New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

The Tallest Man in the World

From 4 critic and 29 member reviews
Members say: Confusing, Ambitious, Slow, Thought-provoking, Quirky

About the show

"The Tallest Man in the World" is a play about an unspeakable love, almighty difference and the torment of memory.


Two men. One woman. Treacherously connected, yet forever alone. It's a play about love, torment, memories and loss. They are suspended in a timeless place with only their memories for company. Should we ever have to ask for love? Presented with generous support from Culture Ireland.

1h 30m | Already closed | The Tank (Midtown W)

On Stage Blog

"'The Tallest Man in the World' tells a relatable story through an abstract lense...The story is told non-linearly, traveling back and forth from location to location, from past to present, and back again. This style ensures that you, as an audience member, are always thinking, trying to piece together each tangled thread...Not every question is answered and yet you walk out completely satisfied...Riain writes almost in poetry...A unique and beautiful piece of theatre." Full Review

Culture Catch

"For a play including rapes, suicides, gravely misdirected desire, and the anguish of the need to be loved, 'The Tallest Man in the World' is funny as often as it is harsh or elegiac. This play is likely to stick with audiences like Eamonn's encounter with the one woman who ever made him feel blissfully small. Seeing 'The Tallest Man in the World' should be high up on any theater fan's list." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"A haunting, poetic tale of love and loneliness...Ailís Ní Ríain’s 'The Tallest Man in the World' articulates this concept through the voices of three characters, each secluded but linked through fractured memories and frustrated longing...The play’s non-linear structure, evocative of memories themselves, leads us to piece together a through-line from constantly shifting accounts...It is these stylized trappings that make 'The Tallest Man in the World' deeply relatable." Full Review


“’The Tallest Man in the World’ at best is very vague...Unfortunately, Riain does not challenge, provoke, nor engage us with this mess...The problem with this play is not only poor direction by Xia, but it is poorly written...Riain only touches on things, barely scratching the surface...This nonlinear play is very confusing...’The Tallest Man in the World’ is just not any good...This play lacked inspiration of any sort.” Full Review

Masterful, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You are willing to engage with challenging materially beautifully writand artfully presented. It is a gorgeous psycho-sexual memory plan.

Don't see it if You demand chronological literalism.

Also The playwright turns prose into poetry with the judicious use of allit... Read more Read less

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

See it if You like plays that are well-written with intense subject matter, good acting and direction and highly professional production values.

Don't see it if If you're not into heavy topics with sexual content and dramatic productions.

Well played, Choppy, Poetic, Intriguing

See it if you like poetic dramas that tinker with the form.

Don't see it if the mix of poetic language with vernacular English & naturalistic storylines with a mythic tale might bother you unduly.

Also I do not think “The Tallest Man in the World” is a fully successful pl... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Slow, Quirky, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if Intriguing yet puzzling drama about three Irish misfits who's lives seem to be intertwined Equally poetic & cryptic; often feels allegorical

Don't see it if Xia works hard to stage (with levels) in Tank's cramped black box & Riain's drama lacks linear structure Kilgore fares best as 'tallest man'

Edgy, Confusing, Excruciating, Great writing, Great acting

See it if dark, introspective, long, convoluted Irish drama addressing incest, exploitation, depression, isolation, addiction, death intrigue you.

Don't see it if you cannot follow complex plot line with few actors playing multiple roles not matching their ethnicities, nationalities, accents, and ages.

Edgy, Ambitious, Confusing, Good performances, Interesting writing

See it if u'll enjoy a prose poem acted out; won't mind that characters interact w/ one another in atypical ways & don't mind non-lineal plots.

Don't see it if u are uncomfortable w/dark themes; prefer traditional theatre;dislike characters who deliver long monalogues & don't really interact.

Also I think this may actually be more interesting on the printed page or p... Read more Read less

Poetic, Slow, Quirky, Confusing

See it if you can follow actors playing multiple roles (I think) in a non-traditional script

Don't see it if you need a linear plot or don't like actors speaking (and sometimes seemingly mumbling) in accents.

