Key Change
90

Key Change NYC Reviews and Tickets

90%
(26 Reviews)
Positive
100%
Mixed
0%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Must see

About the Show

Britain's Open Clasp Theatre Company presents this award-winning piece of theatre devised by actual female prisoners about their lives in a raw and illuminating portrait.

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Member Reviews (26)

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90
Brilliant, Thought-provoking, Moving, Great writing, Must see

See it if brilliantly written, acted and staged. Moving and gripping story. Touching, real and insightful. Sad and funny. MUST SEE!

Don't see it if no excuses. Get it while supplies last!

73
Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You like well written and masterfully acted theater or like stories of women in prison. All of the women give powerful powerformes

Don't see it if You don't like minimalist staging or don't want to actively listen in order to follow the story.

Critic Reviews (18)

The New York Times
January 15th, 2016

"A moving, intimate and superbly acted drama about women’s lives in a British prison...The production is aptly spare and simple...The dialogue is crisp, minimal and overlapping...Among its other virtues, 'Key Change' resists sentimentality, although there are some touching passages."
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Lighting & Sound America
January 19th, 2016

"There are many striking moments; you could say that 'Key Change' is constructed of nothing but...'Key Change' also powerfully delineates the grim facts of life behind bars...In the end, however, 'Key Change' remains a piece that, for all its harrowingly rendered observations, exists mostly as a kind of tract, an argument designed to enlighten others. It certainly performs that task, even as one leaves the theatre wishing one had seen a real play."
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TheaterScene.net
January 14th, 2016

"A moving and highly theatrical kaleidoscopic factual drama that makes a great impact in one hour. Playwright Catrina McHugh has crafted a richly detailed confessional examination of four women’s lives that are told with fierce candor and biting humor...The pace is fast and vibrantly conveys the emotions of the characters’ situations...With its strong writing, masterful presentation and intense performances, 'Key Change' is an excellent work of social consciousness theater."
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Theatre is Easy
January 12th, 2016

"These powerful performers understand the value of detailed, fearless acting...If it's the carefully woven fabric of voices and stories that makes this a punch-strong show or if it is the fact that it is delivered carefully through equally powerful moments of comedy, completely earned lyricism and precise timing—applause here again to Lindow—that makes 'Key Change' a much needed piece of theatre, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that this exists...A must-see play."
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Stage Buddy
January 14th, 2016

"All of the performances are rough, bloody and believable...Within the cast, amid poetic form, physical theater, considerable comedy and the rasp of straight talking, real tears are shed. A statement of 'It's my last time' by a repeat offender is as funny as it is tragic. The notion of a happy ending sends itself up, but crucially, it is not without hope. Throughout, 'Key Change' is a well-crafted, sensitively directed and impressively performed piece of theater."
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Exeunt Magazine
January 14th, 2016

"Emotionally powerful and often deeply moving, the piece perhaps succeeds better at its educational, and undoubtedly more important, task. The urgency of these women’s stories, and the common threads that underlie the paths they took to prison shine through...In front of a New York audience, some of the stories don’t quite pack the punch of recognition they might in the UK; the unfamiliar slang, not to mention the fact that all the inmates are white, adds a definite distance. "
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New York Theater
January 13th, 2016

"It felt like an hour-long series of theater games and exercises...Some of them work fine, taken individually...But all the noodling around, especially a pile-on of staccato group dialogue and quick little scenes undermines our ability to discern the individuality of the main characters. The result overall is a feeling that the professional theater makers devised this play, and the women in prison were not given control over their own stories."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
January 14th, 2016

"There’s no single story or character to latch onto...and, despite its brevity, ‘Key Change’ finds it hard to sustain the kind of interest in what comes next that might have prevented the boredom that ultimately ensues...‘Key Change’ is an example of talented artists engaged in the theatre of good intentions, confronting an important social issue and hitting lots of worthy buttons but lacking the dramatic structure necessary to free it from its self-imposed confinement."
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BlogCritics.org
January 16th, 2016

"The director shepherded the cast’s adroit and heartfelt performances and configured them into an artistic, living piece. It is a work of poetic symmetry with wisps of song, music and movement spun into a dramatic event that Open Clasp hoped would resonate especially among the incarcerated…'Key Change' is powerful in its performances and in its edgy content culled from truth. Its visceral truths are stark and real."
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The Observer
August 16th, 2015
For a previous production

"A remarkable production by all-female theatre company...'Key Change' is a rare and surprisingly funny piece of theatre that presents the stories of domestic and sexual abuse that all too often lead vulnerable women into lives of crime."
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The Guardian (UK)
August 7th, 2015
For a previous production

"The voices are of the women themselves, often raw, always heartfelt and sometimes singing with an everyday poetry as if the devising process had unlocked a waterfall of creativity...The show snakes back on itself in surprising ways so that we question our initial reactions: a violent opening scene is repeated, but this time with context."
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W
August 12th, 2015
For a previous production

"This is a tale told with kinetic honesty and tightly controlled tenderness...The actors shine, whether ripping each other to bits in sharply humorous Geordie tones or slipping into short but spine-tingling balletic sequences...The incidents are touched on chillingly but not dwelled on in the piece...Yet there is humour and humanity here too, and the slow, heart-crushing poignancy of trying to mother failing children from afar when the phones don’t even work."
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F
August 12th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Key Change' never quite resolves its issues. What it does do brilliantly is evoke the jagged texture of everyday life in prison. Overlapping voices summon the relentless cacophony, while letters transform into birds that fly hopes and worries over the walls. And through it all there’s a tough, humane sense of humour, challenging preconceptions at every turn."
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H
August 14th, 2015
For a previous production

The tone is set for a searingly honest study of life...Fused throughout with an often furiously choreographed physicality, putting the action in a women's prison gives things a heightened poignancy, and using the real life devising process as a framing device is inspired in a heartbreaking portrait of women in confinement that's full of wit, anger, muscle, guts and a heart that beats with what it means to be free."
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The Stage (UK)
August 26th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Key Change' is notable for being neither sentimental nor in your face, yet refusing to duck the issues. In so doing it becomes a potent lesson in theatremaking for its total fusion of message with audience."
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T
August 13th, 2015
For a previous production

"The standout production, is devised by inmates of a women’s prison, giving them an uninterrupted voice to tell their stories. The humility with which Open Clasp Theatre Company and writer Catrina McHugh approached the project is evident and allows the five actors to thrive on the script’s wit and honesty, hilarious and savage by turns, but always refreshing."
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T
August 13th, 2015
For a previous production

"This deeply affecting ensemble production made me think about female prisoners in a significantly different light...Under Laura Lindow’s precise and captivating direction, Catrina McHugh’s hard-hitting script highlights the shared experiences of these vulnerable women, often in highly amusing and unexpected ways."
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A Younger Theatre
August 13th, 2015
For a previous production

"Five women tell their story in this honest though disjointed production...Although the script and cast are auspicious features of the production, it feels disjointed overall. Scenes are often disconnected and towards the end of the play information about minor characters is released and left without exploration. Attempts at physical theatre appear forced and saccharine within a terrifically truthful play."
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