Already closed | 1h 15m | Soho/Tribeca

Tender Napalm

From 25 member  reviews
Members say: Confusing, Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Ambitious

About the show

An intimate, explosive, and poetic exploration of love in the face of catastrophe, English writer Philip Ridley’s provocative play comes back to New York in a reimagined, African-American production.

From the show:

This is the story of you and your first great love...

A young couple face an unnamed catastrophe. They wind their love back to its beginnings through a fantastical, erotic world of serpent slayings, monkey wars, alien abductions and a shipwrecked paradise. Dangerously and absolutely, they dream and dance themselves into the secret places of love and desire, back to the ecstasy of their first kiss. Explosive, poetic and brutal, Tender Napalm re-examines and re-defines the language of love…and how that love struggles to survive in the face of catastrophe.

With approval from playwright Philip Ridley, director David Norwood brings a unique vision to this acclaimed play, seen through the eyes of an African-American couple.

If you think you know love, think again. 

1h 15m | Already closed | HERE Arts Center (Soho/Tribeca)

Member Reviews (25)


Confusing, Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Ambitious
Avg Score

Confusing, Intelligent, Great acting, Quirky, Intense

See it if you would enjoy two actors pouring out their energy to portray two characters in the push and pull of a relationship in an ambitious script.

Don't see it if you want a linear play - this jumps and you must listen closely to the constant dialogue or you will be lost. You must envision all-bare set

Intense, Edgy, Dizzying, Great performance, Absorbing

See it if wildly imaginative game playing between two talented actor dancers exploring the rough edges of their sexuality would keep your attention

Don't see it if you expect a clear plot. There are lots of suggestions of what might or might not be happening but nothing is ever quite what it seems.

At times beautifully spoken, Intelligent, Edgy, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You like word pictures spun out to you by each character taking on the same words. Lyrical yet violent. Beauty and implied tragedy.

Don't see it if You want straight narrative. You dont want to have to do the work, you have to listen. Uncomfortable word pictures which seem violent but?

Also I really dont know how I felt about this production. I would like to s... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Edgy, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a short play about a dysfunctional relationship, well-acted an well directed

Don't see it if you want to see a play that keeps to its title topic (brilliant when it does), but goes on too 20 min. long beause it tries to "explain".

Also If you are triggered by sexual violence you definitely should avoid th... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Strong strong performances in this poetic experimental play.

Don't see it if If you are a fan of experimental pkays

Edgy, Raunchy, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if you are able to follow long monologues about a relationship and don't mind graphic language

Don't see it if you need flashy sets, costumes, etc or tsunamis are a trigger for you

Indulgent script, Strong performance, Sparse staging, Blurred line between fantasy and reality

See it if You enjoy heady & fantastical dialogue, and can enjoy movement rather than standard staging, if you enjoy seeing strong young actors

Don't see it if You want a light evening or production values. Or If you would be irritated by a wandering symbolic story requiring alot of interpretation

Absorbing, Great acting, Confusing, Dizzying, Sexy

See it if You don’t mind non linear love stories that can be a bit confusing at times. Great actors and good dialogue. A bit sexy at times.

Don't see it if You prefer straight forward plays.

Intelligent, Great writing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if great americanization of compelling british play. (didn't realize till later that I saw the original.) great work by actors and director.

Don't see it if ... you need conventional structure and need to know at every second what is going on. ... don't have patience to let the piece come to you.

Contrived, Great acting, Slow, Confusing

See it if you are interested in an experimental play where two characters compete at creating contrived and fantastic stories about their situation.

Don't see it if you prefer plays with a clear plot and that do not seem to evade reality.

Intense, Romantic, Poetic, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if This caught me from the start with the dynamic chemistry of the actors. The text is challenging but they brought it to life and full circle.

Don't see it if It is challenging to understand their relationship portrayed and it takes some work by the viewer. It is not handed to you on a gold plate.

Great writing, Intelligent, Indulgent, Edgy, Confusing

See it if you like experimental theater that doesn't have a straightforward narrative.

