Schöne Bescherungen [Season’s Greetings] – DNF

Schöne Bescherungen
Director: Barbara Frey
Writer: Alan Ayckbourn
Cast: Katharina Lorenz, Nicholas Ofczarek, Tino Hillebrand, Marie-Luise Stockinger, Michael Maertens, Maria Happel, Fabian Krüger, Dörte Lyssewski, Falk Rockstroh
Seen on: 4.4.2019

Neville (Nicholas Ofczarek) and Belinda (Katharina Lorenz) are hosting the Christmas party for their family and friends. But when many people come together, tensions easily rise and this Christmas is no different. Between puppet plays and sudden attractions outside of partnerships, politicking and drinking, a lot happens and very little is good.

Schöne Bescherungen is an okay play, but somehow I didn’t get into it. There were a couple of funny moments, but overall the timing in the play just wasn’t right. The performances didn’t come together for me, either – with the exception of Michael Maertens’ Bernard – especially since they just didn’t talk loudly enough. I loved the stage design which was surprisingly detailed and non-minimalistic for a Burgtheater play. But the play just didn’t convince me to stick it out until the (very late) ending, so I left early and I don’t regret it.

Neville (Nicholas Ofczarek), Belinda (Katharina Lorenz) and two of their guests standing around a third who lies on the floor as if dead.


Director: Bastian Kraft
Writer: Bastian Kraft
Based on: Klaus Mann‘s novel
Cast: Nicholas Ofczarek, Fabian Krüger, Dörte Lyssewski, Sabine Haupt, Gunther Eckles, Till Firit, Sylvie Rohrer, Max Gindorff, Martin Reinke, Dorothee Hartinger
Seen on: 23.11.2018

It’s the 20s/30s in Germany. Hendrik Höfgen (Nicholas Ofczarek) is an actor, reaching for a higher position. That means arranging himself with the people in power, although that isn’t always simple. His (former) friend, the author (Fabian Krüger), watches Höfgen’s rise with concern, worried about the implications for Höfgen himself, but even more so with the regime change and what it brings.

Mephisto was not great, but it did have its moments. It’s certainly an interesting piece of theater with a lot to say – which means it has more going for it than a lot of other plays I saw.

Three men on a black stage, one is wearing a black and white fool's hat.
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Schlechte Partie [Bad Match]

Schlechte Partie aka Mädchen ohne Mitgift [Without a Dowry]
Director: Alvis Hermanis
Writer: Alexander Ostrovsky
Cast: Dörte Lyssewski, Marie-Luise Stockinger, Peter Simonischek, Martin Reinke, Michael Maertens, Nicholas Ofczarek, Fabian Krüger, Hermann Scheidleder, Hans Dieter Knebel, Christoph Kohlbacher, Peta Klotzberg
Seen on: 4.2.2018

Larissa (Marie-Luise Stockinger) is beautiful and if she had any dowry, she would surely be able to choose her suitor. Unfortunately she doesn’t. Karandyschew (Michael Maertens) wants to marry her anyway. But then Paratow (Nicholas Ofczarek) shows up. He and Larissa used to be engaged until Paratow broke it off. Larissa is stull very much in love with him. Now that he’s back, she gets her hopes up once more. But recently broke Paratow is set to marry a rich woman the next day. That doesn’t mean he can’t have a little fun with Larissa, though.

Schlechte Partie looks lush, but that’s about the only really good thing about it. It’s too long, too male and too tame.

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Die göttliche Ordnung [The Divine Order] (2017)

Die göttliche Ordnung
Director: Petra Biondina Volpe
Writer: Petra Biondina Volpe
Cast: Marie LeuenbergerMaximilian SimonischekRachel BraunschweigSibylle BrunnerMarta ZoffoliBettina StuckyNoe KrejcíElla RumpfNicholas Ofczarek
Seen on: 23.8.2017

Nora (Marie Leuenberger) is a young housewife and mother, happy with her husband Hans (Maximilian Simonischek). Things could go on forever like they have and it feels like they did. But even the remotest Swiss town will be touched by the 68 movement. For Nora it comes in the shape of the discussion about the right for women to vote. And she finds that in 1971, this really shouldn’t be a discussion anymore, but a reality. As she starts to campaign in her village, though, she realizes that far from everybody shares her conviction.

Die göttliche Ordnung is a lighthearted, feminist comedy that manages to balance serious politics with a sense of humor. It’s enjoyable, though maybe a little too well behaved.

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Die Affäre Rue de Lourcine [L’Affaire de la rue de Lourcine]

Die Affäre Rue de Lourcine
Director: Barbara Frey
Writer: Eugène Labiche in Elfriede Jelinek‘s translation/adaptation
Cast: Nicholas Ofczarek, Michael Maertens, Peter Matić, Markus Meyer, Maria Happel
Seen on: 3.4.2016

Lenglumé (Nicholas Ofczarek) wakes up one morning after a night of partying. He doesn’t really remember much and only barely recollects that the snoring man next to him is his school friend Mistingue (Michael Maertens) who was with him at their school reunion. Mistingue is doing similarly well. When Lenglumé’s wife Norine (Maria Happel) tells him about the murder of a young, poor woman the previous night, Lenglumé and Mistingue find clues that they were the killers and start putting a plan in motion to conceal their deed.

Die Affäre Rue de Lourcine was funny but also pretty exhausting. I think that another staging would have made it flow much more nicely. Instead it felt pretty long to me in spite of its short 90 minutes running time.

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Am Ende des Tages [What a Difference a Day Makes] (2011)

Am Ende des Tages
Director: Peter Payer
Writer: Kai Hensel
Cast: Simon Schwarz, Nicholas Ofczarek, Anna Unterberger

Robert (Simon Schwarz) is a rising politician who has built his career on being real and honest. In the middle of his election campaign he takes a weekend off to travel with his pregnant girlfriend Katharina (Anna Unterberger) to Tyrol. On their way there, they are followed by Wolfgang (Nicholas Ofczarek) who knows Robert from way back when. And Wolfgang knows something about Robert’s past that Robert has worked very hard to hide.

The movie did not impress me. It’s not really bad, it’s not really good. It just is.

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Sennentuntschi [Sennentuntschi: Curse of the Alps] (2010)

Sennentuntschi is the newest film by Michael Steiner, written by himself, Stefanie Japp and Michael Sauter and starring Roxane Mesquida, Nicholas Ofczarek, Carlos Leal and Andrea Zogg.

In a small village in the Swiss Alps, a young woman (Roxane Mesquida) turns up, naked, distressed and not talking. The village cop Sebastian (Nicholas Ofczarek) takes her in and tries to find out what happened to her. At the same time, a group of dairy makers goes missing from a mountain pasture. Are these two stories connected, like the village populace seems to think? And is there something to the legend of the Sennentuntschi*?

[*For people who don’t know the legend, which is not well-known, especially not outside of the German-speaking area: It’s basically the story of dairymakers – who spend the whole summer alone on pastures – building a sex doll for themselves that finally comes to life and exacts her revenge.]

I had pretty high hopes for this film. I mean, the plot of the legend does lend itself quite well to feminist interpretations/telling a female empowerment story. Unfortunately they completely screwed that up. And the ending sucked.


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