Already closed | 1h 45m | Gramercy

TERRA FIRMA

From 91 member  reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Disappointing

About the show

In a not-so-distant Beckettian future, years after The Big War, a tiny kingdom wrestles with the problems of running a nation, sparring with the concepts of what makes a citizen, a country, and a civilization. More…

From the show:

TERRA FIRMA is set in a not-so-distant Beckettian future–years after a conflict known as the Big War, in which a tiny kingdom wrestles with the problems of running a nation–and opposing notions of what makes a citizen, a country, and a civilization. The play is inspired by a real-life event and its aftermath: In 1960’s Britain, a retired WWII army major claimed an abandoned aircraft platform in international waters off the coast of Essex as his own sovereign nation, planted his flag, and coined a motto, E Mare Libertas! (From the Sea, Freedom!). TERRA FIRMA was originally a commission for the Royal Court Theatre, the premiere venue for new writing in the UK. This production is co-presented with Baruch Performing Arts Center. 


Member Reviews (91)

MEMBERS SAY:

Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Disappointing
72
Avg Score

80
Thought-provoking, Quirky, Entertaining, Ambitious, Clever

See it if u'd like an unconventional comedy (think Beckett/Ionesco/Monty Python/Gilligan's Island mashup) about isolationism, nationalism & autocracy.

Don't see it if u haven't enjoyed the works of Bedlam, from which The COOP has largely been formed; u prefer ur politics unequivocal, not allegorical.

Also Terra Firma is astonishingly based (loosely, I presume!) on a real sto... Read more Read less

70
Indulgent, Slow, Ambitious, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if Production values & edgy acting - all top-notch - save this existential drama from calling an SOS A four star production for a two star play

Don't see it if This doomsday allegory starts out strong - Beckett overtones mixed w/a gallows humor But it attains its ideas quickly & then stalls at sea

83
Indulgent, Entertaining, Great ensemble work, Highly original, Quirky

See it if innovative, imaginative ensemble work excites you. The performers are magical together.

Don't see it if your willing suspension of disbelief isn't fully engaged. Not a lot of back story given.

79
Resonant, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if A fledgling UK isle nation of slab and concrete in a sea of chaos under watery attack, forges a constitution to serve both cog and citizen.

Don't see it if Blasts on a well-built stage. "A nation under attack has the right to go on/A nation's ideals are only as pure as the souls of its citizens"

Also "All nations yearn for peace and the day that peace comes to stay"

83
Clever, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You enjoy Gilligan's Island. You want to see a powerhouse cast of theater veterans (including Broadway) try to survive & build a new land.

Don't see it if You don't have earplugs, as there are several loud booms (which are explained later) that will startle; fireworks are very loud too. 1hr45.

Also Found this way more fun and involving than a Beckett play. Folding cha... Read more Read less

49
Disappointing, Great staging, Excruciating, Enthusiastic acting, Confusing

See it if You know someone in the cast or want to see some interesting staging. Sometimes funny.

Don't see it if You want a story that makes sense. I had no idea what any character wanted. It was confusing and exhausting

60
Slow, Indulgent, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if Fantastic imagining of a true story, with a fabulous set and good acting, the parallel to the Tempest interesting but the actual play boring

Don't see it if Nothing happens in a very long shipwrecked family saga --time expands and never ends

Also Based on the true story of the Principality of Sealand, a crazy almost... Read more Read less

66
Indulgent, Long, A miss

See it if For the program notes. The true story is interesting. Explosions are very effective.

Don't see it if Not truly absurd for absurdism, not compelling at all for a drama, not funny enough for a comedy.

Also I feel like the playwright so wanted to write about this topic but cou... Read more Read less

66
Interesting set, Ok acting, Boring, Muddled, Meandering

See it if You want to see another dystopian allegorical play about the politics of today.

Don't see it if You don't care about politics or if you are startled by loud noises (of which there are many).

