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New York | 1h 50m | Already closed

The Enchantment

From 7 critic and 30 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

About the show

Ducdame Ensemble presents the North American premiere of this Scandinavian work: a semi-autobiographical play written by the real 19th-century woman who inspired both 'Hedda Gabler' and 'Miss Julie.' More…

Louise, a young woman from rural Sweden, arrives in Paris at the height of the Belle Epoque. Swept up in all this magical world has to offer, she soon falls under the spell of the city’s most revered sculptor. Torn between liberation and tradition, fantasy and reality, Louise begins to question whether the life she has always known is really the one she wants to live,

Stage Buddy

"Lexen’s translation/adaptation of the neglected classic is as engaging as it is historically faithful, letting the play’s enduring relevance speak for itself...The versatile ensemble has no weak links...They bring fresh emotion to Benedictsson’s text, despite some of its dated dialogue structures...Louise’s struggle with temptation feels ironic to watch today, where no-strings-attached flings are as commonplace as they were scandalous in Bendedictsson’s day." Full Review

Theater In The Now

"The tension between health and illness, love and loss, life and death for Louise is palpable...One male role, Lind, is played by a woman (Ariana Karp) who is a pleasantly aggressive and duplicitous colleague of Gustave. I think the point that the director is trying to make is that for foreign artists in Paris Art City, male privilege was all they had; but on the other hand, this is not a total denunciation of men or love, but a nuanced tightrope walk." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

“Unfortunately, the play is not nearly as riveting as its backstory…The production moves briskly under Lucy Jane Atkinson's unfussy direction, and Lexen's translation and adaptation is generally economic and clear…The play's brevity may ultimately be its drawback since it does not have time to sufficiently develop character relationships. As a result, ‘The Enchantment’ lacks both sensual sparks and intellectual fire…The eight actors comprising the cast are all quite likable.” Full Review


"Intriguing and unevenly, though amiably, presented...Lexen’s stiff translation and choppy adaptation is not very satisfying...Mongillo’s very fine central performance as Louise aids the production...Atkinson’s staging in the contained and cluttered space is proficient but lacking in ingenuity. The actors at times appear trapped by the furniture...The performances are chiefly dutiful rather than riveting...The production does have merit as a curio." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Brings attention to the danger of obsession yet only scratches the surface of the problematic gender roles from a bygone era...The different stereotyped gender roles of men and women are constantly repeated and reinforced in the play, however not in a way that serves as commentary...The themes of the play are too dated to feel relatable...The production is well staged and is performed by a team of committed actors." Full Review

Village Voice

"The production is not, ultimately, bewitching. Its pleasures are mainly intellectual...The show feels rigid, and the actors pirouette on their marks like dolls on a music box. There’s also a serious imbalance in the cast...Ironically, in a piece about the female gaze, the men seem to have been chosen for their beauty alone — it might be a power reversal, but it’s not quite the one we’re looking for." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"A play with dated sensibilities must be extremely well acted to accurately emulate an earlier mind set. Alas, this one is not...Only Herbig’s natural Viggo and Mongillo’s desperate Louise deserve callouts...Audience on three sides behooves a director not to stage lengthy speeches with characters’ backs turned. Atkinson is apparently unaware of this. As the set designer supplies no props, the company finds itself without stage business to hold attention, add realism, or illuminate the unspoken." Full Review

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you want to see a brilliant, beautifully acted play. The text and the back-story are interesting. Production is spellbinding, provocative

Don't see it if you are not interested in though-provoking drama in the vein of Hedda Gabler

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting

See it if You like great acting and a story based on a real event.

Don't see it if You abhor tragedy

Great acting, Period drama

See it if You like period dramas about changing times and cultures

Don't see it if You dislike period dramas stories about women's oppression in society

Funny, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You wanna see a well acted ensemble piece where people talk about love a lot.

