Closed 2h 0m
The Naturalists
Soho/Tribeca
77

The Naturalists NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(39 Reviews)
Positive
87%
Mixed
10%
Negative
3%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Slow, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Set in a rural hamlet in County Monaghan, Ireland, this world premiere is a story of secrets and atonement.

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Member Reviews (39)

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88
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if Partner's 90 % and my 85%. Nice theater space. Set fits the mood. New role for John Keating done to perfection. Sarah Street very good.

Don't see it if Chat with your Irish pals or do a week in the "old" country to better adjust to t the speech patterns. Study the weekend subway changes.

80
Absorbing, Ambitious, Slow, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you enjoy Irish plays, stories about struggling brothers, the continuing impact of "The Troubles," good acting esp. John Keating, new writer

Don't see it if Irish plays are not your thing, don't need to be reminded of the IRA, etc., not fan of slower character studies, onstage violence or accents

Critic Reviews (14)

September 13th, 2018

"'The Naturalists' is a play that takes its time, in ways that are more and less successful. It’s also a play about time and about how change can happen very slowly and then very quickly...This is theater and we know this idyll can’t last. The anticipation of the crisis is agonizing...But the play and its desultory rhythms are a gift to its actors...The way each of them sustains the others is a thing as beautiful as any of Francis’s redwoods or violets."
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September 12th, 2018

“McCarrick's play builds ambience with every word. The characters are definitive and haunted. When they share secrets or observations, it's just enough to feel satisfying yet realistic. The plot gets slightly muddied in the middle, but...no moment feels out of place...The performers feed off of the rich text, bringing to life characters who are at once charming yet natural...‘The Naturalists’ is both quiet and loud, a lovely tale of making peace.”
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September 14th, 2018

"The play before us is a slightly strange thing, suffering from a pronounced case of split personality. So opposed are the moods of its two acts that at times it's like seeing two separate -- and diametrically opposed -- dramatic works. Cognitive dissonance, rather than spellbinding, is the order of the day...If McCarrick could liven up the first act and tone down the second, 'The Naturalists' would be far more coherent. Still, it is striking enough."
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September 12th, 2018

“The performances at least are sincere...Unfortunately, between the Irish accents and everyone’s efforts to speak naturally, at times it is difficult to comprehend what anybody is saying...The fatal error is choosing to produce McCarrick’s faulty play, which initially holds some charm but eventually implodes. In addition to its significant motivation issues for the characters, the plot is overloaded with excessive back-stories...The characters talk on and on and on."
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September 13th, 2018

"A tender character study of a spirited young woman becoming the housekeeper for two troubled middle-aged brothers devolves into a clumsy hostage drama...Staging has steadiness and simplicity which serves most of the play well, particularly in the outdoor sequences that convey an awe of nature. Julie Voshell’s choreography enlivens the occasional dances between the characters...With fine tuning of its writing and staging, it could very well more cohesively succeed."
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September 17th, 2018

McCarrick's world premiere play is bursting with love and light...and hilarious dark comedy...‘The Naturalists’ is about being open-minded and diligent in pursuit of love and redemption...It's also very funny...Rarely is nature's power to heal and draw people together so well-represented onstage, and with such humor—a real triumph for the cast, writer, and director. ‘The Naturalists’ is sure to remind you of something you'd forgotten about selfless love for folks around you, and the planet.”
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September 13th, 2018

"Much of the finesse of Jaki McCarrick’s script is in the loaded, telling silences her characters share. I would argue the first act is indulgently long, but I wouldn’t trim the silences...This is fresh and authentic theater. The direction is deft. The characters capture you quickly; you never doubt them. The script is a glimpse of a moment fraught with all the breakage engendered in the Troubles before, all the specific damage visited on these four people, and all the slim hopes of redemption."
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September 13th, 2018

"This new play set in contemporary Ireland offers some moments of beautifully written prose and a carefully calibrated central performance. However, the production suffers from too much muted naturalism in the direction at the expense of legibility...It’s an interesting setting, with a fascinating character at its core. But the understated execution of the production can leave us drifting far too frequently."
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T
September 19th, 2018

"A compelling look at how one’s 'secret' past can suddenly and unexpectedly encroach on the present and delay one’s progress into the future...The ensemble cast of 'The Naturalists' work brilliantly together to explore these dynamic characters whose engaging conflicts could not be more relevant...If directors Colleen Clinton and Lily Dorment could modify the convention of the scene changes, the action of the play would move more quickly without sacrificing any substance."
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September 15th, 2018

"The play is striking for its naturalism. Ms. McCarrick’s characters, especially as performed by this outstanding, all-Irish born leading trio, are painfully real and captivating to observe...You won’t find a better acted suite of scenes on any New York stage than the ones here...A tad long-winded and plagued by jarring scene-change music choices that are far too obvious and incongruous as a score, these faults fade in consideration of the fine performances throughout."
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September 16th, 2018

"Act I of McCarrick’s play consists of arresting, occasionally cryptic, conversation that combines astute characterization and languorous exposition. The playwright’s accomplished dialogue affords glimpses of the three principals’ unconscious motivations and their degrees of emotional damage...This fledgling troupe...is giving McCarrick’s drama a superb world premiere. The cast—a near-perfect ensemble in the first act—works together like the strings and bow of a virtuoso’s violin."
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September 16th, 2018

"The play is an earthy depiction of a small group of individuals living on the edge of society...Most of the first act is spent in chatting, not going anywhere special. The two-hour show could profit by a little judicious cutting. But later, another man enters the picture and livens up the doings...The performances are quite good...Lovers of Irish theater and down-to-earth naturalism should like this one."
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T
September 13th, 2018

"A well-crafted family drama...The potential for an explosively gripping show is present, with a strong script and compelling performances, but in this particular performance, the direction felt slack...The stakes that playwright Jaki McCarrick has built into the script are high and tangible, and though the acting by the strong ensemble is formidable, the production tends to lack a luster that seems to be bubbling just below the surface."
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B
September 12th, 2018

"Fascinating play...Co-directed by Colleen Clinton and Lily Dorment, a lovely swing between former terrorist Francis’ poetic appreciation of the nature that surrounds them and Billy’s cruder cooking is immediately set up...The play is tender, gentle and appreciative of nature. The lilt of the Irish dialect captures the mood of the story and makes the dramatic evening both powerful and beautiful."
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