Already closed | 1h 15m | East Village

Life According to Saki

From 71 member  reviews
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. More…

1916. In the trenches of the Battle of the Somme, a soldier tells stories. That soldier is Munro, under the pen name Saki. Beginning with early misrule and school-age rebellion, his tales move on to the complexities of adulthood: obsessions and games, charm and chaos, friendship and jealousy, and, finally, death. Munro was over the age of conscription when WWI broke out in 1914, but volunteered to fight. He was killed by a sniper two years later. His witty, absurd, and strangely optimistic stories are brought to life by an ensemble cast and the occasional puppet.

1h 15m | Already closed | 4th Street Theatre (East Village)

Member Reviews (71)

MEMBERS SAY:

Clever, Entertaining, Delightful, Great acting, Funny
83
Avg Score

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.

70
Enchanting, Sad, Touching, Imaginative, Fluffy

See it if Staged version of several of Saki's short stories. Sad because his lively imagination was snuffed out by the war.

Don't see it if I didn't find the stories compelling. They're cute. The small theater was hot and stuffy. I became sleepy.

93
Delightful, Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Great writing

See it if You like your plays with equal measures of humor, satire & inspiration. You like clever interpretations of classic writing.

Don't see it if You don't like social satire. You prefer more traditional interpretations of classic writing. You dislike puppetry & video projection.

90
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you're tired of dysfunctional families and the f-bomb in plays; this is charming story telling with some puppetry wrapped in a clever settin

Don't see it if you enjoy high drama; angst filled situations; over blown sets. This show has none of that - just wit and charm.

80
Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You want to have a little fun! You enjoy ensemble casts playing multiple parts. This was funny and smart and a pleasant way to spend a night

Don't see it if You really wanted a look at Saki's life. This is more a story of HIS stories. You don't like vignette stories and want to see more of Saki.

80
Entertaining, Funny, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if you want to smile at a joyous production in which a talented cast wins you over with charm and British wit

Don't see it if you don't like small plays in intimate venues and are looking for more of a spectacle

78
Not enough saki, Englishmen with perfect teeth & complexions, Well scrubbed talented young actors, Needs more humor, Beautifully staged

See it if short stories translated to the stage, well scrubbed young talent, Edinborough Fringe transfers, SAKI, or puppetry are your thing

Don't see it if WWI memorabilia, British authors, trench warfare, WARHORSE, are not your thing

80
Quirky, Intelligent, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you like good acting, clever staging but do not require any depth to the piece.

Don't see it if You want a true feel for the pungency HH Munro.

Also I enjoyed it but it was quite fluffy, I took my time writing a review ... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You want to delve into Life According to Saki. You want to see a well acted play by a great group of performers. You want to laugh.

Don't see it if You don't want to hear great stories. You don't like plays that have really interesting puppetry. You don't want to see a great performance.

77
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if SAKI

Don't see it if You don't have any interest in quirky

86
Clever, Inventive, Great cast, Edgy, Resonant

See it if You'd like an evening of quick-paced purely theatrical storytelling that attempts the difficult double duty of quirky Saki stories plus bio.

Don't see it if Dry British wit of a certain era's not your thing, or you need an absolutely linear plot or you're not open to the imagination of your youth

Also Yet one more terrific production to come out of the Edinburgh Festival... Read more Read less

75
Ambitious, Enchanting, Great acting, Intelligent, Slow

See it if You appreciate final ensemble acting. Can suspend disbelief and embrace fun fictional tales retold.

Don't see it if You need linearity. Need a comfy seat in a comfy theatre -- neither available here.

Also The theatre is not accessible (many stairs required) and the audience ... Read more Read less

85
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you like the writer Saki/Hector Hugo Munro, you like puppetry, & charming short shows.

Don't see it if you don't like British humor

60
Disappointing, Slow, Great acting

See it if you want to see 6 of this British writers short stories played out in about 70 minutes. They were neither poignant nor funny. disappointing.

Don't see it if you are looking for good storytelling with a purpose. Very disjointed. The actors did a good job though.

80
Delightful, Exquisite, Intelligent, Lively

See it if you're a fan of Saki, "story theater," and WWI. This is evocative, inventive work, economically presented.

Don't see it if you want traditional plays with one story and three-dimensional characters. It's a Fringe-style show, done exquisitely well.

81
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you read Saki stories in High School and wondered why you liked them so much or you wanted to see the top pick at the Edinburgh Fringe Fest.

Don't see it if small gem shows in small theaters in interesting neighborhoods are not your thing and you don't like Odd Fellows Ice Cream.

84
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Hilarious, Intelligent

See it if You like comedy and WWI themes, you like English accent, and humorous while sober attitudes towards life.

Don't see it if You want a coherent story. This play is literally a collection of stories in the same social background that are not related to each other.

85
Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if like watching a very talented group of young actors doing interchangeable parts and puppetry w/o missing a beat

Don't see it if not interested in the life of a upper-class clever, gay man who wrote stories and was shot and died in WWI

Also Actors act out 6 of Saki's stories while interweaving stories of his o... Read more Read less

80
Exquisite, Entertaining, Delightful, Refreshing, Charming

See it if You want to be transported into the charming world of Saki's witty short stories

Don't see it if You might be confused by a show that constantly jumps from real facts ( World War I ) to smart and mischievous short stories and back.

86
Ambitious, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy humor mixed with the pathos of impending doom partnered with great acting and imaginative staging

Don't see it if You prefer traditional staging or prefer your comedy to be without any seriousness or doom

90
Ambitious, Clever, Great staging, Refreshing, Seamless acting teamwork

See it if You want to see Hector Hugh Munro's short stories visualize in vignette form within the frame of WWI trenches cleverly narrated & staged.

Don't see it if No interest in literature by Saki & WWI setting. Dislike unlinked stories within a story that is heavy in Children's Theater format.

Also This is a refreshing British imported play cleverly scripted & directe... Read more Read less

78
Ambitious, Funny, Quirky

See it if you appreciate short stories, inventive staging, and talented performers.

Don't see it if you're looking for something truly moving and profound. While there are some genuinely funny moments, not every choice is effective.

Also If you're a big fan of Saki's stories, this may not be the show for yo... Read more Read less

84
Great staging, Ambitious, Quirky, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy unique stories enacted by a talented cast in an intimate setting.

Don't see it if you cannot appreciate an odd sense of humor or a macabre story such as "Esme".

Also This play was my first exposure to Hector Hugh Munro's unusual stories... Read more Read less

95
Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy Saki's stories.

Don't see it if You need elaborate sets and costumes.


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 ele...
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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 t...
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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 ca...
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