The Unfortunates




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Reviews from the FringeNYC 2013

The New York Times calls The Unfortunates "a haunting one-woman show" with a nod to our set design as "simple yet evocative"
Read the full review at NYTimes

Time Out New York made The Unfortunates a Critic's Pick, saying "The Unfortunates achieves a rare combination of pathos and humor"
Read the full review at Time Out

Theare Is Easy says "BOTTOM LINE: This gripping portrayal of Mary Jane Kelly, Jack the Ripper’s final victim, is as relevant today as ever." Then, goes on to suggest that "The Unfortunates is a far more polished production than I am used to seeing at the Fringe festival and could easily be further developed for a commercial run. It is worthy fare whether you are overly-familiar with the Ripper mythos (as I am), or just looking for an evening of thought-provoking theatre."
Read the full review at Theatre Is Easy

Theater For Nerds says The Unfortunates is "a superior example of how to make a one-person show"
Read the full review at Theater for nerds

Theatre Reviews Limited says "Diana Cherkas leaves no part of Mary Kelly’s core concealed. Ms. Cherkas’ performance is pure authenticity and honed honesty...Under Ryan Scott Whinnem’s meticulous direction..." Then culminates with "Aoise Stratford’s script confronts the audience with the question: who are today’s “Unfortunates” scrambling to survive on the world’s underbelly of “financial recovery?
Read the full review at Theatre Reviews Limited

StageBuddy says "The Unfortunates is a humorous and enjoyable show despite the dark reality behind it’s basis. Diana Cherkas plays Mary Jane Kelly wonderfully... Cherkas’ exaggerated facial expressions and easy transitions between two very different characters made The Unfortunates feel as if it weren’t a one-woman show."
Read the full review at StageBuddy



Reviews from the World Premiere
at Centenary Stage Company, April 2012


"It would be truly unfortunate to miss this show... It is well-researched, well-written, captivating and spellbinding... Stratford has created an amazingly well-layered piece and Cherkas makes the most of every moment of the approximate hour and a half she is on the stage, which is every single minute of the play... Cherkas uses her voice and whole body to bring to life not only Kelly but each of nearly a dozen other strange and intriguing women and men who are a part of the Jack the Ripper facts and fiction...she moves with great skill and abandon from one of these mini-roles to the next, always returning to Mary again in a seamless and intimate dance across the stage."
Janine M. Torsiello, Morrisbeats
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Centenary Stage Company Women's Playwriting Series has restored these invisible women to life, given them humanity and dignity in Aoise Stratford's jaw-dropping play, The Unfortunates... It is an hour and a half of theater that is not to be missed!... In the role of Mary Jane Kelly, played masterfully by Diana Cherkas... Cherkas's tour de force performance lets us picture Victorian mores, hypocrisy and debauchery."

Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven
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"A fascinating one-woman play by Aoise Stratford...“The Unfortunates.” ...Playing the 25 year old Mary, and all the other parts, is the amazingly talented actress, Diana Cherkas. Cherkas...masterfully commands the attention of the audience while assuming these roles with a variety of surprisingly easy to understand cockney accents."
Rick Busciglio, Examiner
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"This play is the winner of the 2010 Susan Glaspell Award competition for Women Playwrights... The prolific Stratford, who is working on her PhD and teaches Dramatic Writing at Cornell, has won a startling number of awards throughout the United States and worldwide... The Unfortunates is a force de force for the talented Diana Cherkas. In addition to playing Mary, Cherkas gives full vocal and physical imitations of almost a dozen others..."

Bob Rendell, Talkin' Broadway
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