The Mint brings brings Houghton's 1910 comic drama to New York city for the first time in 95 years. A sly morality tale that mixes questions of ethics, class, custom, and morals into an effervescent fizz of comic realism. More…
It’s “Wakes Week” in Hindle; the mill is closed and the workers are idle. Fanny Hawthorn is relaxing at the seashore with a girlfriend when she runs into Alan Jeffcote, the mill owner’s son. Alan takes Fanny to an hotel in Wales for a few days of fun, but the fun stops when their parents find out. Of course, Alan should marry Fanny—no matter that Alan is engaged already. Should Alan do the right thing and make an honest woman of Fanny, or should he do the right thing and stand by his fiancé?
“Not seen in New York in 95 years, ‘Hindle Wakes’ has been given a stylish and fast-paced production by Gus Kaikkonen making it yet another rediscovered treasure, the Mint's stated mission. At its center is a magnificently wry performance by Jonathan Hogan in the play's leading role. Though some may find the play's Edwardian morality dated, the Me-Too movement shows not a lot has changed in the past 100 years. The clever and wise ‘Hindle Wakes’ is as timely as ever.” Full Review
"The Mint presents Houghton’s refreshing, timeless work with its usual seamless aplomb and design dexterity. Also, the superb acting ensemble steps into early-20th-century Hindle, England accoutered with local, quaint accents...Houghton’s themes can then strike our hearts with searing relevance... The independence, autonomy, and integrity of both Fanny and Beatrice surprise and hearten...The Mint has revived a treasure, finding the impassioned justice in 'Hindle Wakes'." Full Review
"What's remarkable about the production is its relevance...We have a play with the robust humor that is always bubbling below the surface...It avoids sentimentality and it doesn't romanticize, but it offers insight into what causes prejudice and small-mindedness. It also shows how self-confidence and determination can free almost anyone from the confines of parental boundaries...The cast is superbly gifted...The smooth ensemble playing is perfection." Full Review
“A thoroughly enjoyable, readily accessible play...Although it was written more than 100 years ago, it raises issues of sex, love, ethics, and morality that still stir controversy...While Ibsen, Wilde, and Shaw had previously addressed these matters, the characters in ‘Hindle Wakes’ are more fully realized and the humor is gentle...This work has been brilliantly cast and dazzlingly performed. It’s rich with laugh lines that are also thought-provoking...So run, don’t walk, to buy thy tickets.” Full Review
“Mint Theater Company’s production vibrantly brings to the contemporary table sexual issues which preoccupy us today...The climax is startling and worthy of our age, a gift from playwright...A company of great actors, due much congratulations on their masterful craft...Directed with clarity and sensitivity...This play deserves our attention. It is a descendant of Ibsen and owes much to that master of realistic social argument, the theatrical presentation of ideas.” Full Review
“The play's construction is rather unusual but highly effective in terms of what we see or don't see happen...Kaikkonen directs with the utmost sensitivity, helping to draw wonderfully naturalistic performances from all involved, and dialect coach Stoller seems to have been a big help with the Yorkshire patois. These two and the rest of the production team...work together with a superb cast and the words of a long-deceased playwright to create something very special.” Full Review
“Dated as this play may seem at first, its treatment of the double standard in male-female relationships remains surprisingly timely and is handled with considerable aplomb…Each character gets to weigh in colorfully regarding the dilemma…Their differing perspectives make up the bulk of the writing. The ensemble is well-honed, although the accents vary in quality…Given a lively...revival by director Gus Kaikkonen,…'Hindle Wakes' is an unexpectedly bright addition to the current season.” Full Review
“Houghton’s 1912 play skewers its era’s social mores without proselytizing or cliché psychology. Characters are decidedly multidimensional. Humor and irony arrive impactful as well as entertaining. We utterly believe these people as written and played and are drawn in to what might hackneyed, but turns out intriguing. A good looking, worthy production of work you’d otherwise never see...Kaikkoen astutely defines his characters...Well crafted.” Full Review
“Mint Theater Company is demonstrating that this little-known play with its perplexing title is a compelling period piece. Directed by Kaikkonen and performed with unrelenting gusto...A comedy-drama about sexual mores, class distinctions, and gender politics in provincial England just prior to World War I...The cast is a compelling, well-calibrated ensemble...The Mint has given Houghton’s neglected play a handsome physical production.” Full Review
