Already closed | 1h 35m | Soho/Tribeca

The Great Novel

From 25 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Relevant

About the show

In this world premiere, spurred on by recurring visits from her Jamaican Granny in the afterlife, Bertha seeks a new language for a narrative that only she can tell, uninhibited by the ghosts of literary convention. More…

For most of her adult life, Bertha has served as the Brennans’ housekeeper. While polishing the silverware and washing the windows, she dreams of honoring the promise she made to her grandmother long ago to write the next great American novel. But as she drafts her story, she can only see the imprints of the Brontë sisters, Dickens, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and most of all, the Brennans. 

Member Reviews (25)


Great acting, Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Relevant

During previews
Fluffy, Insipid, Disappointing, Banal, Ambitious

See it if topic has some small merit,

Don't see it if A very bad script.

During previews
Slow, Excruciating, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if You are not put off by a poor performance and want to kill 90 minutes

Don't see it if You want good acting and an insightful script free from cliche. A lot of flubbed lines. A lot of lines that were poor to begin with.

June 16th, 2019
"If you're not a Charles Dickens or a Jane Austen or a Brontë sister, where is your place? It's a weighty question, and the answers inevitably dig up complex issues of racial and social hierarchies. Under Sarah Norris's direction, however, the production is stumbling a bit too much alongside its ...
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June 25th, 2019
“’The Great Novel’ reveals itself in the first few minutes without having anything additional to say...Norris' direction doesn't add any urgency...but her cast seizes such opportunities as they are given...Overall, this is an uncertain and rather mild treatment of a potentially incendiary subject...
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June 19th, 2019
“It’s an enervating 95 minute mashup of lesser Ionesco with helpings of Wes Anderson and the visual style of John Singer Sargent...'The Great Novel' is a non-realistic exercise that does have a heartfelt quality but from its opening moments to its fantastical finale it never coheres into a satisf...
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June 16th, 2019
"Small or no budget theatre often creates amazing, pure work. But the vast majority of these Off-Off Broadway productions operate under not-so-ideal conditions and sometimes the limitations of a truncated budget and abbreviated rehearsal period, mixed with blossoming experience, can lead to half-...
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Cast & Creatives (3)