Pity in History
Closed 1h 5m
Pity in History

Pity in History NYC Reviews and Tickets

(39 Ratings)
Members say
Confusing, Ambitious, Disappointing, Great acting, Slow

About the Show

Potomac Theatre Project presents Howard Barker's 17th-century British civil war drama updated to the present day. A sexy, brazen, and funny examination of a society rife with competing ideologies.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (39)

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110 Reviews | 30 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound

See it if the wars we are getting into don't make sense

Don't see it if you think God and country are always on our side Read more

784 Reviews | 249 Followers
Intelligent, Relevant, Quirky, Complex, Challenging

See it if Intellectually challenging satire about the necessity and folly of art and war, and the people that pursue them. Witty and deep.

Don't see it if You are looking for more of an emotional connection to the characters.

508 Reviews | 77 Followers
Edgy, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if you are trying to understand today's political environment and the conflicts between art and ideology

Don't see it if you don't like dark comedy and satire

524 Reviews | 134 Followers
Barker talkathon is grim and short

See it if Another Barker artist trying to deal with authority -- this time with an Army officer and a chaplain. Written for TV, just over an hour

Don't see it if you don't like gunshots, violence and torture. Fine acting and staging of a war drama. Very grim, though Tindle as the dying cook is a riot.

520 Reviews | 71 Followers
Clever, Confusing, Ambitious, Funny, Intense

See it if you are interested in a powerful message about the evils of war, with some humor thrown in.

Don't see it if you want a linear plot, that is easy to follow without much thought.

506 Reviews | 1010 Followers
Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Profound

See it if think that one can solve the problems of war.Better than I expected. Great talent

Don't see it if were looking for a fun musical. Clever work but only 65 minutes

153 Reviews | 66 Followers
Ambitious, Confusing, Intelligent, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if You are ok with big ideas and abstract concepts discussed on war, religion, art, and greed.

Don't see it if You need a strong narrative style and clear ideas

563 Reviews | 194 Followers
Ambitious, Dated, Confusing, Great staging, Slow

See it if You love everything from the BBC & want to see on of their tele-plays on stage. You like shows about big ideas.

Don't see it if You want a play w/a traditional plot or characters: it's a series of scenes where characters spout philosophies & ideologies.

Critic Reviews (17)

The New York Times
July 19th, 2017

“In Howard Barker’s ‘Pity in History,’ the only sure things are death, destruction and a mordant sense of humor…Solidly anchored by Mr. Dykes and Mr. Tindle in comic performances veined with sympathy, this production proves the piece’s merit for the stage. The soldier-dominated scenes could use more concentrated energy, though, and the play’s villainous rich widow seems anomalous in Mr. Romagnoli’s grand scheme.”
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Time Out New York
July 19th, 2017

“Even high expectations, however, won’t prepare you for the show’s lacerating excellence. This is a short, sharp, shockingly funny production that oxygenates the blood...Gaukroger (the wry, hilarious Dykes)…is the typical Barker antihero: a wise cynic, a mouthy craftsman who knows his (and dogma’s) worth, though he does get one thing wrong. ‘Nothing beautiful is made after five o’clock,’ he says while holding forth about an artist’s workday. Tosh, I say. The show started at seven.”
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July 24th, 2017

"The doubleheader is not for the casual theatergoer, but is worth the effort if you're in the market for some intellectual heavy lifting delivered by a company of actors who forsake highbrow pomposity for sincere understanding of their work...Directed with unabashed grit by Richard Romagnoli...The world Barker paints in his hour-long drama is one turned cold and chaotic by the selfishness of man."
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Talkin' Broadway
July 18th, 2017

“The artist is a mason named Gaukroger played with beautiful restraint by Steven Dykes, attempting to complete the carving of a funeral monument in the crypt of a cathedral with his apprentice Pool, a spot-on Matt Ball, for the widow Venables, a glamorous Kathleen Wise…‘Pity In History’ illuminates the conflict and contradiction that inherently come to light when chaos and art face off against each other.”
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July 20th, 2017

"An interesting but unsatisfying historical fantasia...This incarnation inexplicably updates the material visually with contemporary costumes. If nothing else, this adds crackle to the rather turgid script...Director Richard Romagnoli’s physical staging is precise, lively and impressive. Mr. Romagnoli’s work with the cast, all of whom employ strong British accents, is equally as accomplished...'Pity in History’s' cast and technical team works wonders with this minor curio."
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July 22nd, 2017

"As a television script, 'Pity in History' is a trifle static (to my American sensibility, it feels more 1970s than 1980s); but, for that reason, it works nicely as a stage play. It runs just over an hour and that brevity minimizes the customary Barkerian wear and tear on the audience. Directed with attention to pace and visual composition by Richard Romagnoli, 'Pity in History' features an estimable performance by Jonathan Tindle."
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Theatre is Easy
July 20th, 2017

"An energizing take on a deeply human conflict...A perfect fit for those looking for a more cerebral night at the theater...The cast does a nice job bringing immediacy to some very heady material...'Pity ' sweeps through the stage and seems to exit as swiftly as it entered. It offers something touching and sad that is then taken away, to live on in memory...A lot of power in this compact play."
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Theater Pizzazz
July 18th, 2017

“A pithy, biting, thought-provoking black comedy…Dykes’ mason is both everyman and larger-than-life as he elucidates the playwright’s thoughts and observations on war and the human condition. His splendid portrayal is earthy and all-encompassing…While the characters exist to espouse the playwright’s views they are all carefully crafted, flesh and blood individuals…The splendid direction is by Romagnoli, who hones the dark comic lines even as the brutality of battle remains front and center.”
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