances and an incredible design. Oh yeah, and that Enda Walsh person, he's ok, I guess :)
Don't see it if if you need to be spoonfeed story or need a traditional structure. This is not that.
See it if you're comfortable with the necessary quietness of a play that never pushes its point and can accept the magnitude of unknowns this play has
Don't see it if You're expecting a deeply political Orwellian dystopian play.
See it if Whooo this intense theatre work is as surreal as it gets. Part bag dream meets installation art you might find at the Whitney .
Don't see it if It you don't like avant guard Surreal theatre
Also The physical Body work is amazing
See it if you want to think. want to feel. want to see redemption and hope. To call it dystopian is accurate but ultimately untrue.
Don't see it if You want a straight narrative which requires no interpretation, you want a light comedy.
See it if you enjoy a unique theatre experience. I found this to be so absorbing with many interesting and creative ideas. used dance brilliantly.
Don't see it if you like to have everything explained and do not like ambiguity.
See it if you enjoy dystopian, thought-provoking theater that isn't afraid to confuse you a bit. The music and choreography is particarly fantastic.
Don't see it if you don't like theater that isn't sunshine and rainbows. This play takes a good hard look at society and depression, so take it in and think
See it if you are willing to go out on a limb and witness the next theatre piece from the mind theatre poet Enda Walsh working with an ace team
Don't see it if you find dystopian fables not to your liking
See it if You like to keep up with the new playwrights from other countries (Ireland) and you are interested in dystopian drama and modern dance.
Don't see it if You enjoy conventional drama with a direct narrative line,
See it if you can be patient, letting the understanding build piece by piece. Walsh creates a stark image of the future; not a tale for the faint
Don't see it if you don't want to be disturbed. Themes include suicide, classism, torture, the reaction of humans to isolation, the failure of humanity
See it if you can let yourself go and appreciate how the staging and dialogue and acting come together to form something new and meaningful.
Don't see it if you prefer straight forward plots and don't like sci fi, particularly when it is about a dystopian future.
See it if you can immerse yourself in poetic, challenging, troubling yet beautiful experimental theater. Edgy, stimulating, well acted & choreographed
Don't see it if you want fluff and fun & fret over linear plot lines. Tormented & not easy to grasp. Definitely not for everyone, but I loved the experience
See it if you want to see something totally different and very emotionally tugging despite being a bit confusing, with unique blend of acting/dancing.
Don't see it if if you don’t like seeing something without a straight story line; dislike silent or dark moments, or loud noises with the lights out.
See it if want theater to keep you guessing, are ok w little plot/unexplained worlds. This is a character study in a dystopian future. Not easy.
Don't see it if Don't like dark, experimental/edgy stuff. It's confounding, intense, melancholy both in script & production. Read the Brit reviews before.
See it if you like getting hints/clues about the big picture & backstory, putting it together yourself throughout the show using great acting/staging
Don't see it if You don't want to think about what something means during the show
See it if a haunting, fascinating, sometimes confusing, dystopian Enda Walsh play might be for you. Choreography and acting are wonderful.
Don't see it if A more straight-forward play is for you. I have preferred Walsh's other plays more.
See it if You like dance, you like poetry, you like feelings, you want to see some cool set design
Don't see it if You don't like being a little lost, you don't care for multi-media, you really can't get down with fluorescent lights
See it if you are interested in experimental, dystopic theatre. You are a fan of theatre that blends in dance and multimedia elements.
Don't see it if you don't want to think about or be challenged by what you're seeing onstage. You aren't a fan of pieces that are more like performance art.
See it if you are into non-traditional theatre.
Don't see it if you are looking for something black and white. This show definitely requires much more thinking and connecting the dots than normal.
See it if You're really into experimental theatre, absurdist work (Beckett et. al.), are interested in the how of a story's construction.
Don't see it if You are looking for plot, clear explanations, or a happy ending.
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