Already closed | 2h 20m | Midtown W

Heartbreak House

From 79 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Entertaining, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious

About the show

In this new adaptation of Shaw’s play, it’s the first days of the London Blitz. With the performance interrupted, the cast and audience have joined together to seek shelter in the theatre’s basement.  More…

To entertain the crowd, the cast performs Shaw’s most vital paean to resistance and perseverance against tyranny, 'Heartbreak House.' Inspired by actual events as lived by Hermione Gingold during the WWII’s darkest days, this new approach strives to make Shaw’s masterpiece more timely than ever.  'Heartbreak House' brings a wildly disparate group of people together in the English countryside over a September weekend to make major decisions about their future. No stone is left unturned as each character is forced to come to terms with his or her past while finding a way to move forward in the face of the coming crisis. 

2h 20m | Already closed | Theatre Row / Theatre One (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (79)


Great acting, Entertaining, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious
Avg Score

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Too long, Entertaining

See it if Great acting all around, though the 3 women steal the show. :-) First 2 hours are fun, funny, smart and fast-paced​.

Don't see it if The last 40 min (3rd act?) did stretch it too long and was very slow.

Also At 2hr 45min the show takes a turn in​ the third half. Almost no actio... Read more Read less

Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to see some great performances by an amazing cast. Great female characters.

Don't see it if You aren't in the mood for a 2hr45min show. It's too long and ends up meandering in the last 30-40min.

Long, Funny, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if You’re a fan of Shaw. These are some top notch actors-you don’t get the opportunity to see a play like this very often. Great direction.

Don't see it if You don’t like madcap metaphorical adventures down the rabbit hole of politics and human rights and just about every other hot topic.

Dated, Indulgent, Slow, Funny, Cliched

See it if Long rambling satire of British gentlemen & women frittering their time while the threat of war approaches. Humorous character acting.

Don't see it if Dated main theme of young woman deciding whether to marry old guy for money. Silly characters drawn out for 2 1/2 hrs. Not much substance.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining, Indulgent

See it if Strong ensemble led by Ziemba, Hewett & Thompson hone Shaw's message of capitalistic nihilism to a fine edge despite unfocused direction

Don't see it if Staller's framing devise seems clever but ultimately proves obtrusive Cluttered set hinders movement yet Shaw's prose still shines radiantly

Ambitious, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you're a fan of Shaw, like great ensemble action, enjoy an unusual but legitimate setting, like intelligent comedies

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Shaw's, don't like Shaw abridged or set in an unexpected location, don't need reminders of the Blitz or World War I

Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Slow

See it if Shavian political serio-comedy. Very talented cast especially Fraser,(like a Glynis Johns), relish their dialogue.

Don't see it if Slow political 2.5hr. Shaw in cramped Lion theatre with very little staging requires commitment from audience. But, gee, that ensemble.

Great writing, Relevant for usa today, Warns of businessman’s greed, deceit, corruption, Script restored to pre-ww1 text, Ominously performed in a ww2 bomb shelter

See it if Prescient Shaw warns world of complacency regarding economic and political corruption, exploitation, fraud and consequences of inaction.

Don't see it if You don’t like Shaw’s wordy, idea-filled plays that drag on with soapbox monologues.

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant, Zany

See it if you enjoy G. B. Shaw's humor and well acted, relevant theater.

Don't see it if you find long, wordy plays tedious even though the content is entertaining and intelligent.

Entertaining, Disappointing

See it if See a well-acted version of Shaw up-close.

Don't see it if The framing concept didn't really do much. First act drags but it does pickup in the second act

Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great staging

See it if Intriguing wartime drama with great actors appeals

Don't see it if You only like Bway musicals

Great acting, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you like Shaw, even one of his least popular shows. Acting is great, though as a morality play, it is hard to find anyone to admire.

Don't see it if You don't want to spend 2 hours and 45 minutes wondering what the play is really about.

Great writing, Dated, Delightful, Ambitious, Confusing

See it if you enjoy Shaw- both his comedy and his wordiness. Actors were individually great but hasn't gelled as a company when I saw it in previews.

Don't see it if You prefer minimalist scripts and acting. The set and costumes were gorgeous and elaborate, just like the play.

