Thérèse Raquin

4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
 (Photograph: Joan Marcus)
Photograph: Joan MarcusThérèse Raquin
 (Photograph: Joan Marcus)
Photograph: Joan MarcusThérèse Raquin
 (Photograph: Joan Marcus)
Photograph: Joan MarcusThérèse Raquin
 (Photograph: Joan Marcus)
Photograph: Joan MarcusThérèse Raquin

Thérèse Raquin: Theater review by Adam Feldman

As the title character in Thérèse Raquin, Keira Knightley has little to say in the play’s first half hour. Married to her peevish cousin, Camille (Gabriel Ebert)—a sickly giraffe of a man with a doting, controlling mother (Judith Light)—Thérèse is consigned to the margins of a dull 19th-century French country life. But at the end of each scene, Keith Parham’s lighting catches her alone, in the stage equivalent of a close-up, and we see her seethe. She’s a loaded gun, and when Camille moves the family to Paris, she goes off in ruthless lust with a sexy rake, Laurent (Matt Ryan). “Thank God there is still some blood in my veins,” she tells him. “I thought they had bled me dry.”

Evan Cabnet’s production, with its handsome set by Beowulf Boritt, does atmospheric justice to Thérèse’s desperation: When she and Laurent meet for a tryst, his cramped artist’s garret hangs in the middle of the stage, like a cloud. Helen Edmundson’s cold-eyed thriller doesn’t shy from the lurid misanthropy of Emile Zola’s 1867 novel (a tale of adultery and murder and their brutal retribution) or its gothic, Poe-esque denouement. But it does give a sharp sense of the limited options available to women. Thérèse may be a shark—the word in French is requin—but you pity her the way you might a shark in an aquarium.

Studio 54 (Broadway). By Helen Edmundson. Directed by Evan Cabnet. With Keira Knightley. Running time: 2hrs 30mins. One intermission.

Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam

By: Adam Feldman


Event phone: 212-719-1300
Event website:

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Just saw this on Saturday not knowing how to pronounce the name of it. The only person I knew who was going to be in it was Kiera Knightley BUT to be honest I didn't even realize she was on stage until a good 15 minutes in. The first act she was a real bore. Granted I know her character probably had to a passive lady but it was really more of her staring into space until finally (SPOILER ALERT) she spoke and got into some in between the sheets action with her co star. The tension that I was hoping for was a little lost because she was so checked out for the first part. The second act however was SO GREAT and I loved the ending. 

Also, the theater was great, small and intimate but not awkwardly small where you're on top of the other patrons, and the set was kick ass as well.


I went into this play knowing that Kiera Knightley was in it and that it was a period piece... so to say I had little expectations is likely an understatement (in honesty, I couldn't even pronounce the name, so I referred to it as "that Kiera Knightley play"). 

I see a fair amount of Broadway, and this play was truly unique and incredibly entertaining. From the set (a river built into the stage?!) to the performances and costume, this was a very rich production. The story itself is very disturbing, but I still found myself rooting for the characters. I would highly recommend this play, and, if you are under 30 years old, definitely go for the HIPTIX deal ( I've seen so many great shows for little more than the cost of a movie using this.