The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart in New York

Events around New York are ramping up as Tartan Week gets ready to descend on the Big Apple in April. One Scottish-led event in particular is experiencing great levels of success. The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, which is being performed at the unique McKittrick Hotel, has just been extended for a third time. This critically acclaimed production was due to originally finish in January, but will now run throughout Scotland Week and beyond, closing on April 23rd 2017.

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart follows our eponymous heroine, the crotchety academic Prudencia Hart. Hart, a specialist on the literature of folklore, falls under the spell of a mysterious stranger, becoming like a character in the books she knows so well. What follows is a witty take on the world of academia and romantic comedies that quickly transforms into a tale of obsession. Filled with audience interaction, the cast move around the space in wonderful fashion, singing, dancing, frolicking and managing the balance between supernatural suspension and comedic folly.

Prudencia is a transporting, music-filled folk theatre fable written David Greig, and directed by Wils Wilson. The production makes excellent use of the inimitable McKittrick Hotel, which is situated in the heart of Chelsea, New York City. The building, completed in 1939, was originally intended to be New York’s most decadent luxury hotel. However, just six weeks before opening, and two days after the start of World War II, the legendary hotel was sadly condemned and permanently sealed from the public.

In recent times this beautiful building has been reimagined as a theatre space, and the public are finally able to wander through its striking spaces. The experience is quite different from traditional theatre spaces, with audiences encouraged to walk around as the story unwinds around them. Theatre goers become completely immersed in what is surely one of the most unique theatre experiences in all of New York.

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart is hosted in The Heath, the hotel's restaurant, and the space is amazingly transformed into a high spirited Scottish Pub for the occasion. It’s a makeover so impressive that it will have you wondering if you’ve been transported across the Atlantic. This unique surrounding will come as no real shock. Since its establishment in 2006, the theatre company has pushed the boundaries of conventional theatre spaces. Having created over 200 productions, NTS have produced performances in everything from airports and tower blocks to ferries and forests.

The National Theatre of Scotland is dedicated to playing the great stages, arts centres, village halls, schools and site-specific locations of Scotland, the UK and internationally. Creating ground-breaking productions by its talented theatre-makers, the NTS also produces significant community engagement projects, innovates digitally and works constantly to develop new talent.

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart’s cast includes: Muireann Bird, George Drennan, Peter Hannah, Jessica Hardwick, and Owen Whitelaw. The creative team includes design by Georgia McGuinness, movement by Janice Parker, and musical direction by Alasdair Macrae. Tickets are still available for this amazing show, so if you are heading to The Big Apple for Tartan Week this year, be sure to swing by the McKittrick Hotel and check this out!

More on Scotland's performing companies

National Theatre of Scotland's official website

Last updated 1 Apr 2017