Bad acting, Slow, Dull, Great staging, Disappointing

See it if You're a big Shaw fan and want to see a cool new take on one of his plays.

Don't see it if You're bothered by really shoddy acting and a slow story. I don't know whether the shitty acting was a choice or not, but it didn't work.

Slow, Confusing, Disappointing, Fluffy, Great acting

See it if you enjoy a slow WWII silly comedy with an audience sing-a-long

Don't see it if you expect a show with some depth, want something more serious.

Great acting, Great staging, Funny, Quirky, Slow

See it if you enjoy light comedies and integration of audience sing alongs

Don't see it if you don’t like plays in British accents (or inconsistencies of it), British humor, or can’t sit through long plays (2 hrs 40 mins)

Also I found the first act (1 hr) to be entertaining and humorous and looke... Read more Read less

Delightful, Funny, Great writing, Intelligent, Must see

See it if Don’t let the title scare you! More heart -lift than heart-ache. Teriffic cast of real pros put on one of Shaw’s funniest plays during the

Don't see it if Play runs well over two hours with one ten-minute intermission. British accents.

Also London blitz. A wildly eccentric but extremely charming group of chara... Read more Read less

Confusing, Dated, Indulgent, Overrated, Boring

See it if You will like anything Terry Teachout likes. I thought I did.

Don't see it if You hate farce.

Also If you go don’t sit in the back, or wear your vegan fur. They’re keepi... Read more Read less

Delightful, Great acting, Funny, Great writing, Profound

See it if you enjoy seeing a bit of a twist on a classic play by GB Shaw. Lovely acting.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy long shows (a bit more trimming in the second act would have been welcome). Want your classic theater without twists.

Ambitious, Dated, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you'd like a novel "play-within-a-play" by an early (unrecognizable) Shaw. Sets & acting r great but too long & plays' themes don't meet.

Don't see it if You don't like very talky long shows. Also, in the spirit of the times, it is Acted with a capital A. There is humor. Oh - and singalongs.

Banal, Confusing, Cliched, Dated, Disappointing

See it if You love Shaw. You like long plays with lots of characters.

Don't see it if You want a coherent plot. This was very silly. Good acting, though.

Funny, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if you are a fan of George Bernard Shaw or if you enjoy watching actors portray a zany assortment of characters.

Don't see it if you want a faster paced production.

Entertaining, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Clever, Slow

See it if you like British plays with lovely costumes, flirtations, clever lines, or you relish Shaw's timeless morality

Don't see it if you can't sit in your seat for 3 hours, or if you need acting/tone to be really consistent

Also Picked this up on the spur of the moment walking around the Theatre Di... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Great writing

See it if you like small productions

Don't see it if you are into musicals, big Broadway productions, etc.

Also This is a very intimate and quiet staging of a terrific Shaw work. The... Read more Read less

Hot-messy but cheerful and w/ brio

See it if you love Shaw and are happy to seek out alternative presentations of even his lesser-known (less perfect) plays

Don't see it if you cannot see past wavering accents and occasional soapboxing to a sprawling larger theme: we're made whole by our joyful imperfections

Also This is not Shaw's most trenchant or laser-focused play, but it's vint... Read more Read less

September 9th, 2018
“A crisp and fizzy comic wake-up call to a society drifting toward self-destruction...The play’s potential for resonance in our own time is enormous...Yet Staller’s unfocused production never answers the fundamental question for any revival: Why now? Even with such a tantalizingly talented cast, ...
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September 20th, 2018
“Shaw’s play is a hellishly difficult combination of portentousness and froth...Staller desperately wants us to have a good time; he adds sing-alongs and gives us the divinely silly Hiller...But the ensemble...simply can’t locate the play’s comic spark...No one can agree on how big to play, how g...
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September 11th, 2018
“Staller has taken on ‘Heartbreak House’, one of Shaw’s most challenging plays, with altogether extraordinary results...This version is a conceptual staging, one whose ingenious framing device intensifies the effect of Shaw’s text instead of smothering it...A high-quality ensemble cast...Staller’...
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September 9th, 2018
“This WW II scenario is not what Shaw had in mind for his trenchant antiwar comedy...Yet Staller has cannily, though not always successfully, adapted the play to make it what Shaw may have first conceived it as...Staller's take sometimes sacrifices the play's comical moments for the sake of this ...
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