Also Just finding a seat in the cramped space was a bit chaotic.

Slow, Confusing, disconnected, disappointing, well- acted

See it if You are ok with being confused by a story and like unconventional theater.

Don't see it if You want to see stories that don't leave you in the dark.

Quirky, Confusing, Too hot, Slow, Off night

See it if you like lyrical Irish plays with actors thoroughly engaged.

Don't see it if you want a linear story in a properly staged venue.

Also The play started very late due to an MIA stage manager with the light ... Read more Read less

Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if Enjoy Irish sentiment, but it really isn’t very Irish. Some of it was poetic, some was repetitive and banal.

Don't see it if You are claustrophobic in small dark spaces,

Overrated, Slow, Quirky, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You love provocative and strange theatre shows.

Don't see it if You don't like avante garde and strange theatre.

Ambitious, Contrived, Poorly staged, Slow, Confusing

See it if watching people in physical and emotional pain interests you. These characters live in misery.

Don't see it if you dislike waiting in confusion for necessary information that the author drips out bit by bit over the course of the play.

Disappointing, Confusing

See it if If you like shows with a very simple stage setup and if you prefer a small cast.

Don't see it if If you want to see a show with a more fancy stage setup with a bigger cast

Slow, Indulgent, Excruciating, Dizzying, Confusing

See it if you like lyrical theater or philosophical writing

Don't see it if you want a linear plot or any semblance of understanding who is what and where at any given moment

Confusing, Slow, Indulgent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you like watching a dramatization of what is essentially a long poem.

Don't see it if you do not like lyrical, poetic writing. You prefer more action.

Some worthy imagery but..., Poorly staged, Diffuse, Dull

See it if you want to support this experimental theater & young, inexperienced players; can put effort into "getting" the Irish 'magical realism'

Don't see it if you expect great Irish prose & instead get 3 stereotypes: alcoholic father, a hyperdramatic daughter & the distant "Finn McCool" giant

Also Very disappointed. I LOVE quirky Irish plays, but this is just a meand... Read more Read less

Overdone, Confusing, Overwritten, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You like confusing, melodramatic pieces about sad people tormented by ugly pasts

Don't see it if You need to really understand and engage with what you are seeing

Confusing, Excruciating, Fluffy, Insipid, Overrated

See it if There was nothing about the play

Don't see it if Because it was dreadful!

Ambitious, Intense, Poetic

See it if you are intrigued by poetic monologues

Don't see it if you cannot follow somewhat vague storyline and character transitions

Also there were moments of beautiful poetry to which I felt pleasantly surp... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Intense, Great staging, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if Dramatic, emotional and captivating. Poetically written and performed. At the end the audience sat quitely absorbing what they experienced.

Don't see it if It’s definitely for adults. The subject matter is serious.

Also Thank you to the playwright for her words and to the actors for their ... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Entertaining, Clever

See it if enjoy a compelling story line. Nice timing on the dialog between characters. Could have been a bit more dynamic but still enjoyable

Don't see it if .... you don't like a small theater space and being very close to the actors.

Thought-provoking, Profound, Great writing

See it if Powerful writing, a really intricate piece of storytelling. The last scene and the last image were kind of haunting.

Don't see it if If like fast paced comedy or straightforward plays.

Enchanting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if Intriguing premise - took a while to realise what had happened. Would love to read it. Strong performances and lovely use of light.

Don't see it if You like big loud theatre!

Edgy, Ambitious, Great writing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you like something different, thought-provoking, edgy. You want to experience tremendous writing.

Don't see it if you want to see a bland start to finish easy to follow 'entertaining' play

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you like challenging theatre. Non-linear but not experimental either. Unusual. Beautiful writing and very moving. Great performances too.

Don't see it if You like straightforward stories or quick-fire dialogue.

Cast & Creatives (8)