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.

Der eingebildete Kranke [The Imaginary Invalid]

Der eingebildete Kranke
Director: Herbert Fritsch
Writer: Molière
Cast: Joachim Meyerhoff, Markus Meyer, Dorothee Hartinger, Marie-Luise Stockinger, Marta Kizyma, Laurence Rupp, Ignaz Kirchner, Simon Jensen, Johann Adam Oest, Hermann Scheidleder
Seen on: 10.1.2016

Plot:
Argan (Joachim Meyerhoff) has many, many health issues. Practically no organ is unaffected. Or at least that’s what he thinks. Fortunately he has a doctor and a pharmacist to take care of him and provide him with all (un)necessary medication. But all of that is getting quite expensive, so Argan hatches the plan that his daughter Angélique (Marie-Luise Stockinger) should marry a doctor. Thomas (Simon Jensen), son of his current doctor Diafoirus (Ignaz Kircher) seems to be a good match. It is only too bad that Angélique has her eyes set on somebody else already.

I have to admit that the play itself didn’t do that much for me, but the production we saw was absolutely stunning and managed to make a whole lot of it.

Continue reading

Kabale und Liebe [Intrigue and Love] (2005)

Kabale und Liebe is Leander Haußmann‘s adaptation of Friedrich Schiller‘s play, starring August Diehl, Paula Kalenberg, Götz George, Katja Flint, Katharina Thalbach, Ignaz Kirchner, Detlev Buck and Georg Friedrich.

Plot:
Ferdinand (August Diehl), a young nobleman, and Luise (Paula Kalenberg), a musician’s daughter, are in love. Unfortunately both their fathers are not happy about their relationship. Ferdinand’s father the President (Götz George) wants Ferdinand to marry the local duke’s lover, Lady Milford (Katja Flint), while Luise’s father Miller (Ignaz Kirchner) just worries about her.
When Ferdinand refuses to marry Lady Milford, his father hatches a plan together with his secretary Wurm (Detlev Buck) who would like to marry Luise himself. They will try to separate the lovers by making Ferdinand insanely jealous.

I haven’t read the play (yet), so I can’t really judge this as an adaptation. But it works very well as a film. The story is good, Schiller’s language wonderful and the cast excellent. The soundtrack is very weird, though and the sets and costumes are only ok.

Continue reading

Warten auf Godot [Waiting for Godot]

Warten auf Godot [German], which is – as you might have guessed – the German title of Waiting for Godot is the current production of the play by Samuel Beckett at the Burgtheater in Vienna. [My review of the book here.] It stars Michael Maertens, Ernst Stötzner, Ignaz Kirchner and Marcus Kiepe. [All actor links in German.]

Plot:
Vladimir (Michael Maertens) and Estragon (Ernst Stötzner) are sitting in the middle for nowhere, waiting for Godot who will have a proposal for them that can drastically change their lives. It’s unclear how long they’ve been waiting but it seems to be a pretty long time. They pass the time with partly comical, partly tragic, partly non-sensical banter, joined for a short period by the pompous Pozzo (Ignaz Kirchner) and his slave Lucky (Marcus Kiepe).

The stage design of this production is fantastic and works really well. The actors are really good, too, even though I pictured Vladimir completely differently from what Maertens does. Though it has a few lengths (even though it cut one of my favourite parts of the play), it’s a thoroughly enjoyable piece of work.

[That’s what I mean when I say fantastic stage design.]

Continue reading