Closed 1h 15m
Life According to Saki
East Village
83

Life According to Saki NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(71 Reviews)
Positive
96%
Mixed
4%
Negative
0%
Members say
Clever, Entertaining, Delightful, Great acting, Funny

About the Show

Inspired by the life of early-20th-century British satirist Hector Hugh Munro, this debut play from children's author Katherine Rundell makes its US premiere after winning the Top Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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Member Reviews (71)

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80
Great acting, Great writing, Whimsical, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if Delightful show. Touching and creative. Fable-like. Creative staging and really talented cast. Great whimsical entertainment.

Don't see it if small production. Not lavish. You don't care for separate stories framed by an overall theme. You prefer high drama.

70
Clever, Creative, Well acted

See it if You like historical stories told through a creative lens. The actors do a great job at playing various characters throughout the play.

Don't see it if You dislike smaller productions or actors playing multiple roles.

Critic Reviews (25)

February 13th, 2017

"It’s perfectly enjoyable as a whimsy-splashed showcase for fresh-faced talent. But the distinctive perversity of the author it riffs upon ultimately eludes the talented creators...Under the direction of Jessica Lazar, the rendering of his stories...brings out their most accessibly theatrical elements...Ms. Rundell has made a few adjustments...Saki’s figures of speech are occasionally tweaked for contemporary ears, not necessarily for the better."
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February 15th, 2017

"The stories resist being dramatized. Many of them are remarkably brief...Under the direction of Jessica Lazar, the company is adept at popping in and out of various characters. There are a few felicitous staging moments...But in general, 'Life According to Saki' works its framing device rather too relentlessly...You may find yourself leaving the theatre further strengthened in the conviction that Saki's humor is best enjoyed on the page."
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February 20th, 2017

"While 'Life According to Saki' is laden with too many riches for one evening, it is a very diverting show with its eccentric and unconventional stories which retain their relevance after all these years. Saki's off-beat humor still seems extremely modern."
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February 16th, 2017

"Playwright Katherine Rundell has a deft touch for coalescing the stories of Saki with the life of Saki...Rundell is aided by the brilliant director Lazar, whose guidance has helped to create a seamlessly connected ensemble with choreographer Addison. Evoking aspects of children’s theater, the cast effortlessly embodies different characters by switching use of a wardrobe piece or prop...Those that love independent theater will be regretful indeed to miss out on this fine production."
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February 13th, 2017

"There’s plenty to admire: imaginative directing, spirited acting, a mesmerizing Bunraku puppet, an anachronistic dig at our new president and moments of wit and pathos...'Saki' is an evening of moments, unable to sustain itself...'Saki' simply overestimates both the framing device and the power these short stories have when translated to the stage...The stories about life back home in England are meant to contrast with the life in the trenches but that is never fully developed."
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February 24th, 2017

"The production’s success sits squarely on the backs of the hard-working performers, who transfer between roles with ease and keep the production consistently delightful to watch...Make no mistake–this is an entertaining show, with constant humor and a lightheartedness that puts a cheery face on horrifying events...If we must be exposed to the darkness in the world–and we must–'Life According to Saki' reminds us to find the light."
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February 14th, 2017

"It's the show's overall inventiveness rather than its contents that make a visit most worth one's while...'Life According to Saki,' which runs only little more than an hour, is best appreciated as a brief introduction to Saki's writings. Still, the stories seem now only of passing interest, they're far from hilarious, and they possess little dramatic weight; in short, there simply isn't enough here worthy of rediscovery."
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February 13th, 2017

"Directed with energetic precision by Jessica Lazar...The talented members of the Atticist troupe (this is its impressive debut production) artfully operate furry and feathered puppets...When not puppeteering, the actors easily take on and cast off gender-swapping roles as they dart from story to story...The whole thing is so very English in both content and style that it may not be every American’s cup of Darjeeling. But this American enjoyed it quite a lot."
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February 16th, 2017

"A breath of fresh British air that has infiltrated the East Village and charmed the pants off us all...It’s unique and elevating and dark and dangerous and delicious...Katherine Rundell has written a play that operates on many intriguing levels...Director Jessica Lazar has created a physical language for the piece to match the layered text...A must-have, shaker baby, snow globe that you just want to climb inside."
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M
February 28th, 2017

"The clever pace at which this production moves makes the evening an entertaining one...The ensemble of 'Saki' tackled each story with courage, using their bodies to transform the environment and give us a sense of the world around them...While not every tale worked as well as others, the ones that worked made us easily forget those that didn’t...Jessica Lazar’s direction reassured us that this show is not to be missed."
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W
February 23rd, 2017

"These tales are performed with precision and impeccable comedic expression by a troupe of six very hardworking actors...It is a marvelous piece of work told marvelously...It’s also delightfully silly. Silliness is really key here. What makes these stories so memorable is the full-on, high-energy delivery and the way these talented actors throw themselves headfirst into the tall tales...They are a beautiful and talented group of performers."
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February 15th, 2017

"A pleasurable evening of wit, storytelling, and truth...It was very well directed and choreographed. The actors seemed extremely comfortable with the movements and each other, therefore they mastered them. There was not a detail overlooked...The entire company works together and does this piece justice. Women definitely led this play down the right path though; from the female writer to the director to the female company members that stole the show...'Saki' is highly recommended."
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February 13th, 2017

