Review Round Up: Knives in Hens, Donmar Warehouse

Yaël Farber directs David Harrower’s play at the Donmar Warehouse, here Love London Love Culture rounds up all the latest reviews….

Knives inhens

A ploughman and his wife live a simple existence in a pre-industrial time until they, along with the hated local miller, are drawn into a struggle of knowledge, power and attraction.

David Harrower’s haunting play established him as one of the UK’s leading contemporary playwrights. Multi-award-winning director Yaël Farber brings her own distinctive style to this tense, modern classic.

The Independent: **** “hypnotically powerful account of David Harrower’s extraordinary debut play.”

The Guardian: **** “It is a tremendous play and, for all its occasional excesses, Farber’s production feels more genuinely biblical  than her recent, insufferable Salomé.”

Time Out: **** “It’s quintessential Farber, no doubt about that, but it’s good to have her playing to her strengths again.”

City AM: **** ” an ethereal quality to David Harrower’s prose that lends it a timeless quality.”

The Express: *** “Although its power to shock has diminished a little since its debut, the overall achievement remains impressive.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “emerged from Yaël Farber’s portentous revival impressed but also worn down.”

Evening Standard: *** “While there’s too little erotic tension and its austerity at times feels portentous, it’s dark, earthy and admirably strange.”

Culture Whisper: **** “Knives in Hens is not easy entertainment, but it’s an intelligent and disquieting 90 minutes.”

Broadway World:  *** “Gifted a world of words, Farber doesn’t quite twist the knife in deep enough. To “look close enough” could discover not just what Harrower’s play is, but what it could be.”

The FT: *** “Farber’s sombre, tactile staging is impressive and delivers the story grippingly, though, lacking levity and variety, it begins to feel ponderous and the dour tone on occasion runs perilously close to self-parody.”

The Telegraph: **** “a revival that doesn’t slacken its grip for an exquisitely lit – albeit dour and intense – 90 minutes.”

Exeunt Magazine: “Knives in Hens is a play that is both about language and not about language.”

London **** “Farber’s electifyingly acted production”

The Upcoming: **** “Farber marries Harrower’s exploration of the emancipatory power of words with her own striking visual language.”

British Theatre Guide: “Knives in Hens is a dark, quiet play with hidden depths and the power to be truly shocking.”

The Times: **** “This fascinating play is never easy viewing, but it draws you in with its strange, rough magic.”

Stage Review: *** “the performances of Roddy, Cooke and Ryan are compelling, intense and very watchable.”

Theatre Cat: “harder work to appreciate: gruelling, indeed even at 90 minutes and even with a blazingly effective, courageous and committed performance by Judith Roddy as the woman.”

There Ought to be Clowns: “A fascinating revival by an ever-fascinating director.”

The Daily Mail: ** “I found myself amused by the air of foreboding, but the atmosphere hangs heavy, and you laugh at your peril.”

Knives in Hens continues to play at the Donmar Warehouse until the 7th October. For more information and to book tickets visit:

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