“A fascinating balance between, on one hand, three-dimensional characters with full-blown conflicts and, on the other, ideas about society, relationships, and, yes, sex...The result is fascinating, involving, surprising, and funny...The show is well-performed...The direction by Gus Kaikkonen is smooth and unobtrusive, with a slight tendency to shtick. The design aspects are first-rate...Houghton unfortunately died at 32...Thanks to The Mint for giving him his due in this wonderful production.” Full Review
"Though somewhat sleepy-eyed, the revival reaffirms the play as both well worth knowing in itself and particularly resonant in today's political climate...Like a good stew, the plot keeps thickening...with each turn another set of conflicting social attitudes bubbles up...Kaikkonen's cast weighs in most strongly when the females come to the fore...A slight air of cautious earnestness hangs over the whole production...They needn't have worried...The play has aged charmingly." Full Review
“A cracking play that richly deserves this opportunity...Houghton has created a well-made play that is consistently gripping and throws up a truly Ibsenite heroine...There is only a single criticism of this superb production...With a couple of honourable exceptions, it might have been better for the actors to skip their limp attempts at accents...Regardless...if you are within reach, don’t miss a rare opportunity to see a worthy and highly enjoyable play from the past.” Full Review
“A lovely crafted and quite progressive stage play, remarkable for something written in 1910. It delves with a compelling sincerity into the complex questions of ethics, class, sex, and morals of the time with a surprisingly dose of comic realism. And in the end, this production is just plain good fun...The arguments by all are solid and logical, wrapped up in a tidy artful comedy...This enjoyable and fun comedy should not be lost or neglected.” Full Review
“One of the least sentimental plays ever written about matchmaking...A quiet play about a commonplace situation, but, the more one thinks about it, the more devastating it seems...Under Kaikkonen's meticulous, understated direction, a way of life and its assumptions and ideals are overturned by a capitalism-inspired vision of individual satisfaction...Effectively immerses us in a world where the mere hint of impurity is enough to destroy a young woman's reputation." Full Review
"A century old British play being given a new life...This play celebrates a woman standing up for her rights, despite society’s claim on her...The cast is uniformly good with Brinkley perfectly representing the modern freethinking woman, as in contrast to Geer’s repressed woman of the time. Both give pause to who and what they represent. It is always lovely to see Hogan’s elequent work on stage...Kaikkonen direction allows the time period to speak for itself." Full Review
“Under the sure-footed direction of Kaikonen, each member of the cast gets to make the most of his or her character's real and very human personality traits. Brinkley as Fanny is a convincingly feisty early feminist and we wouldn't have a play without her character. However, it's the older characters...Who bring out the humor and make this more than a period drama with a dash of feminism...As usual with a Mint production, a huge nod to the crafts team.” Full Review
“Banks has rediscovered an interesting British play from the early 20th century and given it a first-rate production...The play combines family drama, social criticism, ethical and moral dilemmas, satire and a dash of feminism...Shaw minus much of the wit...Lovingly staged...Smooth direction by Kaikkonen. It’s slow moving and the accents can be a bit challenging, but if you have a taste for well-produced neglected plays, you will be rewarded.” Full Review
"It is gratifying and fascinating to find a play taking controversial positions advanced for its time...Astutely directed by Gus Kaikkonen, it is convincingly acted...In Houghton’s play both women get to have their say, much to the consternation of the men...'Hindle Wakes' is very well constructed, and the acting proceeds without the kind of melodramatic histrionics that would have made it less realistic than in the civilized manner in which the action and dialogue unfold." Full Review
"It’s talky...But the talk, while leisurely, is compelling, especially in its surprising currency...Watching Alan, Fanny, and Beatrice try to wriggle out of the social expectations they’re weighted down with doesn’t feel 106 years old at all...Kaikkonen directs the fine ensemble naturalistically...There’s not a weak link, and the comedy, when it’s there, springs from the characters’ uncomfortable existences within established norms. With 'Hindle Wakes,' the Mint has a winner. " Full Review
