Three Kingdoms

Three Kingdoms
Director: Sebastian Nübling [German]
Writer: Simon Stephens
Cast: Rasmus Kaljujärv, Risto Kübar, Lasse Myhr, Mirtel Pohla, Jaak Prints, Gert Raudsep, Ferdy Roberts, Steven Scharf, Rupert Simonian, Çigdem Teke, Nick Tennant, Tambet Tuisk, Sergo Vares
Part of: Wiener Festwochen

When a severed head is found in the Thames, two British policemen, Ignatius (Nick Tennant) and Charlie (Ferdy Roberts) get drawn into an investigation that starts off with the arrest of a young boy (Ruper Simonian) but then evolves into a story about human trafficking that leads the two of them to Germany. There they meet their German colleague Dresner (Steven Scharf) who tries to help them. Ultimately the trail leads to a mysterious guy called The White Bird and to Estonia.

Three Kingdoms was interesting and weird and cool and very funy and just a little incomprehnsible and too long. But I very much enjoyed myself and the show, even if 2 (instead of 3) hours would probably have been enough.

Three Kingdoms starts out almost normal. That is, if you don’t take the musical number into account with which the play actually opens and which is only one of many songs in the play (mostly performed by Risto Kübar), ranging from Wicked Games to La Paloma that give the show a very nice flavor, are amazing to watch, really funny but also remain slightly impenetrable as to what they have to do with the rest of the play. (But I wouldn’t have wanted to miss them for the world.)

Anyway, apart from the musical opening, Three Kingdoms starts like a straightforward crime story, told with a very nice, dark sense of humor. But as things progress, as they move away from London and towards the East, the play gets weirder and weirder. It becomes a little incoherent and illogical and more dreamlike, but in a very good and entertaining way.

There are a couple of things I would have wished for. The stage design, which looked pretty cool, had the stage basically in a box, including a roof and since we had cheap seats up high and to the side, it was impossible for us to see the left back corner (where a lot of the comedy happened, that we only saw part of). If they had at least not used a roof, it would have made our lives much easier.

I also would have liked a little more women in this play. There are only two actresses altogether and they barely get to say a word. It would have been nice to have a bit more equality there, especially since they are almost exclusively portrayed as victims and/or sex workers.

And, as I said, the play could have been a little shorter. But despite those issues, I really enjoyed it – I just had fun.

Look, Mod Wolves!

Summarising: Very worth seeing.

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