Portia Coughlan
Closed 2h 25m
Portia Coughlan

Portia Coughlan London Reviews and Tickets

(7 Ratings)
Members say
Absorbing, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Clever, Great acting

About the Show

Marina Carr's modern Irish play exploring destructive families and obsession.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (7)

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56 Reviews | 3 Followers

See it if You like Irish misery plays.

Don't see it if You don’t like Irish misery plays.

50 Reviews | 1 Follower
Dark, Thought-provoking, Great set, Resonant, Great acting

See it if You like dark stories that explore taboo and uncomfortable themes such as childhood trauma and incest. Superb acting and unsettling story

Don't see it if You like light and fluffy shows. This is consistently dark and upsetting throughout

67 Reviews | 3 Followers
Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Slow, Funny, Confusing

See it if you enjoy plays challenging societal issues and depicting struggles many may have gone through, echoed by beautiful yet haunting songs.

Don't see it if you do not easily understand accents (personally I spent half the show working out what the cast was saying), or you prefer a faster pace.

52 Reviews | 3 Followers
Intense, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you like local stories about family tragedies. also, if you love Alison Oliver, she’s incredible

Don't see it if if you are not very good with accents, if you like fast-paced plays with an interesting plot

22 Reviews | 0 Followers
Entertaining, Shocking, Confusing, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy a more experimental style of theatre!

Don't see it if you do not like ambiguous endings. Read more

1 Review | 0 Followers
Enchanting, Heartbreaking, Absorbing, Great acting, Profound

See it if You’re interested in a modern tragedy, full of black comedy and deep emotional drama.

Don't see it if You’re of a delicate disposition!

1 Review | 0 Followers
Clever, Ambitious, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if You’re a fan of a good tragedy

Don't see it if You’re not a fan of heavy depressing themes

Critic Reviews (10)

The London Evening Standard
October 18th, 2023

" Carrie Cracknell’s revival is pitch perfect, accents and all, and Oliver is supported by a sterling cast. But the play now feels like a relentless riff on James Joyce’s characterisation of Ireland as a sow that eats its young."
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London Theatre
October 18th, 2023

“Marina Carr’s 1996 play ‘Portia Coughlan’ has over time acquired the status of a modern Irish masterpiece, and one can see why. In its taboo-busting, take-no-prisoners way, Carr’s portrait of inconsolable grief goes to dark reaches of the psyche one doesn’t often encounter.”
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The Stage (UK)
October 18th, 2023

“For a play so saturated in misery, it has a striking delicacy. Carr’s resonant writing is in Irish Midlands dialect, a rich jumble of curses, poetic phrasings, pitch-black deadpan humour and heartfelt tenderness.”
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The Independent (UK)
October 18th, 2023

“Carr’s play does offer many gentler satisfactions. It portrays a way of life that’s worlds away from the atomised existence so many Almeida theatregoers will be used to...It wraps you up in a rich, peaty blanket of aural and visual sumptuousness. And in the form of Portia, it puts a bent jigsaw piece at the centre of this picture, one that can’t and won’t be hammered back into her place.”
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Time Out London
October 18th, 2023

“Carr’s best-known work, ‘Portia Coughlan’ seems blown in from another plane. Set in the Irish Midlands and using the area’s dialect, it brings incest, domestic abuse, infidelity, sex work and motherhood under its wise eye and creates a world that is equal parts mystical, mythical and crushingly domestic.”
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The Telegraph (UK)
October 19th, 2023

“The play boxes itself in by revealing its hand early on. The revelations of the second half have a melodramatic bent that feels both gratuitous and faintly absurd...I’m not sure her production ultimately makes the case for the play’s revival. ”
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October 18th, 2023

“The play is intriguingly structured. Some will find it too oppressively bleak; there is very little in the way of hope or redemption, and Cracknell doesn’t attempt to gloss this over. But once it takes hold it becomes a compelling and irresistible portrayal of a woman in freefall, and the people helpless to catch her. Its status as a modern classic seems assured.”
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All That Dazzles (UK)
October 18th, 2023

“Startling, genuinely disturbing, and anchored by Alison Oliver’s incredible central performance, Carrie Cracknell’s ‘Portia Coughlan’ cements the play as a modern classic worthy of such an anticipated revival...the production moves from strength to strength, firmly leaning into what could only be a tragedy, while still allowing for a resolution and an emotional catharsis to aim toward.”
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