Don't see it if you need a linear plot to enjoy theater.

Cliched, Slow, Edgy, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You like being confused and bored.

Don't see it if You have anything else you’d rather do. It was terrible, and I am unsure of why... Was it the actors or the writing or the direction?

Thought-provoking, Funny, Absorbing

See it if You love in your face theatre, Avant garde, movement, and minimalism. Tender Napalm is a story told through movement and strange metaphors

Don't see it if You are easily offended, don't like absurd theatre, or don't like small venues.

During previews
Not for everybody, Athletic, Mythic, Extreme, Poetic

See it if a graphic, poetic, mythic, athletic exploration of crazy love sounds interesting to you.

Don't see it if you are looking for standard drama or are upset by graphic descriptions of (sometimes sexual) violence.

Also Ever been so crazy in love with someone you want to tear that person a... Read more Read less

During previews
Indulgent, Confusing, Well-acted, Sensuous, Poetic

See it if Lovely, tender, sensitive, with confusing time leaps. Portrays a relationship between people bound together by love and tragedy.

Don't see it if Someone reviewed it as raunchy. I say it was a passionate relationship between two star-crossed lovers.

During previews
Uneven, Indulgent

See it if into a sparse poetic relationship play; highly uneven

Don't see it if impatient with poetry

Also The two talented performers shine when expressing their sensual or war... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Disappointing, Raunchy, Indulgent

See it if you don't mind a pretentious poetic piece where two characters trade stories that can include violent graphic sexual aggression.

Don't see it if you have no patience for something than is reminiscent of the affected writing one does in high school. Less a play and more a word piece.

During previews
Edgy, Intense, Intelligent

See it if you like avant garde, poetic theater. A linguistic play, but it all comes together in the end.

Don't see it if you are triggered by obscene language, or sexual violence.

During previews
Edgy, Poetic, Riveting, Slow, Great acting

See it if couple/lovers on bare stage sparring verbally and physically, expressing love & despair, reality & fantasy, toward final scene revelation

Don't see it if you don't have patience for poetic reminiscence and fantasy, cannot deal with language containing brutal, violent sexual imagery.

Also The language and movement takes you on a journey through past experien... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Confusing, Underdirected, Overwritten

See it if you have the patience for a slow burn. Confusing as it is, it's also strangely rewarding.

Don't see it if you can't handle edgy, sexually-charged material or have no appreciation for intimate productions.

Also I'm a patient viewer open to the weirdness and experiment but after 80... Read more Read less

During previews
Slow, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Confusing

See it if If you like to hear couples darkest most violent fantasies and don’t mind non linear plots. Touching in moments but confusing too.

Don't see it if You don’t like violent graphic writing and need a plot. The play goes everywhere hard to follow not easy to recommend.

During previews
Quirky, Confusing

See it if You like language driven theater with lots of monologues You appreciate non linear stories about relationships

Don't see it if Concrete, linear storytelling Characters engaged in abstract monologues rather than conversations

During previews
Raunchy, Great acting, Intense, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You’re looking for a poetic production featuring two talented actors (m,w) in a sometimes intense flirt/romp with very graphic expressions.

Don't see it if Graphic description of jungle fights and male castration are too much for you. small production with no props, just two bodies and a scarf

During previews
Upsetting, Overrated, Excruciating

See it if You want to walk out early and end up sobbing in the ladies’ room.

Don't see it if You’re upset by graphic descriptions of sexual violence.

July 26th, 2019
“The power and majesty of the theater are affirmed by this ravishing production of the acclaimed English playwright Philip Ridley's beguiling fantasia. A shipwrecked young couple engage with monkeys, aliens and serpents as memories and sometimes violent erotic feelings are expressed.”
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July 22nd, 2019
“The truth is: I saw ‘Tender Napalm’because it had a great title. Finding the delicacy of the language is half the battle, and Philip Ridley's script, originally presented in London in 2011, is challenging. In some aspect of this dreamlike, imaginary place, there's plenty to do, in the mind of th...
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