"Charming and endlessly inventive staging...A nimble cast of six manipulate themselves and a small assortment of props to suggest myriad animals, starchy English characters, and settings...The ensemble transforms kaleidoscopically again and again as do each of the players...All this gleeful stagecraft is really what stays with you, more than any particular story...Playwright Rundell might have given us an early brush with mortality so we feel what’s at stake."
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N
February 13th, 2017

"Macabre and whimsical, dark and comic at the same time, a clever satiric pen pointed at self-absorbed aristocrats of the early 1900s, Katherine Rundell’s 'Life According to Saki' is a delicious evening of theater...The production’s cast, with an appealing David Paisly as Saki, are a perfect ensemble where the actors move as if they are choreographed...The production features a bit of vaudeville, a lot of the shaggy dog mixed with ghost story, the fanciful alongside the absurd."
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February 15th, 2017

"With only the most minor of costume changes and using minimal props, the cast dart in and out of identities and worlds fluidly and with total conviction...The only irritating aspect of this production is innate to its subject matter, and may not affect American viewers. Nostalgia for the British past has got a little gross in recent years...But some details have been updated for our time...This play is an experiment, but it has succeeded."
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August 6th, 2016
For a previous production

"The well-disciplined ensemble conjure up each short story in turn, playing mischievous bachelors, domineering great-aunts and even the occasional cheetah with great aplomb. There are plenty of laughs throughout, as Saki's stories are splendidly witty…All of this is imaginatively staged with a simple but effective set…This highly entertaining production will serve as an excellent introduction to the master of the short story form."
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August 8th, 2016
For a previous production

"Katherine Rundell has combined a modicum of biography with dramatizations of a selection of the stories, proving that Saki really was special…The stories that they animate are generally humorous but with a sharp edge, often directed at harsh aunts or dolts…Atticist presents a show several levels above the average Edinburgh fare and, whether as a reminder of the pleasures of Saki or an introduction, this is an 80-minute show to savor."
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August 28th, 2016
For a previous production

"Jessica Lazar’s production is visually rich...It’s all beautifully executed: simple visual touches bringing the stories to life, and an ensemble of six who make a verbally complex text accessible and engaging…It’s great that Atticist Productions have drawn attention to these neglected texts – Saki’s stories maybe even compete with Anton Chekhov’s for their imaginative brilliance and astute character observation. And this production does them a great service. Brilliant stuff."
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August 5th, 2016
For a previous production

"Whether you’ve never heard of Saki before or consider yourself a die-hard fan, this production is sure to please…The script provided by Katherine Rundell is a solid piece of writing, and although Saki’s work does most of the heavy lifting, the show is peppered with plenty of gags and bon mots. It must have been a task adapting the stories for the stage but they are all pitched perfectly…The cast are exceptional at inhabiting the myriad of characters they play."
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August 26th, 2016
For a previous production

"Wonderfully staged, hugely appealing...An impressive ensemble play out the adaptations...This is framed by David Paisley’s wonderfully gracious portrait of Monro…The script weaves Saki’s stories into an exploration of his life that is hugely fanciful yet always rooted in reality, and extremely funny...Jessica Lazar’s direction is constantly inventive. The whole production is an object lesson in how to combine text, theatrical technique and the talents of the cast."
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January 16th, 2017
For a previous production

“Deftly blending joyful surrealism with existential pause, ‘Life According to Saki’ is a sunny yet poignant celebration of a man who made a fine art of taking the light seriously and the serious lightly. On top of a sharp script, pacy narrative and a slew of impressively dynamic performances, the production gives the feeling that Hector Hugh Munro, on top of being a keen social commentator, a brave soldier, and a dab hand with a pen, was an all-round lovely chap.”
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T
August 17th, 2016
For a previous production

"This ambitious adaptation is brought to life by a strong cast...The stories displaying Saki’s piercing satirical wit are the most successful adaptations. Later, more serious stories are less assured, and a production crammed so full of ideas and devices (puppetry, dance, masks and more) might have benefited from excising them for a leaner run time. As it stands, the show runs a little long, but otherwise it’s a solid adaptation, bolstered to intermittent excellence by its performers."
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August 12th, 2016
For a previous production

"Rundell has managed to capture the whimsical essence of Saki’s stories and wildly juxtapose them against the horrors of WWI. But what’s more is that Rundell builds in little and deeply empathetic snippets about the life of the man himself...In trying to include all the best bits, it ends up being a bit too long and pacing drags a little towards the end...Life has never been so knowing and whimsical in the tentacles of 'Life According to Saki’s' tales: effortless charm by the gilded spoonful."
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August 23rd, 2016
For a previous production

"Rundell’s subtle, thoughtful adaptation strips away the Edwardiana, retaining all Saki’s dark wit while revealing the humanity that underpins it. Combining first-rate puppetry, masked theatre and slick ensemble choreography, Jessica Lazar’s eclectic direction is alive with energy (though the occasional projections felt like unneeded garnish). Funny, poignant and elegantly crafted, this is the perfect tribute for the centenary of Munro’s death."
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August 21st, 2016
For a previous production

"The variety in his writing offers many opportunities for creative theatre…Many parts had me laughing at the eccentric personalities portrayed, and I was impressed at how versatile the actors were…’Saki’ was a show I didn’t want to end–a true delight to watch. There was a story for everyone, and the show as a whole stands as a creative and entertaining adaption in memory of a great writer. With a fantastic cast and charming use of puppetry, it’s one I would happily watch again.”
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