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HAUNTED OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: December 8, 2010
Synopsis: When a captivating young woman enters the life of Mr. Berry, he pretends his wife is dead and dresses the young woman in her clothes to ensure the relationship continues. Academy Award-nominee Brenda Blethyn, acclaimed actor Niall Buggy and Beth Cooke star in this haunting tale by renowned Irish writer Edna O'Brien.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"“In marriage all is perceived, but much withheld,” says Jack Berry, one-half of the fractiously loving couple in “Haunted,” a slight but well-acted new play by Edna O’Brien at the 59E59 Theaters as part of the Brits Off Broadway festival. “Infinite, the book of secrets,” Jack continues, lost in his musings on the troublesome past in the play’s opening monologue. "
"Though Edna O'Brien is a celebrated novelist, particularly in her native Ireland and the United Kingdom, I confess I've never read her, though I have seen the films "Three Into Two Won't Go," "X, Y, and Zee," and "Girl With the Green Eyes," all of which she wrote. On the basis of those films and now "Haunted," I'd say that though her talents seem more literary than dramatic, O'Brien does possess a uniquely eccentric theatrical voice that grows on you. "Haunted" is equal parts exasperating and enveloping. Acted to a fare-thee-well by Brenda Blethyn, Niall Buggy, and Beth Cooke, it leavens a studied preciousness with combustible confrontations and ends up packing considerable emotional force."
"Its lyrical descriptiveness, intoxication with language and devotion to storytelling give the London-set “Haunted” a lilting Irish flavor that’s not surprising coming from novelist and occasional playwright Edna O’Brien. But all that linguistic embroidery -- plus snatches of poetry and a shower of literary and theatrical allusions – clouds the poignancy of this melancholy love triangle. "
"A man screams out "Stay!" as two shadowed female figures seem to berate him. This rather corny opening sequence is just one of the problems with Edna O'Brien's Haunted, now receiving its U.S. premiere at 59E59 Theaters as part of the Brits Off Broadway Festival. "
"59E59 Theaters must have thought they'd pulled a coup in booking "Haunted" -- a new play by Edna O'Brien, with juicy roles for thespic luminaries Brenda Blethyn and Niall Buggy -- for their Brits Off Broadway series. But while the Irish scribe still speaks with silver tongue, there's only enough substance in this slender meditation about the creeping discontentment that poisons a long-term marriage to support maybe a short story. And not even a couple of savvy old pros like Blethyn and Buggy can stand up to Braham Murray's overwrought helming for Manchester's Royal Exchange Theater."
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