New York | 2h 20m | Already closed

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

From 19 critic and 110 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Delightful, Enchanting

About the show

The McKittrick Hotel (home of the immersive spectacle 'Sleep No More') presents the New York premiere of the National Theatre of Scotland's transporting, music-filled folk-theater fable. More…

The Heath, the McKittrick Hotel’s bar and music venue, is transformed into a high-spirited Scottish Pub for 'The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart,' featuring the Scottish original cast. The title character is an uptight academic who specializes in Scottish ballads and finds herself coming face-to-face with the Devil. The show is written in rhyming verse and unfolds among and around the audience, using live music to weave its lyrical and enchanting story throughout the intimate setting. Tickets include select drinks and eats. 

2h 20m | Already closed | McKittrick Hotel (Chelsea)


"An unforgettable theatrical experience, driven by brave performances and resourceful staging…Greig's playful use of language and magpie instinct toward mythology results in an enchanting story that will stay with you for days after…Luckily, everyone in this excellent five-person cast seems perfectly at ease enacting whatever Greig has written while creating specific and consistent characters." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"An energetic, ingenious and gob-smacking evening of site-specific theater that won’t soon be forgotten...The cast are multi-instrumentalists who also sing, dance and act up a storm...Playwright Grieg has crafted a rather brilliant performance piece based on folklore and an abundance of cultural references...Director Wils Wilson has deftly woven this superb tapestry of movement, acting, and much more, with superb skill...Simply a darn good time." Full Review

The New York Times

"One hell of a tale…This gleeful import does transport you into infernal eternity. It turns out to be a swell place for a hibernal vacation…All the performers are dab hands with an assortment of instruments, musical styles and instant impersonations. They are also most companionable hosts in the specially outfitted pub through which they wander…It shifts seamlessly from robust silliness to sensual dreaminess, as the mind tends to through the course of successive whiskies." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Perfectly enjoyable even without a chest-warming, peaty buzz…A witty send-up of literary theory and rom-coms that morphs into a real mini-epic of damnation and obsession, ‘Prudencia Hart’ keeps a fine balance between supernatural shocks and Fringe-like silliness. Wilson’s scrappy troupe tears around the room, pulling off audience-interactive shenanigans with adorable aplomb. They sing, they dance, and they risk life and limb on top of cluttered tables for our amusement." Full Review

Daily Beast

"The show is many things: satirical, absurd, a literary parlor game, a crazy surf through folkloric history, and a wild and celebratory slice of storytelling-as-art.... Your capacity to embrace this show will depend on your capacity for absurdity, wild silliness, and literary in-jokes. Free shots of whiskey may help...The sheer energy of the performers is all-enveloping...It takes great skill to be this silly, and to do it with such heart and relish." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

"If something is happening at the McKittrick Hotel, it’s probably worth doing. That’s a rule of thumb I’ve lived by since the first time I saw 'Sleep No More,' and it continues to be true with its new immersive theater experience…'The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart' isn’t your typical holiday fare, but it certainly has the warmth one might crave from the theater on a cold, wintery night." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The first act in particular is rife with lovely turns of phrase...Once Prudencia is in the underworld, poetry is replaced by prose and although the words remain highly literate, the fun is lessened somewhat...While one at times wonders what the point of Prudencia's story may be, it is undeniably entertaining to watch this gifted, nimble cast work the room, acting, playing musical instruments, and occasionally commandeering one of the audience's tables to make a point." Full Review


"The congenial atmosphere set up by director Wils Wilson replicates a sessions night you might encounter at a local tavern...While the merry antics and sexy melodramatics of 'The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart' can certainly be enjoyed by all, those with an intimate knowledge of Scottish literature and culture will certainly get an extra charge out of the evening." Full Review


"Under the direction of Wils Wilson, the first act is breezy and convivial…In the evening’s second half, things take a turn for the metaphorical, with the terms of engagement switching from the narrative to the dramatic, and the proceedings hit a speed bump…But thanks to the effervescent cast, the show doesn’t entirely lose its momentum, and eventually regains its devil-may-care form." Full Review


"An immersive entertainment featuring five talented performers equally adept at clowning and music...The plot is silly but diverting...After that break in the action, 'The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart' loses steam. In part, the problem can be attributed to the script's transition from zippy verse to prose that's decidedly prosaic. But it's also that the preoccupations of small-beer academicians don't justify two hours of ridicule." Full Review


"As accomplished and entertaining as this Satanic, Scottish, musical tall tale is, it’s drawn out and its slender plot is wayward...The dialogue is often comical and flavorful...The pub performance concept, though marvelously presented, at times sidetracks the plot. With all of the singing and actors all over the place, it’s easy to forget about Prudencia Hart...Ultimately, it’s a great deal of merriment without much dramatic impact." Full Review

