Before Your Very Eyes OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    October 26, 2015
    Closing:
    November 29, 2015

    Theater: The Public Theater / 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY, 10003

    Synopsis: 

    UK and Berlin-based Gob Squad’s last show at The Public was an Under the Radar Festival sensation. This season, Gob Squad returns with the ambitious and poignant BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES, created over the course of the past two years with 9-14 year olds from around New York City. From behind the safety of one-way mirrors, the audience witnesses seven lives lived in fast forward, from age ten to eighty. As the children peer into the future and nostalgically back at their recent past, they prepare to leave childhood behind forever.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Before Your Very Eyes

    Children Growing Very Old in ‘Before Your Very Eyes’

    Ben Brantley

    October 26, 2015: “Before Your Very Eyes” is a downer with an upper of a cast. That contrast is pretty much the entire point of this ingenious but ultimately unsurprising theatrical essay from the media-mixing British-German arts collective Gob Squad, now in residence at the Public Theater. Here’s the premise: Take a group of young people — really young, between the ages of 9 and 14 — and put them in a petri dish of a room, behind a one-way mirror. Then let audiences observe as they age — really age, into their eighth and ninth decades — via the theatrical equivalent of time-lapse photography. It is, in other words, a complete middle-school-to-grave experience. Or, to quote the impersonally annotative LED display above the stage of Martinson Hall, where “Before Your Very Eyes” opened on Monday night: “Real live children! A rare and magnificent opportunity to witness seven lives lived in fast forward before your very eyes.” A clarification is perhaps required for the very literal-minded: The members of this born-to-die septet do not really grow older as we watch them, at least no older than the 70 minutes it takes to perform the show. Yes, they do commune with videos of their somewhat younger selves. (The ensemble members collaborated with the Gob Squad team over a period of two years.)

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