[20000058] Slaughter/Guernica


Proscenium Club

8:00pm, Fri 17 Mar 2000

Score: 6

Short Review: Patchy

Two plays presented by the Footlight Theatre Company (Vic, NSW) in the Proscenium. First up – I like the Proscenium as a venue; it works really well, especially for plays which can surround the audience. Second – try “Red Bull” Energy Drink. Neato.

Enough plugs. First play up was the Slaughter – Scenes from Germany, writtn by Heiner Muller. The programme notes that Muller is widely regarded as “one of the most influential and controversial writers in European theatre”. It should also add that he has penned some of the most atrocious rhyming couplets ever – the dialogue was not pretty at all. Muller (apart from having a cool surname) is no Shakespeare. But then, maybe that fits in with the whole darkness surrounding the piece… :)

Slaughter displays five tales of betrayal in different situations throughout Germany in World War II. The first was remarkable for the awkwardness of the dialogue between two brothers. The fourth betrayal received the most passionate direction of the play, with a frantic attack scene. Other than that, the most fun I had during this play was groaning inwardly at the rhymes.

The second play, Guernica, was much better. Intimidated and ineffectual, but very loving, Fanchou has had the love of his life buried underneath the rubble of their toilet during a bombing raid. The banter between the two of them is most amusing; the constant passing of planes overhead creates a sense of diminishing time, as does the faceless woman with child. The writer also provides a humorous distraction. Great stuff!

In all, one good play, one not-so-good… On the other hand, my SO’s opinions were completely the opposite of mine. So, with that in mind, you might roll up and love both. Or hate both. That’s the great thing about opinions, eh?

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