Don't see it if You get distracted by Canadian accents.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy neglected classic performed in small theater with simple staging. Some strong acting (2 main characters, Louise & Viggo)

Don't see it if You can't appreciate low budget, unpolished productions

Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you have an interest in 19th century drama and female playwrights.

Don't see it if you are put off by the slow pace and uneven acting.

Also A noble effort nicely directed but the acting ranges from good to life... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You like Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg and 19th Century drama; also interesting, undiscovered, classic works. And really terrific acting!

Don't see it if You do not like 19th Century drama.

Also A great young company presents an undiscovered classic, exquisitely ac... Read more Read less


See it if you like classic Scandinavian plays

Don't see it if you prefer more depth in characters and dialog. However, the Village Voice review was unfair to male cast members of the show -

Also - the problem was the writing not the acting. The play is mainly a lon... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Great acting, Heartbreaking

See it if You enjoy female centred stories written from a painful history and have a sense of the plays context

Don't see it if You want light, easy entertainment

Ambitious, Enchanting, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You like turn of the century dramas, and unheard stories with relevance to current issues

Don't see it if You want endless laughs and action

During previews
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great staging

See it if Pre- Hedda Gabler pre- Miss Julie.. how historic can you get? Ducdame comes through again. Thrust stage works well. Actress who plays

Don't see it if .Might need a bigger space.

Also Louise is perfect.. Maybe a bigger site is needed if audience response... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if very well done play, romantic, engaging, characters were well developed and acting was strong - kept my attention completely - very pleasing

Don't see it if you dislike romantic, period pieces.

During previews
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You like serious period piece drama in a small theater. Good community theater

Don't see it if You are expecting a " Broadway " experience

During previews
Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You enjoy period dramas with strong female leads

Don't see it if You don't like plays

During previews
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Talky, Intimate, Rediscovered woman playwright

See it if You like Ibsen classics, very intimate staging, relationship dramas, or want to resuscitate forgotten women artists' careers.

Don't see it if Talky classics bore you.

Also Retranslated for a contemporary spin on a play by Victoria Benedictsso... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if enjoyable somewhat unknown semi-classic about a romantic fling; well acted

Don't see it if you don't like a lot of dialogue about relationships and sadness

During previews
Intimate, Historic, Passionate

See it if You like period soap operas. You are interested in a story written by a nineteenth century woman told by a production team of women.

Don't see it if you're looking for an empowering piece. This is focused on the suffocating environment of the 1800s and relationships.

Also If you sit on the far side next to the pole characters will block each... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Dated

See it if you would like to know about this writer and don't mind long plays about painful relationships. You want to see Paul Herbig fantastic work.

Don't see it if you are not interested in old plays, and expect something light and easy to enjoy.

During previews
Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if You're a scholar of Ibsen and Strindberg you might find this interesting. Others see it if you can't get tickets for anything else.

Don't see it if You want to be entertained and have a good time.

During previews
Clever, Great acting, Dated, Entertaining

See it if Swedish dialogue driven plays entertain you

Don't see it if You want to see action

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you are interested in relationships, analysis of gender approaches to love, life and the pursuit of....

Don't see it if you have tired of dramas discussing male/female issues....

During previews
Confusing, Cliched, Slow, Great staging, Ernest

See it if you are interested in theater history. This is the first American production of a 19th Century play by a significant but ignored writer.

Don't see it if you want a lively evening. There is a lot of philosophical talk about relationships & dim lighting which caused some viewers to doze

During previews
Absorbing, Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Slow, Needs a dramaturg

See it if You want an intense and morbid drama about relationships.

Don't see it if You haven't the patience for people moping and being depressed about their romantic entanglements.

During previews
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if Ibsen and Strindberg are your thing.

Don't see it if you judge obscure theatre finds by the same high standards as classics.

During previews
Intelligent, Slow, Interesting, Talky, Uneven acting

See it if you want to see a play written by a woman with a fascinating history. It's an interesting story.

Don't see it if you don't like a slow moving play with some stilted dialogue and uneven acting. The women fared better than the men.

Cast & Creatives (15)