C.J. Wilson, Mary McCann. Photo by Ahron R. Foster.
Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street
Presented by Atlantic Theater Company
By Simon Stephens
Directed by Neil Pepe
Blair Brown, Odiseas Georgiadis, Peter Maloney, Mary McCann, LeRoy McClain, Tedra Millan, Ben Rosenfield, Luke Slattery, C.J. Wilson, Amelia Workman
Scenic Design: Scott Pask
Costume Design: Sarah Laux
Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind
Original Music, Sound Design: David Van Tieghem
First Performance August 23, 2017
Opening September 12, 2017
Final Performance October 8, 2017
Submit a review for On the Shore of the Wide World
In Simon Stephens’ stunning play, something is about to happen that will change one family forever. Set over the course of nine months, On the Shore of the Wide World is about love, family, Roy Keane and the size of the galaxy.
Atlantic is thrilled to welcome back Simon Stephens (Atlantic’s Harper Regan, Bluebird, Broadway’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) with the New York debut of his Olivier Award-winning play.
Ben Brantley – New York Times
Yet by the end of the Atlantic Theater Company production – directed with gentle care by Neil Pepe — you’ve discovered that this dribbling, homespun prose has shaped itself into patterns of profound poetry, as if words in invisible ink had been held up to a flame.
Sara Holdren – Vulture
The play wants to be moving, it wants to Make You Think, and as a family drama it also wants to be funny in an offhanded “Oh, that’s so real” sort of way. Occasionally it succeeds in these aims.
Frank Scheck – The Hollywood Reporter
Three generations of a British family deal with desperation and loss in Simon Stephens’ award-winning play receiving its New York premiere courtesy of off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company. But something seems to have been lost in the transatlantic crossing of this effort by the acclaimed author of such dramas as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Heisenberg. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 2005, On the Shore of the Wide World — the title stems from a Keats sonnet — is a slog to endure, at once dramatically overstuffed and curiously lifeless.
Max McGuinness – Financial Times
Half an hour of such melodrama can be an agreeably un-taxing way of passing a weekday evening in front of the TV. But, at two and half hours with an interval, On the Shore of the Wide World soon begins to feel rudderless.
Thom Geier – The Wrap
Simon Stephens, the British playwright who has scored two Broadway hits in recent years with the brilliant Tony winner “A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” and last season’s intriguing two-hander “Heisenberg,” has a surprising misfire with his latest New York production.
Adam Feldman – TimeOut NY
One could be forgiven, during the many longueurs in Simon Stephens’s On the Shore of the Wide World, for imagining the play to be a parody of a British working-class drama: “wanker” this and “bugger” that and “A-levels” here and “bit of footy on the telly” there, delivered by an American cast of 10 whose accents sometimes arrive at Stockport by way of Louisiana. But it’s very much in earnest. Written in 2005, before Stephens’s success with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and other works, the play is a long and busy family soap opera, chopped into 42 short parts, that toggles between banality and implausible melodrama.
Zachary Stewart – TheaterMania
Undeniably, great drama can spring from what at first appears like a quiet portrayal of everyday desperation. We saw a powerful example of that in Stephen Karam’s The Humans, a long dinner scene during which timely politics and timeless anxieties emerged from the shadows of a spare Chinatown duplex. Of course, such a feat requires a director who is able to inject the stage with enough tension that an otherwise ordinary scene feels combustible. Pepe doesn’t achieve that with his lethargic staging. Even the black-clad stagehands seem to saunter through the lengthy transitions.