The Austin Chronicle

for a previous production "A great drink will satisfy for many reasons, and so it is with 'The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart:' the go-for-broke enthusiasm of the cast, the infectious music-making, the astoundingly clever and delightful script penned almost completely in rhyming couplets, the playful theatricality that makes audience members into motorbikes and creates blizzards out of shredded bar napkins. And like that great drink, it may just leave you intoxicated." Full Review

A Younger Theatre

for a previous production "Greig’s dialogue is clever, unpacking tradition, with an ear for humour and shrewd composition...Yet if there’s anything that makes the night so alive, it’s the wonderful dynamism of the play’s cast of five. They move through the crowd, fueling their interaction, performing folk songs and pop music between all the action...With Alasdair Macrae’s music, and Wils Wilson’s direction, 'Prudencia’s' a joy from its very inception...I emerged from the theatre exultant, enchanted." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "The narrative sometimes loses focus, but the evening has plenty of musical swagger and wild poetic heart, and develops an unexpected erotic charge as Prudencia dances with the devil and discovers her real self in car park. This beautifully performed piece both uses the ballad form and sends it up rotten, takes a cheeky but affectionate swipe at Rabbie Burns and Conor McPherson, and celebrates the folk tradition...It deserves to tour for eternity." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

for a previous production "The piece brilliantly celebrates the joy of live, traditional music, the enduring power of ancient ballads and the delight in sharing the telling of a story. Wils Wilson’s exuberant production is staged in the bar as a lock-in, with a cracking cast...The piece loses some pace and grip in the Devil’s lair and the drunken karaoke scene goes on too long. But there’s great fun in the way this ingenious exploration of Scottish culture crosses borders with glee." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

for a previous production "Greig writes fluently in rhyming couplets...Though determinedly spoofy, the text also exhibits immense respect and affection for its satiric targets...Wilson’s deceptively unfussy production deftly distracts from the complexity of the show’s many threads, and the game cast appears well-drilled yet up for anything...A persistently entertaining bricolage of themes that only flags in invention in the perhaps overextended climax, notably less inspired than anything in the hours preceding." Full Review

The Washington Post

for a previous production "Whimsical in the extreme...But with a wee bit of indulgence, 'Prudencia Hart' will weave its spell, drawing you in as a willing collaborator in its multitudinous shenanigans...A lot of the charm of 'Prudencia Hart' derives from the unorthodox surroundings in which it is staged. The actors circulate among us, climbing onto our tables...The production is buoyed by the resourcefulness of director Wils Wilson, who makes economical use of limited space and design elements." Full Review

The Scotsman

for a previous production "After an extended pub sequence, in what still seems a slightly overlong show, 'Prudencia' finds something both more thrilling and much, much worse, in the Borders B&B from hell. It’s at this point that the show begins to weave itself into a strange erotic game of imprisonment and self-liberation that taxes Wilson’s fine cast of five actor-singer-musicians to the hilt. The company are well up to the challenge, though...They whip the show along to its fantastically rousing conclusion." Full Review


for a previous production "The novel setting and raucous disregard for the fourth wall are hardly the only things that make this memorable show so wildly entertaining...'Prudencia' cleverly weaves together handed-down mythical narratives, rustic, beautiful harmonies and verse, and the jovial liveliness of an evening spent with old friends at the corner watering hole...The five-person cast radiates authenticity...The second act is a bit jarring...a lone distraction in an otherwise captivating production." Full Review

Delightful, Dizzying, Great staging, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if you've ever endured an utterly excruciating literary conference with pretentious nitwits posing as scholars and thought "I'm in Hell."

Don't see it if you don't like laughing your head off. Seriously. Stay home and depress your loved ones.

Delightful, Clever, Great acting, Ambitious, Must see

See it if you like intimate shows in immersive setting; the oral storytelling tradition, new takes on old classics

Don't see it if you hate immersive shows, or you don't like shows that are self-aware, if you or who you're going with have a hard time deciphering accents

Also Delightful gem of a show- see it while you still can! I had no idea wh... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Enchanting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you can. Everyone I know who's seen it has been wowed by it.

Don't see it if you want to miss one of the best theatrical experiences currently in New York.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Funny, Masterful

See it if you enjoy immersive staging, intimate performances, clever (rhyming!) verse, beautiful anglo folk music, folk tales & myth, smart staging.

Don't see it if having actors move around and near you bothers you and/or if you don't like having to turn in your seat to follow the action.

Enchanting, Refreshing, Quirky, Must see, Intelligent

See it if You love inventive theater served with a shot (or 2) in an immersive atmosphere. Oh, and sandwiches.

