What Would Spock Do?

What Would Spock Do?
Director: Jon Brittain
Writer: Jon Brittain
Cast: Sam Donnelly
Part of: Fringe @ Rabenhof
Seen on: 1.4.2017

Plot:
Gary (Sam Donnelly) used to be a nerd. He loved Star Trek above everything else. But now that he’s an adult, he grew out of it. Or at least, that’s what he tells himself. Until he meets his new colleague Kira at work: she wears her hair like Spock. She wears a Star Trek pin. And she’s absolutely perfect. But what weighs more heavily: not being a nerd or being in love with Kira? Gary will have to decide.

What Would Spock Do? is an utterly charming one-man show that’s cute and funny and speaks to and probably for the outsider inside all of us, albeit sticking with a rather conservative narrative.

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Emigranten [Emigrants]

Emigranten
Director: Agnieszka Salamon
Writer: Sławomir Mrożek
Cast: Denise Teipel, Cristina Maria Ablinger
Seen on: 27.3.2017

Plot:
A (Denise Teipel) and X (Cristina Maria Ablinger) both migrated to the same place and now share a small room. But that’s about everything they have in common: A is an intellectual, a studied woman who had to leave her country of origin for political reasons. X is an uncouth worker, a farmer who left looking for work and a better life. Forced together by circumstances and not particularly fond of each other, A and X spend most of their time going toe to toe with each other. But you can’t go toe to toe without also growing close in a way.

Emigranten is an interesting play and it’s made even more interesting by the production that re-imagines it in a fresh way. It was an insightful and very enjoyable evening of theater.

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Martin Rütter: nachSITZen

Martin Rütter is a dog trainer and stand-up comedian from Germany.
Seen on: 23.3.2017

Rütter’s program consists of dog (training) stories and a couple of training tips as well. If you live(d) with dogs, a lot of it is probably going to strike a nerve. For me, the dog stuff was great. Unfortunately Rütter mixes in a lot of sexism as well, which was less fun.

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Science Busters: Winter Is Coming – The Science of Game of Thrones

Science Busters is a comedy edutainment concept that takes scientists, puts them on stage and lets them talk about a popculture topic from a scientific point of view. They have different programs. So far I saw “The Physics of Star Trek”, “The Pleasure Formula“ and “Crucifixion Party – The Science of Christianity“. This time I saw “Winter Is Coming – The Science of Game of Thrones“.

The program is moderated by Austrian comedian Martin Puntigam, the scientists in this case are Elisabeth Oberzaucher (behavioral biology), Martin Moder (molecular biology) and Florian Freistetter (astronomy).

Science Busters is an entertaining format that nicely connects popular culture with (natural) sciences. The topics they chose for this Game of Thrones night were a little arbitrary, but the evening was absolutely fun.

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Hermann und Dorothea [Hermann and Dorothea]

Hermann und Dorothea
Director: Alfred Kirchner
Writer: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Cast: Maria Happel, Martin Schwab
Seen on: 12.3.2017

Plot:
Hermann falls in love with Dorothea, a young refugee who is passing through his village. Since Hermann comes from a rather rich family and Dorothea is penniless, he can’t simply marry her. To make sure that she is of sound character, the Priest and the Apothecary ask for character witnesses. When those are overwhelmingly positive, Hermann brings Dorothea home – introducing her as a maid though.

Hermann and Dorothea is not a play but a poem and Kirchner decided not to adapt it as a play, either, but to have Happel and Schwab dramatically read the poem instead. I think, I would have appreciated a drama version of it a little more.

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Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler
Director: Ivo van Hove
Writer: Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Patrick Marber
Cast: Ruth Wilson, Rafe Spall, Kyle Soller, Kate Duchêne, Sinead Matthews, Chukwudi Iwuji, Éva Magyar
Seen on: 9.3.2017

Plot:
Hedda (Ruth Wilson) and her husband George (Kyle Soller) have just returned from their honeymoon. But instead of excitement about their new life together, Hedda feels nothing but bored. When George reveals that – despite his best attempts – his promotion may be at risk and that they will have to cut their spendings as well, Hedda is less than happy. The appearance of her husband’s rival Lovborg (Chukwudi Iwuji), his lover Thea (Sinead Matthews) and her husband’s friend and colleague Brack (Rafe Spall) comes just at the right time to provide her with a bit of entertainment, then.

This production of Hedda Gabler is a thing of beauty. Wonderfully acted, emotionally devastating and great stage design – there’s really nothing more you could ask for.

