Obsession

Obsession
Director: Ivo van Hove
Writer: Jan Peter Gerrits, translated by Simon Stephens
Based on: Luchino Visconti’s movie
Cast: Jude Law, Halina Reijn, Gijs Scholten van Aschat, Chukwudi Iwuji, Robert de Hoog, Aysha Kala
Part of: Wiener Festwochen
Seen on: 3.6.2017

Plot:
Gino (Jude Law) doesn’t really have a home, instead he just moves around. When he reaches a new town, he finds employment with gas station owner Joseph (Gijs Scholten van Aschat) and decides to stick around for a bit. But work is only a small reason: the bigger motivation is Joseph’s much younger, beautiful and obviously bored wife Hanna (Halina Reijn). As Gino and Hanna fall for each other, Joseph becomes an obstacle they plan to get rid of.

Just reading the plot description, I had my doubts about this play, but I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to see Jude Law live on stage. So I went for it anyway – and all of my worst expectations came true, plus even some bad expectations I didn’t know I should be having. It was a profoundly bad production.

Continue reading

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Director: Marianne Elliott
Writer: Simon Stephens
Based on: Mark Haddon’s novel
Cast: Luke Treadaway, Niamh Cusack, Nicola Walker, Paul Ritter, Una Stubbs

Plot:
Christopher (Luke Treadaway) finds his neighbor’s dog dead on the lawn, a pitchfork being the rather obvious reason of death. He decides to investigate the murder and find the killer. But that’s easier said than done, especially since Christopher lies on the autistic spectrum. But where there is a will, there is a way, even if that way leads further into his own family’s past than he anticipated.

I’ve heard only good things about this play (in fact, we were thinking of seeing it when we were in London, only that it was booked to the brim for the next couple of months or so) and I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed at all. It’s a wonderful play with a wonderful design and wonderful direction. I loved every second of it.

curiousincident

Continue reading

Three Kingdoms

Three Kingdoms
Director: Sebastian Nübling [German]
Writer: Simon Stephens
Cast: Rasmus Kaljujärv, Risto Kübar, Lasse Myhr, Mirtel Pohla, Jaak Prints, Gert Raudsep, Ferdy Roberts, Steven Scharf, Rupert Simonian, Çigdem Teke, Nick Tennant, Tambet Tuisk, Sergo Vares
Part of: Wiener Festwochen

Plot:
When a severed head is found in the Thames, two British policemen, Ignatius (Nick Tennant) and Charlie (Ferdy Roberts) get drawn into an investigation that starts off with the arrest of a young boy (Ruper Simonian) but then evolves into a story about human trafficking that leads the two of them to Germany. There they meet their German colleague Dresner (Steven Scharf) who tries to help them. Ultimately the trail leads to a mysterious guy called The White Bird and to Estonia.

Three Kingdoms was interesting and weird and cool and very funy and just a little incomprehnsible and too long. But I very much enjoyed myself and the show, even if 2 (instead of 3) hours would probably have been enough.

Continue reading

Wastwater

[It’s Festwochen time again.]

Wastwater is a play by Simon Stephens, directed by Katie Mitchell, starring Linda Bassett, Amanda Hale, Jo McInnes, Paul Ready, Tom Sturridge and Angus Wright.

Plot:
The play consists of three loosely connected scenes. Harry (Tom Sturridge) takes his leave from his foster mom Frieda (Linda Bassett), probably forever. Lisa (Jo McInnes) and Mark (Paul Ready) meet in an airport hotel to betray their respective partners. Sian (Amanda Hale) sells Jonathan (Angus Wright) a child from Southeast Asia, despite his hesitation.

I just had a first look at the reviews Wastwater has been getting – and they’re toroughly mixed, which I don’t really understand. I think Wastwater is what theater should be like: it’s excellently written, has a great cast, a beautiful stage design and was very well directed. You could wish for nothing more.

Continue reading