“This 1912 drama is stunningly pertinent and potent...A thoughtful, handsomely mounted, and thoroughly enjoyable production...It’s a bit tricky for the director to segue from the extremely dark and heavy opening scenes of the play to the sort of comedy-of-manners business that comes later in the evening...The cast is solid...This production owes a great deal of its success to Brinkley’s turn as the radiantly earthy Fanny. She is pitch-perfect.” Full Review
"It's hard to realize just how scandalous and revolutionary Houghton's drama 'Hindle Wakes' was in its time...Houghton was certainly familiar with the town and the people he was writing about...He grew up with the local dialect and knew how to use it effectively...There are no misguided attempts to update a drama so deeply rooted in its time. Nevertheless, the cast breathes life into the characters in a way that makes them step out of the past and speak to us in a very modern way." Full Review
“Gentle as a summer rain until, bam, something electric happens to charge the air. Kaikkonen’s handsome, rough around the edges production makes a better case for the play as a curiosity than a forgotten gem, though...A paean to women’s sexual freedom from a time before they even had the right to vote...A play about class, ambition, and self-determination, but it’s even more concerned with the suffocating effects of paternalism.” Full Review
See it if you like mint productions. Timely, current issues, well presented and phenomenally relevant and contemporary writing.
Don't see it if you prefer light, fluffy, musical productions
See it if you like an intriguing story with strong characters and 100% fine acting
Don't see it if you don't find drawing-room dramas with comedic tones engaging; you don't enjoy plays from the past
See it if you want great dramatic writing &acting of an old (1910's) play that's surprisingly relevant today & somehow seems modern despite its age.
Don't see it if you're not into serious drama and are just looking to be "entertained"
See it if What an unexpected, delightful evening! Extremely entertaining and great acting. Funny and sad at times. Great for women’s libbers. Go see👍
Don't see it if You are not into family dramas and the women’s lib movement.
See it if you appreciate older, little-seen dramas revitalized for a contemporary audience; appreciate off-Broadway gems; love solid drama and acting.
Don't see it if seeking bells and whistles and flashy forms of entertainment; want something less predictable; dislike plays that can feel "old-fashioned."
See it if You enjoy well-made lost gems that are relevant today. You love great acting.
Don't see it if You prefer a lot of action rather than dialogue. You don't want to deal with dialect.
See it if appreciate old school linear dramas that confront issues of sexuality in a prim and proper manner. Another home run for the Mint Theater
Don't see it if Only enjoy fluff and glitzy musicals.
See it if You love to see interesting characters interact in an absorbing and intelligent manner. You like period dramas. You appreciate moral issues.
Don't see it if You want something avant garde. You want a frothy musical
See it if You enjoy a wonderful production of a 100 year old play. Great staging and costumes. Relevant class and feminist themes.
Don't see it if You have no patience for period drama.
See it if great cast great set great writing interesting play about women's rights and romance pleasant surprise smaller space --feel more involved
Don't see it if want a contemporary play or light musical-----do not like plays about women's rights and their times
See it if you want a well structured play about morality in a time long past. Some aspects still relevant others offer interesting comparisons.
Don't see it if you do not appreciate dated plays or you want a musical.
See it if Very entertaining and surprisingly modern drama (especially considering it was written in 1912 or so) - well acted and absorbing.
Don't see it if You don't like talky drawing room style plays.
See it if You are intrigued by the thought of watching a comedic drama written over a hundred years ago be brought back to life with utter perfection.
Don't see it if Subjects like class, morals, customs, & ethics, though flawlessly presented with comedic tones, aren't your idea of a discussion worthy play
See it if You enjoy an old-fashioned family drama, you’re interested in a feminist drama from the time of the suffragists
Don't see it if You are not into old and forgotten plays that are definitely worth seeing and enjoyable if not perfect, you dislike traditional narrative
See it if either like - because of the charm - or aren't put off by "black and white" as in VERY "old school" material... when it's well done as here!
Don't see it if "Cats" is your idea of good theater.
See it if you enjoy the Mint's usual high standard of acting and production plus a vintage play with a surprising twist.
Don't see it if you only like intense drama and are unable to appreciate the pace and issues of another era.
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