Don't see it if You shudder at the thought of a little audience participation.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Riveting, Joyous, Delightful

See it if you like ambitious, in-your-lap theater with multi-talented performers and creative staging

Don't see it if you dont appreciate folktale retelling that makes an emotional impact

Must see, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if An exceptional show. So clever and smart. Great performances. Original!! A special experience at the McKittrick. Don't miss this one.

Don't see it if You need traditional proscenium style theater. You lack imagination and wit.

Brilliant emersive theater, Great concept, Great cast, Fun presentation

See it if you enjoy brilliantly done storytelling with the cast acting all around you. You also get a free shot of scotch!

Don't see it if you're only comfortable with straight forward proscenium plays, but it's time to expand your horizons!

Absorbing, Clever, Resonant, Must see, Great staging

See it if You're looking to see something new, way out of the norm.

Don't see it if You're looking to see a conventional play or musical in a conventional space. This is a very unique experience.

Clever, Ambitious, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if You enjoy slightly immersive theatre. You like Scottish accents. You want a theatrical "experience." You liked Sleep No More.

Don't see it if You don't like to be close to the action or involved. This is a fun but challenging show - you have to really listen to get it.

Ambitious, Refreshing, Great staging, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy immersive theater, philosophy, allegories, and fun!

Don't see it if You expect a traditional theatrical experience and wish to turn off your brain when seeing shows.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Great acting

See it if You want a riveting tale, in rhyme, performed for you by brilliant Scottish actors, each playing multiple role and are also the musicians

Don't see it if You prefer traditional theater experiences, but give this a chance!

Absorbing, Clever, Masterful, Refreshing, Riveting

See it if you like immersive theater experiences. Takes place in a bar room and actors move throughout the audience. Great ambiance, acting, plot!

Don't see it if you want more traditional theater experience or if you aren't a fan of Scottish culture. may be inappropriate for kids (profanity/sexual)

Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if If you want to be immersed in a theatrical experience. This show was so good!

Don't see it if If you don't have a sense of adventure.

Also I still have a smile on my face. This was one of the best theatre expe... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Enchanting, Great acting, Must see

See it if You enjoy interactive theater, a compelling story and are a fant of Scotland. An unique experience as you journey with Prudentia. Booze too.

Don't see it if You only like serious drama and are not a fant of interactive theater.

Clever, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if If you want to see a modern fairy tale. Complete with free scotch and finger sandwiches.

Don't see it if If you do not like interactive no traditional theater

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Quirky, Great singing

See it if traditional ballads or strange love stories appeal. An ancient story celebrated in song set in current time. Marvelous Sit at central tables

Don't see it if Celtic music makes you cover your ears. The music is loud, cheerful and is played throughout the entire show.

Great acting, Great singing, Great storytelling, Immersive, Delightful

See it if You are looking for a great time in. Scottish pub, with whisky, sandwiches, great storytelling and terrific music!

Don't see it if Are averse to an immersive experience. Want a traditional theatre experience.

Also Great time--very talented cast that acts, sings, and charms their way ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Dizzying, Great acting, Intense

See it if you enjoy immersive theatre, like inventive uses of props, enjoy Scottish ballads and folklore

Don't see it if hate immersive theatre, dislike when actors are both narrator and character, afraid of the dark, don't like shifting in your seat to see

Ambitious, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You like semi immersive theatre like comet of 1812 and here lies love. You enjoy the art of storytelling.

Don't see it if Rhyming couplets give you a headache? The Scottish accents are thick so if you have trouble following them. But no the show is great.

Clever, Enchanting, Must see, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you like intelligent, fun, immersive theatre, a modern take on Scottish folktales. An Awesome show. You should go!

Don't see it if you don't care for tales in: rhyming verse, Scottish accents, immersive theatre set in a bar/restaurant.

Quirky, Entertaining, Immersive

See it if You enjoy a creative, playful and mythical play with talented singers who play Gaelic instruments.

Don't see it if You don't like fairy tales or over the top plots.

Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great staging, Must see

See it if More of a must experience. Great show within a bar. Lovely story and experience

Don't see it if You don't like audience engagement

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Interactive

See it if You like immersive theater and clever couplets. If you enjoy fun characters and farcical narratives.

Don't see it if You don't like interacting with the characters. You don't like interacting with the people around you. You don't like things a bit silly.

Clever, Absorbing, Intense, Riveting, Enchanting

See it if You enjoy immersive stagings, folk tales, dark musicals, a shiver down your spine, whiskey, ham sandwiches, or Scottish accents.

Don't see it if You prefer traditional stagings and familiar stories.

Cast & Creatives (10)