Hexenjagd [The Crucible] – DNF

Hexenjagd
Director: Martin Kušej
Writer: Arthur Miller (I don’t know who translated this version to German)
Cast: Steven Scharf, Andrea Wenzl, Dietmar König, Sabine Haupt, Marie-Luise Stockinger, Philipp Hauß, Irina Sulaver, Martin Schwab, Florian Teichtmeister, Barbara de Koy, Dörte Lyssewski, Daniel Jesch, Ignaz Kirchner, Michael Maertens, Barbara Petritsch, Lena Kalisch, Christina Cervenka
Seen on: 11.6.2017
[Here’s my review of the National Theater production of the play.]

Plot:
A girl has fallen ill in Salem and witchcraft is suspected. When a group of young girls led by Abigail Williams (Andrea Wenzl) starts to act possessed, things quickly run out of control and one woman after the other is accused of being a witch, apprehended and put on trial. But Abigail has her own motives and they revolve around John Proctor (Steven Scharf) who had a short-lived affair with her some time ago. John doesn’t realize the gravity of the situation at first, but as things continue to spiral out of control he finds himself more and more involved.

This production of Hexenjagd did not work for me at all. In fact, we left during the break because we just couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe that’s because I saw another production not that long ago, but I think it has more to do with the fact that the play opens with a group masturbation scene to show the “witching” the women in the play do. I felt this was unnecessary in very many ways, but mostly because it was voyeuristically sensationalizing female sexuality. The best thing about the play was the stage design that was stark and bold, but it did get a little monotone with time. With that last appeal lost, I didn’t regret leaving early at all.

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Die Orestie [Oresteia]

Die Orestie
Director: Antú Romero Nunes
Writer: Aeschylus, translated by Peter Stein
Cast: Sarah Viktoria Frick, Maria Happel, Caroline Peters, Barbara Petritsch, Aenne Schwarz, Irina Sulaver, Andrea Wenzl
Seen on: 2.4.2017

Plot:
After Agamemnon (Maria Happel) returns home from war with Kassandra (Andrea Wenzl) as his trophy, his wife Klytameistra (Caroline Peters), who is living with Aigisthos (Barbara Petritsch), kills Agamemnon and Kassandra both, to avenge Agamemnon’s killing of Iphigenie, their daughter, a continuation of the family curse that weighs on Agamemnon due to his father and uncle sacrificing their own children to the gods. Agamemnon and Klytameistra’s son Orestes (Aenne Schwarz) vows to revenge the murder of his father too, continuing the spiral of blood and violence.

The production of the Oresteia walks the line between traditional setting and modern sensibilities. Ultimately it is visually striking and well-acted, but maybe a little too conservative.

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