The Possibilities and The After-Dinner Joke

The Possibilities and The After-Dinner Joke NYC Reviews and Tickets

(20 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Clever

About the Show

PTP/NYC (Potomac Theatre Project) presents a double bill featuring work from English dramatists Howard Barker and Caryl Churchill.

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Member Reviews (20)

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Intelligent, Clever, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if political black comedy (from the 70s/80s but all-too relevant today) interests you & you want great examples from 2 of its best exponents.

Don't see it if you're jaded/apathetic about poverty, political corruption and greed or you're too idealistic & unwilling to be provoked from your naiveté. Read more

Great staging, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if Good college production of four Barker and one Churchill rarely seen. Status quo and OxFam are skewered in all.

Don't see it if For fans of The Potomac or The Atlantic Annex only.

Critic Reviews (8)

July 19th, 2018

"'The Possibilities' is a quartet of brief provocations...They have no discernible link, except for a general desire to unsettle, a goal that is achieved on a sliding scale...'The After-Dinner Joke': Inevitably, with a piece as scattershot as this, some bits work better than others...There's no pretending that either of these pieces is a major work, but fans and completists won't want to miss them and there's something inherently valuable about the bracing dose of pessimism they offer."
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July 25th, 2018

"Now in its 32nd Season PTP is producing (in repertory with 'Brecht on Brecht') a double bill of rarely seen short plays by the two authors, Barker's 1986 'The Possibilities' and Churchill's 1978 'The After-Dinner Joke.' While the productions by Richard Romagnoli and Cheryl Faraone, respectively, (PTC/NYC's co-artistic directors) are excellently staged and very well acted, both plays are problematic in various ways."
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August 2nd, 2018

"Both offerings invite the audience to grapple with provocative content that often seems elusive and controversial and that raises numerous essential, enduring questions...Kudos to an unflappable Madeleine Russell who portrays an unconventional woman...Cheryl Faraone takes the directorial helm for Caryl Churchill’s 'The After-Dinner Joke' and guides her talented cast through a successful sailing on the waves of the playwright’s 'stew of twisted narrative chronology.'"
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July 19th, 2018

“'The After-Dinner Joke': A biting black comedy...A phenomenal production that is slick and incredibly entertaining...Director Cheryl has conjured an impressive masterpiece...Faraone’s casting is magnificent and she has given every actor an opportunity to shine. There are no weak links...Her direction is clear and focused...A perfect play for our seismic shifting political climate...A double bill with Howard Barker’s potent play, 'The Possibilities.'"
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July 31st, 2018

"The shows are smart, thought-provoking, and often fun, and these productions are terrific...An amazing evening in the theatre...The four plays of ‘The Possibilities’ make for an almost head-spinning amount of theatre, full of ideas, arguments, superb acting, and so on. But that's all only Act I...Then comes Act II...’The After Dinner Joke’...The writing is astonishingly efficient. The 66 scenes fly Churchill economically skewers the worlds of charity and politics."
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July 20th, 2018

"Although stylistically quite different, the plays generally fit together well in their emotionally dizzying and intellectually disorienting exploration of power and politics...The plays are presented simply...The focus, therefore, is placed on the plays and their ideas. While the results of the Barker-Churchill double bill are nevertheless a mixed bag, the Potomac Theatre Project is to be commended for showcasing the little-known work of these two luminaries of the British theater."
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July 19th, 2018

"The juxtaposition of these works produces intriguing resonances amidst a sometimes discomfiting, often funny, and always compelling experience...While Churchill's play may feel timely in more specific ways, the questions raised by Barker's short plays are equally relevant. PTP/NYC's production shows that these texts can speak to one another as vitally as they continue to speak to audiences."
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July 23rd, 2018

"Questionable directing choices present additional hurdles in allowing the work to subsume the audience. Why engage actors in accent and dialect work that simply add distraction to both the viewer and the performer?...'The After-Dinner Joke' is the stronger choice with which to close the night...While rife with imperfections and an occasionally lagging pace, is still a valuable work of theatre that raises or triggers worthwhile questions about humanity’s political struggles."
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