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Erotikon (1920) + Matti Bye Ensemble

Erotikon
Director: Mauritz Stiller
Writer: Gustaf MolanderArthur Nordén, Mauritz Stiller
Based on: Ferenc Herczeg‘s play
Cast: Anders de WahlTora TejeKarin MolanderElin LagergrenLars HansonVilhelm BrydeBell HedqvistTorsten HammarénVilhelm Berndtson
With music by: Matti Bye, played by the Mattie Bye Ensemble
Part of: Film and Music Cycle
Seen on: 27.2.2017

Plot:
Entomologist Leo Charpentier (Anders de Wahl) spends most of his time with his research and very little time with his wife Irene (Tora Teje). Especially since he has his niece Marthe (Karin Molander) who takes care of his every need. Irene actually doesn’t mind that much because she’s very busy flirting with the dashing aviator and baron, Felix (Vilhelm Bryde), though she’s actually drawn more to her husband’s best friend, the sculptor Preben (Lars Hanson).

Erotikon is an amazingly funny film. While the live-music-setting usually calls more attention to the film music, in this case, I found the film so captivating that I barely noticed the music.

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Die Komödie der Irrungen [The Comedy of Errors]

Die Komödie der Irrungen
Director: Herbert Fritsch
Writer: William Shakespeare, translated by Sabrina Zwach
Cast: Sebastian Blomberg, Simon Jensen, Dorothee Hartinger, Stefanie Dvorak, Mavie Hörbiger, Petra Morzé, Klaus Pohl, Falk Rockstroh, Michael Masula, Marta Kizyma, Merlin Sandmeyer, Dirk Nocker, Hermann Scheidleder
Seen on: 26.2.2017

Plot:
Merchants from Syracuse are currently forbidden from entering Ephesus. To Egeon’s (Klaus Pohl) he is discovered in the city. Moved by the sad story of how many years ago, Egeon’s twin sons were separated, together with the twin servant boys and how Egeon search for his lost son has brought him to Syracuse, Solinus (Michael Masula) grants him a day to find the money needed to buy himself free. Meanwhile Egeon’s son Antipholus (Sebastian Blomberg) and his servant Dromio (Simon Jensen) also arrive in Ephesus. Once there, their paths cross the Ephesus versions of Antipholus (Sebastian Blomberg) and Dromio (Simon Jensen) – only they don’t know it. Confusions ensues.

The Comedy of Errors is an absolutely nonsensical play – and Fritsch’s hyped-up brightly colored production of it sets the perfect tone to make it fly.

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Saint Joan

Saint Joan
Director: Josie Rourke
Writer: George Bernard Shaw
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Fisayo Akinade, Matt Bardock, Niall Buggy, Richard Cant, Hadley Fraser, Arthur Hughes, Rory Keenan, Elliot Levey, Syrus Lowe
Seen on: 16.2.2017

Plot:
Teenaged peasant Joan of Arc (Gemma Arterton) knows that she has a mission to fulfill – voices tell her that she is the one to end the siege of Orléans and to crown the Dauphin (Fisayo Akinade) as King. All she needs is a few men from Robert de Baudricort (Matt Bardock). Baudricort doesn’t really believe her but his Steward (Rory Keenan) does. And faced with Joan’s conviction, Baudricort allows himself to be convinced. So Joan rides off to make her destiny. But not all are taken with Joan’s mission, despite – or maybe because – her success.

Saint Joan is an interesting production in its mixing of period elements with contemporary ones. I also liked this take on Joan, with Arterton shining as always. Nevertheless it falls a little shy of a really great production.

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Amadeus

Amadeus
Director: Michael Longhurst
Writer: Peter Shaffer
Cast: Lucian Msamati, Adam Gillen, Karla Crome, Fleur de Bray, Geoffrey Beevers, Hugh Sachs
Seen on: 2.2.2017

Plot:
Antonio Salieri (Lucian Msamati) looks back on his life, especially his relationship with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Adam Gillen). When Mozart arrived at court, Salieri was already a well-established musician. Mozart’s genius swept Vienna, and his music deeply impresses Salieri. But Mozart the man turns out to be a disappointment, pushing Salieri into a deep crisis: why was this simpering fool graced with such musical talent, and he himself wasn’t?

Amadeus is an interesting production of a good (albeit historically inaccurate) play that suffers, though, from its take on Mozart.

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