Hir | New York Reviews

Taylor Mac’s expansive theatrical event Hir comes to the Bush in June 2017. Here’s how the play was received in New York at Playwrights Horizons.

Time Out | Adam Feldman ★★★★

Paige (Kristine Nielsen) and her youngest child, Max (Tom Phelan), have made a deliberate mess of their home. The cupboards are bare, the dishes unwashed; clothes are scattered unfolded on the floor, and the walls are crowded with sparkly crafts. Husband and father Arnold (Daniel Oreskes) putters feebly in the corner, a stroke victim costumed in a purple housecoat, garish makeup and a clown’s rainbow wig. Freed from his abuse and dominance, Paige and Max are diving into a new world disorder: postpatriarchal, postgender and postconsumerist, posthaste. Out of the chaos, they are convinced, a better way of living can evolve.

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New York Times | Charles Isherwood | NYT Critics’ Pick

You may think you’ve seen just about every variation on the dysfunctional family play. Adultery? Check. Sexual abuse? Check. Drug addiction, incest, alcoholism. Check, check and — yawn — check.

I’m here to tell you that unless you’ve seen “Hir,” the sensational — in all senses of the word — play by Taylor Mac, you cannot consider yourself an authority on this ever-enduring genre of American theater. Mr. Mac’s audacious and uproarious black comedy, which opened on Sunday at Playwrights Horizons in a crackling production, makes even the more extreme angst-amidst-the-chintz plays seem like demure drawing-room comedies of the 1950s.

… What is remarkable about “Hir” is not its woolly, dark vision of an American family run amok, but the flawed and real humanity that simmers beneath all the surreal comedy.

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The New Yorker | Hilton Als

In recent years, a number of young playwrights—Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Young Jean Lee come to mind—have taken their critical shears to the white-male-dominated family living room that was so prevalent onstage and onscreen when they were growing up. By chopping apart that convention, Mac, like Lee and Jacobs-Jenkins, isn’t so much remaking the world in his own image as he is addressing subjects that remain, remarkably, underplayed on the American stage: what bodies mean and what stories women are allowed to tell or perform. “Hir” has a lot of ideas—necessary ideas, especially when it comes to flinging open closets in the “trans” world—which spill over the edges of the play, but I wouldn’t take much out in order to make the show dramaturgically tighter or easier to absorb. The rudeness of its form is part of its power: you can’t build a clearer future without making a mess of the past.

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New York Times | Best Theater of 2015

Perhaps no play this year inspired a greater sense of awe than Taylor Mac’s audacious dive into the dysfunctional-family playpen of American theater.

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AndrewAndrewTubeTube | YouTube

“The thing about this play is it’s so funny, so engaging, so educational”.

Hir runs 14 Jun – 22 Jul 2017 in the Theatre. Find out more and book here. £10 Count Me In tickets, which are allocated on the day, are available if you book early.