Eines langen Tages Reise in die Nacht [Long Day’s Journey Into Night]

Eines langen Tages Reise in die Nacht
Director: Andrea Breth
Writer: Eugene O’Neill
Cast: Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Corinna Kirchhoff, Alexander Fehling, August Diehl, Andrea Wenzl
Seen on: 15.4.2018

James Tyrone (Sven-Eric Bechtolf) used to be a great actor, now he is mostly remembered for a singe role. His wife Mary (Corinna Kirchhoff) just returned from rehab for her morphine addiction. Their older son James (Alexander Fehling) drinks too much and their younger son Edmund (August Diehl) has tuberculosis. And on this day, the four of them come together and things just start to spill.

Eines langen Tages Reise in die Nacht works off a strong basis but the production doesn’t work – the mise-en-scène just didn’t tie everything together, rather the opposite.

I didn’t know the play but I am pretty sure that I would have enjoyed a different production of it. It’s well written and a bitingly hard look at its characters. They are vividly drawn and fleshed out with a lot of detail which is rather impressive.

Working with that script must be great for the actors and the cast certainly gave it their all. The characters really come to life on that stage and I liked watching them work. I can fault neither the cast nor the director in that regard.

But I do fault the director with the rest of how the play is set in scene. All of the characters wear varying shades of white and grey, the rest of the stage is black with a couple of gray props and barely any lighting. That is monotonous to look at to say the least.

The pacing didn’t work out either, making the play feel way too long. Ultimately I left with the impression of not having seen a good play at all – and that just isn’t accurate when you look at the parts separately. But that doesn’t mean that it comes together as a strong production.

Summarizing: could and should have been better.

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