66
Quirky, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow, Ambitious

See it if you have patience for muddled story-telling, you like doomsday theater, you like absurdist theater

Don't see it if you want actors who can project their voices, you want a developed storyline

Also The characters were unrelatable, but the worst part was that the actor... Read more Read less

72
Quirky, Confusing, Great acting

See it if You enjoy seeing plays even though the story is confusing performed by good actors

Don't see it if You enjoy musicals and comedies

70
Great staging, Slow, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you are interested in interesting thoughts about what makes up - a nation, - a constitution, a citizen? Utopian but based on a true incident

Don't see it if you can not sit still for ~100 mins without an intermission. The play is a bit repetitious and could probably be shortened by 10 - 15 mins.

80
Smart, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if Drew me in, kept me interested, made me guess how it would end.

Don't see it if One has to care about what is happening

87
Delightful, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to have some fun. It's laughable, interesting, full of actions. I would imagine what's like the end of the world may be from here.

Don't see it if You prefer something more serious, or dramatic.

Also Extraordinary stuffs. I don't know how they survived based on the pres... Read more Read less

78
Relevant, Intelligent, Funny, Delightful

See it if existential drama in the tradition of the plays of Bedlam, from which The COOP has spun off from

Don't see it if don't like theater of the absurd

80
Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if You like good acting and writing and are not bothered by absurdity. The show does a lot within the limitations of the narrative.

Don't see it if You seek resolutions or don’t care for existential themes.

67
Good acting, Great set, Half baked

See it if Like nodding at name checks of "human condition" and "topical" metaphors. To see Andrus Nichols get paid.

Don't see it if Looking for deeper engagement with themes, clear narrative plot, resolution. Want development and coherence on top of great characterization

69
Play not ready

See it if you want to see a beautiful set, actors working hard, interesting ideas, a company that is trying hard to do interesting stuff

Don't see it if you want to see a play that is coherent. So many interesting ideas but not formed into a play that works hence audience is left drowning

68
Ambitious, Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you want to support an ambitious new work by a brand new theater company. Very good acting.

Don't see it if You are not interested in a quirky show

72
Well-designed!, Slow, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you like a theatre of ideas with characters who are based on dialecticals, mostly men onstage, dystopian themes & some violence & absurdity.

Don't see it if you want character-based family drama or Naturalism - this is not that. I expected more Beckett/Absurdity, but this doesn't quite manage it.

92
Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Clever, Delightful

See it if you like quirky, well-written, smart, possibly end-of-the-world, absurdist plays

Don't see it if you don't like all of the above. But, really... this is so smart!

48
Slow, Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if You follow the work by the people who produced "Sense and Sensibility" and "Pride and Prejudice". This was a huge disappointment. Just bad.

Don't see it if You don't want to sit for an hour and forty five minutes ruing there is no intermission forcing you to be subjected to terrible writing.

55
Missed, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you want to try to figure out the point they are getting across you like to see nice acting at Baruch college

Don't see it if you want to see something with some excitement.. this just dragged for us

Also we felt that they did not do a good job at getting their point across ... Read more Read less

70
Thought-provoking, Slow, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if like plays with absurdist elements that present challenging themes.

Don't see it if you like straightforward realistic comedies and dramas.

77
Confusing, Great staging, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if Cutting edge theatre, so beautifully acted, however the play itself doesn’t quite bring it home with the allegory it seems to want to make

Don't see it if Absurdist or new plays


October 10th, 2019
"In ‘Terra Firma,’ a Wee Wet Country on the Brink: This inaugural offering from the Coop squeezes whimsy, character comedy and ecological allegory into one crowded play."
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October 10th, 2019
"The inaugural production of the COOP, of which Nichols is the artistic director, 'Terra Firma' achieves only some of the many things it wants to."
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October 10th, 2019
"'Terra Firma' Imagines a Tiny Country Surviving the Rising Waters: Barbara Hammond's world-premiere play marks the dawning of the Coop, a new off-Broadway theater company."
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October 15th, 2019
"Barbara Hammond's 'TERRA FIRMA' Takes It's Cue From A Quirky Bit of International Politics"
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Cast & Creatives (3)