Review Round Up: Slave Play, Golden Theatre

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Robert O’Hara’s production now playing in New York’s Golden Theatre.

DC Metro: “There is something (well, actually, there are lots and lots and lots of things) to offend everyone in Slave Play, so if you’re in the market for a pleasant evening at the theater, you won’t find it here. What you will encounter is an inescapable confrontation with the legacy of our culture that will leave you shaking, debating, and thinking, though not necessarily healing.”

Variety: “Director Robert O’Hara, however, doesn’t direct this new material with the same kind of inventive playfulness that made the previous play-fantasy scenes seem so clever.”

Time Out: **** ” Brash, smart and gleefully confrontational, this is the kind of show that starts arguments. It begins on a perverse antebellum plantation, but as it moves forward, in three very different acts that successively reframe what we have seen before them, it keeps you off balance; even afterward, you may feel staggered.” “Make no mistake, Harris isn’t universalizing this country’s torturous legacy of slavery or holding up its African-American history as a one-experience-fits-all lesson in shared humanity. One of Slave Play‘s accomplishments is its use of a commercial Broadway production as an insistently focused examination of whatever is meant when we make reference to the black experience, and in giving voice and the last word to those who live it.” “it’s been the center of a constant churn of hype, opinion, and, at times, enraged contention. Harris’s write-ups from white critics, myself included, have mostly enthusiastically added fuel to the rocket of the play’s ascent.”

Hollywood Reporter: “Even if the midsection pops the hilariously uncomfortable balloon of the opening, it’s nonetheless drolly clever — a little too much so at times. But the skill of the director and actors at lacing sardonic humor with authentic feeling unexpectedly lends both weight and buoyancy to the subjects’ various illuminating insights.”

NY Post: ** ” For better or worse, “Slave Play” is the sort of show you see to say you’ve seen it.”

Talkin’ Broadway: “Jeremy O. Harris and director Robert O’Hara, who has dealt with racial issues in his own satirical plays like Booty Candy and Barbecue, have handled with great aplomb the juggling of multiple themes and perspectives. Remarkably, they have achieved the rare gift of preaching to the choir without being preachy and teaching the rest of us without being pedantic or condescending. Slave Play is an altogether exceptional work, a standout among many that have addressed the racial divide.”

Broadway World: “Some may be shocked, or even angered as the final scene vividly plays to its violent conclusion. Others may nod their heads in recognition of a truth they’ve never seen played out on a Broadway stage. But that can be said of so much of this dynamic artistic exploration.”

Slave Play continues to play at the Golden Theatre in New York until the 19th January 2020.

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