Borders NYC Reviews and Tickets

87%
(11 Reviews)
Positive
100%
Mixed
0%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant

About the Show

Inspired by encounters with refugees, 'Borders' is an urgent, moving, and sometimes comic commentary on one of the great crises of our time.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (11)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
85
Engrossing, Shattering, Relevant, Touching, Well-acted

See it if you want to understand (and FEEL) the horrors of war-torn Syria/the plight of refugees. 2 intertwined stories, one humorous, one harrowing.

Don't see it if you only like lite fare. Show is a gut punch. Occasionally, it's melodramatic. But go for solid acting/intelligent staging/griping story. Read more

94
Great acting, Great writing, Must see, Riveting, Resonant

See it if you like polished, meaningful performances; explorations of what it means to be an empowered person/artist in different parts of the world.

Don't see it if I do know ppl who wouldn’t appreciate Borders, but they happen to be psychopaths. Don’t go if a psychopath, or only interested in the West. Read more

Critic Reviews (15)

Theatermania
July 5th, 2018

“A dull polemic where a complex moral drama ought to be...The Syrian graffiti artist emerges as a fully human character with a compellingly unique story. Regrettably, Naylor never appears satisfied with that...The fact that her story is frequently interrupted by a tepid send-up of the Western media is even more frustrating, dividing our attention and diluting the power of the play...Actors compensate for the lack of fire in the script.”
Read more

Exeunt Magazine
July 9th, 2018

"Avital Lvova is singular in her ability to take the beautiful poetry of Naylor’s text and deliver it effortlessly...Lvova is athletic, gripping, and her performance is doubtlessly the highlight of the play...'Borders' is co-directed ingeniously by Michael Cabot and Louise Skaaning, who make great use of the barebones set to transport us from bus to basement to prison to art gallery to boat...We are ushered through Naylor’s text thanks to elegant transitions and brilliant performances."
Read more

New York Theater
July 6th, 2018

“A small, spare, sometimes poignant but not especially enlightening play that alternates monologues by two characters, a British photographer and a young Syrian woman...There is a deliberate discord between the largely comic tone of Sebastian’s anecdotes and the largely tragic tone in what Nameless says...At its best, the two performers...tell some vivid anecdotes...At its worst, the two characters too often speak in a pseudo-poetic diction.”
Read more

T
July 5th, 2018

"Written in breathless, staccato, pulp fiction-style sentences filled with vividly carved verbal images…For all the play's hearts-in-the-right-place depiction of Syrian suffering, it fails to go much beyond the depiction of the struggle of two artists to remain true to their convictions, with the Middle East crisis a conveniently dramatic background to their respective dilemmas…Which is not to deny its onstage dramatic power…'Borders' is knife sharp, bullet fast, and edgily funny."
Read more

Daily Beast
July 5th, 2018

“Directed with lean briskness...We rarely see the moral courage we are encouraged to think lies within Simon that has become extinguished. The same quality in the nameless young woman is never in doubt...It is her character...that is the most resonant. Through her, rather than the comical Simon, Naylor’s message is simple, emphatic, and angry: These are people. These are people we have a responsibility to help. Yet do we recognize that? Do we do anything about it?"
Read more

The Stage (UK)
August 10th, 2017
For a previous production

"Deftly interweaving these two monologues, Naylor asks pertinent questions about the power of art, the responsibility of the artist, and the integrity of a society that only cares about refugees when Angelina Jolie tells it to...Their slowly converging stories are both compelling and convincingly rooted in gritty geopolitics...At times, one wishes he would take more formal risks...This is a form that has limits. And 'Borders' – excellent though it is – doesn’t push them very far."
Read more

The London Evening Standard
August 7th, 2017
For a previous production

"As the story moves to the present day, Sebastian has returned to 'real' photography, joining a Mediterranean mission where he wants the shot that will renew his fame...Nameless, by now a pregnant refugee, is fleeing for her life in an unseaworthy boat. Their two stories collide — but who is rescuing whom, from what?...Naylor interlaces the serious — and sometimes shocking — details of their histories with wry asides...Michael Cabot directs a gripping hour that races by."
Read more

