Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summer Time, And The Living is Easy...

Kabale und Liebe (Love and Intrigue) by Friedrich Schiller at Essen Grillo Theater

Summer indeed and indeed easy. All I did today, was read, write cards, and do crosswords, all in the ambience of my brother's yellow living room (made brighter still by glorious sunshine). Were it not for the street noises, I could well believe I were on holiday. If I took the local train to the south, I'd certainly be convinced, because Essen has an artificial lake, which looks like this:

But I've only taken the S-Bahn into town so far because I'm a culture vulture, and Kabale und Liebe is sort of the German Romeo & Juliet, AND we did it in middle school, AND I'd never seen it on stage. 

Well, what can I say? I suppose, for the lovely thespians back home who had their last night of the Cherry  Orchard tonight - for the record: a glass of white wine was € 4.50, the programme was € 1 (!), and there was no charge at the cloakroom. I also noticed (take note, marketing) that they run a 'full house' campaign on certain days when all seats are considerably cheaper.

As for the play, it was significantly modernised, which I suppose worked well in places, but also took away in others. The set was a 50s/retro jazz joint - certainly on the main part of what was a revolving stage. There were also revolving doors, revolving hearts, and a revolver. Ironically, the lovers' eventual death was by poison. Other indicated sets  were a church, a palace, a ship, a shopping mall. The latter had mannequins, clothes, and in particular, a rather central red bra and knickers combination. I thought it looked like a devil's face - which was probably the intention. There were at least 2 references to Satan. Now, to some people (me included), capitalism/materialism is devil worship, so, in that sense, it's perfect. And the play is, after all, about the ruling classes being above established morals and the law, whereas the lower classes are pure and law abiding. 

I don't think my German teacher would have enjoyed it - far too much colloquial language cheapening Schiller's poetry (why does anyone think it's necessary???), annoying feedback noises, and the ubiqutous nod to the despotic rule of the musical!. -- For crying out loud! Schiller doesn't need jazz, or the blues, and most certainly no third class pop songs!

(How did Eurovision go, by the way?)


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