Arrivals & Departures OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Andrew Higgens
  • NY TIMES

  • VULTURE

  • NY POST

  • ACCESS

  • S & C

Opening Night:
June 4, 2014
Closing:
June 29, 2014

Theater: 59E59 Theaters / 59 East 59th St., New York, NY, 10022

Synopsis: 

At a London rail terminus an elaborate trap is deployed to capture an elusive terrorist. The Strategic Simulated Distractional Operations Unit is ready to pounce. Civilian witness, garrulous traffic warden, Barry Hawkins and his minder, troubled young female soldier Ez Swain wait, strangers brought together at this crucial moment.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Arrivals & Departures

    Just Mill About, You Know, as Any Crowd Would Do

    Alan Ayckbourn’s Latest, ‘Arrivals & Departures’

    Ben Brantley

    June 5, 2014: The orders are as impossible as they are imperious: “Do try and merge.” Those words are barked out by a British military officer to a sullen soldier and the eyewitness she has been assigned to protect during a counterterrorism sting in a London train station. But really, does the major truly expect anybody to merge under such circumstances — to blend in with a crowd, to seem one with strangers? After all, these characters from Arrivals & Departures, the poignant new comedy that opened on Wednesday night at 59E59 Theaters, inhabit the universe of Alan Ayckbourn. And in his carefully charted cosmos, people are lonely planets, stuck in solitary orbits. Collision might occur from time to time. But merging? Arrivals & Departures, part of the Brits Off Broadway festival, is the first of three shows by Mr. Ayckbourn to be staged in repertory this month under the collective title “Ayckbourn Ensemble.” They are all directed by their author, one of Britain’s best-loved dramatists and perhaps its most staggeringly prolific.

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  • VULTURE REVIEW OF Arrivals & Departures

    Theater Review: The Funny-Sad Complexity of Alan Ayckbourn’s Arrivals and Departures

    Jesse Green

    June 4, 2014: Arrivals and Departures is Alan Ayckbourn’s 78th play, which means (if I have my math right) he’s written one each year since birth and three before it. (He’s 75.) This may explain or at least justify his name, which is pronounced “ache-born”: From the start, even his most knockabout comedies have harbored a secret sadness. You could almost miss it in any single outing; was there a minute left over from laughter to think deep thoughts about The Norman Conquests? But in the aggregate it’s apparent that the devious structural mechanisms he’s famous for — the perspective shifts, the interlocked serializations, the multidirectional time schemes — are the means by which he shapes and shares a melancholy view of the world. Unlike his near contemporary Tom Stoppard, whose theatrical gamesmanship sometimes seems designed to keep such feelings at a safe distance, Ayckbourn engineers structures that allow unsafety. His plays are memory palaces, and (because they are funny) forgetting palaces too.

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  • NY POST REVIEW OF Arrivals & Departures

    ‘Arrivals & Departures’ never quite takes off

    Frank Scheck

    June 4, 2014: WITH 78 plays to his credit, Alan Ayckbourn’s been compared to Neil Simon and Anton Chekhov. But while he’s given us such brilliant comedies as The Norman Conquests, his new Arrivals & Departures is an awkward blend of farce and comedy. It covers a lot of ground without getting anywhere. The action is set in a London railway station where a British security agency, the Strategic Simulated Distractional Operations Unit, is laying a trap for a terrorist it suspects will soon arrive by train. A comically officious Major Quentin (Bill Champion) leads a ragtag team that includes Barry (Kim Wall), a garrulous Yorkshire traffic cop who’s the only one who can identify him and, to protect Barry, Ez (Elizabeth Boag), a taciturn female soldier with a troubled past.

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  • ACCESS ATLANTA REVIEW OF Arrivals & Departures

    Arrivals & Departures

    Shoshana Roberts

    June 5, 2014: What makes you smile? Did you smile today? Was it forced or genuine? Perhaps it was without cause. Maybe you're one of those people who always walks around with a grin on their face. Then again, you might not have smiled all week. Soldier Ez Swain (Elizabeth Boag) is a woman who has lived most of her twenty-three years without cracking a smile. Civilian Barry Hawkins (brilliantly performed by Kim Wall) is slowly chipping away at Ez's hard exterior though while she is on her assignment: “CBSD [aka] Civilian Baby Sitting Detail.” Alan Ayckbourn's Arrivals & Departures incorporates farce with drama and delivers a spectacular evening of enjoyment and empathy.

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  • STAGE AND CINEMA REVIEW OF Arrivals & Departures

    Off-Broadway Theater Review: ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES (written and directed by Alan Ayckbourn, 59E59 Theaters)

    Dmitry Zvonkov

    June 4, 2014: Kim Wall delivers a brilliant performance as Barry, an aging municipal employee, in Alan Ayckbourn’s Arrivals and Departures, part of the Brits Off-Broadway Festival at 59E59 Theaters. Mr. Wall carries the show, and although surrounded by a fine cast, without him there’s not much to see here. Still, the first act of this two hour and fifteen minute play, directed by Mr. Ayckbourn, feels interminable. The second one gets better. And the climax is devastating, making the entire ordeal worthwhile. Or almost. I can’t quite decide. I am glad I saw it. But would I sit through it again? Probably not.

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Arrivals & Departures Review REVIEWS

Opening Night:
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater:

Synopsis: 

What makes you smile? Did you smile today? Was it forced or genuine? Perhaps it was without cause. Maybe you're one of those people who always walks around with a grin on their face. Then again, you might not have smiled all week. Soldier Ez Swain (Elizabeth Boag) is a woman who has lived most of her twenty-three years without cracking a smile. Civilian Barry Hawkins (brilliantly performed by Kim Wall) is slowly chipping away at Ez's hard exterior though while she is on her assignment: “CBSD [aka] Civilian Baby Sitting Detail.” Alan Ayckbourn's Arrivals & Departures incorporates farce with drama and delivers a spectacular evening of enjoyment and empathy.

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