The Independent (UK)
August 18th, 2017
For a previous production

"A two-hander, featuring a pair of characters in motion towards one another on both sides of the Mediterranean. Both are artists in their own way...Naylor's dialogue is crisp and evocative, and the non-existent set is so far stripped back that all the tools Cabot has to work with are his very talented actors, leading to a result which is pure and captivating. Even if moments occasionally swing close to cliché, Naylor’s name remains a mark of quality for those who like to see good political drama."
Read more

The Barefoot Review
February 14th, 2018
For a previous production

"This play is divided into two perspectives...Conflict allows the playwright to editorialise, so to speak, on the state of modern media, on the loss of true news coverage and journalistic integrity to the endless, slavish reportage of celebrity gossip. It is another great cultural casualty of our times and Naylor nails it...The audience is wondering if and how these worlds may intersect. Well, intersect they do and it is a magnificent and spectacular climax."
Read more

The Wee Review
August 6th, 2017
For a previous production

"Their stories may be different, but Naylor connects the two different lives together through historical and cultural references that an audience may surely find relatable...Cabot’s staging and direction is simple yet effective, intensified by the use of just two stools as props...Yet another masterpiece from Naylor, exploring a difficult subject with remarkable poignancy. This is true stripped back theatre; one where performances, script and direction are justly able to shine."
Read more

T
August 14th, 2017
For a previous production

"The parallel monologues of the two characters paint out their lives...Lvova invests her character with burning intensity; if there are more powerful performances on the Fringe this year, they must be few in number. As the paths of these contrasting characters begin to converge with a doomed inevitability, the play racks up the tension in the audience, building up to a powerful denouement stunning in its impact."
Read more

Fringe Review (UK)
August 31st, 2017
For a previous production

"A beautifully articulated piece of theatre that moves heart and mind as it tells the story of a Syrian refugee from converging perspectives...A powerful narrative that is all the stronger for avoiding sentimentalism...Nameless’ tale has a clear narrative thread, ringing true and yet carrying a sense of multiple stories. Naylor’s language is elegant, spare, almost poetic...The bringing together of the two characters’ stories, like images becoming superimposed, seems natural, even inevitable."
Read more

Broadway Baby
August 26th, 2017
For a previous production

"Naylor's writing sees his characters weave in and around terror, love and rebellion. His ability to write such wholesome and human characters – as well as capturing the comedy and irony in our most real experiences – is so refreshing...'Borders' is sobering and powerful in the way it brings together human experience in these two tragic and gripping stories, pointing out that we have put up walls inside our minds and hearts, preventing us from empathising with others."
Read more

I
February 19th, 2018
For a previous production

"As the two characters’ lives move away from and back towards each other, the script shifts effortlessly between poetry, humour and nail-biting action. It’s superbly carried by Lvova and O’Mara, who deliver their roller-coaster monologues with an explosive energy that is utterly gripping...Pure, raw theatre that smashes through our mental borders and beckons us into a new world of understanding. Naylor has nailed it again."
Read more

Australian Stage
February 19th, 2018
For a previous production

"We are witnessing two stories, each nothing to do with the other and yet surely knowing that at some point there would be contact. No spoilers here but the build up to the climax is a joy to behold with two actors showing us how it’s done. Sebastian is a clever character study...As for Nameless, her growing resolve, determination and courage grapples the audience and turns our attention away from Sebastian’s gloss to what we see and read when we peruse 'the immigrant problem.'"
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
150+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (think Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and tries to corral others into enacting a…

Buy
77
Good
132 Reviews
Ends Oct 10
NYC: Midtown W

Following a sold-out run at LCT3, "Pass Over" will come to Broadway for a limited run this August.

Buy