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Poison

From 35 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Slow, Intense, Thought-provoking

About the show

Origin Theatre Company presents the English-language premiere of Dutch playwright Lot Vekemans' two-hander about two lovers who reconnect after a painful separation. More…

When when a former couple reunites, words are used to conceal the truth and maintain boundaries. Try as they might to avoid speaking about what occurred and what has happened since, their fragility and doubt seep through the cracks and wounds are opened anew. Starring Obie Award winner Birgit Huppuch and Drama Desk nominee Michael Laurence.


Member Reviews (35)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Slow, Intense, Thought-provoking
78
Avg Score

70
Moving, Strong acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Intense

See it if you're fascinated by responses to grief. Strong acting. Some clunky/slow parts in script. Simple staging, set and costumes. Some plot twists

Don't see it if you want big production values or light fare. The couple seems well paired; changing tone feels real. Countertenor is over used.

65
Slow, Thought-provoking, Banal, Disappointing

See it if waiting 30 minutes to discover the nature of the relationship between a surly woman and an ineffectual man is for you. This is your show!

Don't see it if you go to the theater for amusement, emotional uplift or esthetics.

85
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if you want to see two sterling performances by Birgit Huppuch and Michael Laurence in a European play that has worldwide appeal.

Don't see it if you don't like slow-starting plays that then slowly draw you in. This is also a deeply personal play that may make one feel uncomfortable.

85
The countertenor nearly did me in, but the play was meaningful

See it if you have ever had a relationship which felt unfinished. you like mostly calm, lucid examination of a shared point in time in the past

Don't see it if you want melodrama. you dislike COUNTERTENOR voices. you are uncomfortable with exposition of a painful past experience.

Also I disagree with the precis of this play. ... Read more Read less

80
Probing, Honest, Pacing is off, Well acted, Bizarre singing

See it if None of us, in fact, know how we will deal with grief or the guilt of ending the grief. Two fine actors' characters work towards...

Don't see it if ...understanding and forgiving each other. Painful, elegiac, and at times too slow, the actors are sometimes better than the script.

78
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a show that communicates complex and heart wrenching emotion with two character dialog and minimalist set.

Don't see it if you prefer lighthearted, fluffy entertainment that doesn't make you think or feel sad things.

92
Cathartic, Absorbing, Painful, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you've ever been privy to an imbalanced relationship, when one moves on while the other stays stuck. Also, if you enjoy terse writing.

Don't see it if You don't want to face a heart-breaking situation, one with which you may already be all too familiar.

Also Admittedly, this play starts out very s-l-o-w-l-y, but once it picks u... Read more Read less

100
Absorbing, Great acting

See it if you want good drama, excellent directing and acting

Don't see it if you find the topic of a son's death too upsetting

70
Slow, Overrated, Great acting

See it if you'd like to watch a couple, years after their divorce, try to deal with the tragedy that precipitated the divorce.

Don't see it if you dislike slow shows. This is two people on a virtually empty set talking about the past -- and pausing a lot.

88
Great acting, Intense, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, A truthful requiem

See it if You're ready to watch two very fine actors work through pain, loss, and the truthful cathartic avowel of life, grief and change.

Don't see it if You want simple entertainment; you've neither the patience nor desire to see a deep meditation on grief & acceptance, or existential dramas.

Also A great intense & very long silence permeates the opening of Lot Vekem... Read more Read less

52
Indulgent, Overrated, Annoying, Mediocre performances

See it if U don't mind sitting in a waiting room for 1 1/2 hours w/no sign that anything is gonna happen & an irritating German opera radio station on

Don't see it if I'd say this play may have lost something in translation to be such an international hit. Maybe they translated the wrong play?

87
Absorbing, Great acting, Slow, Riveting, Intense

See it if You would like to witness a couple's self -therapy session dealing with the loss of their child, and marriage with subsequent rapprochement.

Don't see it if Going so deeply into wounds that you come out the other side isn't what you want from theater. The play is universal, and very cathartic.

67
Great acting, Disappointing, Terribly transparent twist

See it if Great acting is enough to satisfy. Absolutely professional, assured work by both actors.

Don't see it if Play insults audience intelligence. Anyone with common sense is seventy min ahead of story. Long wait for shoe to casually drop; pathetic.

77
Great acting, Intelligent, Overly long, Intense

See it if See great acting in an extremely depressing play. Slow moving and sometimes redundant.

Don't see it if Looking for easy theater or to be cheered up.

69
Slow, Tense, Painful

See it if You can appreciate good actors in a slow moving hard drama

Don't see it if Melodrama and stilted pauses pain you of if you are dealing with a personal loss and want some distance in your theater experience.

Also These are strong actors dong their best in a very confining play. The ... Read more Read less

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if grief for the loss of a child is very realistically enacted. One parent was able to overcome his sadness, to make a new start not the other

Don't see it if you can't partake such a sad story

78
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You want to see a very moving play about loss, grief, healing acted by two great actors.

Don't see it if You don't want to follow a storyline that is complex, full of symbolism and has moments of Becket style pauses.

85
Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant, Resonant, Slow

See it if You like dramas exploring human relationships. The different way a divorced couple handled a tradgedy and the emotional fall out

Don't see it if You are not interested in an emotional discussion between 2 characters that goes on for 90 minutes. Minimal staging.

75
Great acting, Slow, Confusing, Overrated, Banal

See it if you want to see great acting. The script is long-winded and, quite frankly, boring. The pacing is uneven and the staging is limited.

Don't see it if you cannot sit through a rather slow-paced, pedantic look at past relationships. There are no surprises here - just a several moments.

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a human life drama with two fine actors with an uncomfortable subject matter

Don't see it if You are prone to big shows and musicals

48
Ambitious, Confusing, Excruciating, Intense

See it if you want to directly experience the frustration and pain of an ex-husband whose ex-wife is inconsolable. Her cup will be forever half-full

Don't see it if you want to see light at the end of the tunnel

65
Great acting, Slow, Talky, Intense

See it if you like simple sets, good acting, and not much else.

Don't see it if you like big productions, an engaging story and some action.

75
Absorbing, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You would enjoy a two character play with serious subject matter.

Don't see it if 90 minutes of two people talking, often angry and emotional, will drive you crazy.

68
Ambitious, Slow, Relevant

See it if can sit through slow, anguished dialogues with hint of European origin.

Don't see it if cannot sit through slow, anguished dialogues with minimal setting.

81
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if A two actor show. Set is simple. Subject can be painful for some, and emotionally draining.

Don't see it if You want something light and entertaining. This show goes deep.


November 23rd, 2016
"This austere play begins coolly but becomes, ever so slowly, a tear-jerker. Emotionally bare, at a few points scraped raw, it is never maudlin...Their defenses erode, hers more rapidly than his, and we see the tenderness that took root 20 years ago, when they first laid eyes on each other. It’s ...
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November 19th, 2016
"This translation of ‘Poison’ teaches so many lessons, on so many different levels, that it is truly astounding…This beautiful production brings so many simple ideas with major significance behind them to fruition…It is truly amazing how simple conversation that goes on between these two characte...
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November 30th, 2016
"She comes off as a nag; He is a little easier to take, but in neither case has the playwright supplied the telling details that might make them come alive as individuals. They remain as generic as their names, posed figures on a battlefield of sorrow…This is a dispiriting experience; rather than...
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November 17th, 2016
"Finely performed, very well written and strikingly staged, Vekemans’ 'Poison' is an engrossing but heavy going 90 minutes...Ms. Vekemans’ dialogue has a precise, literary quality and though her plot and characters are familiar, she has crafted a compelling drama...Laurence and Huppuch have great...
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