Tuesday 5 August 2014 | By Andy Leask
ED2014 Theatre Review: Woyzeck! (Time Zone Theatre)
It was an excellent decision to present this interpretation of Georg Büchner’s play through the eponymous character’s eyes; actor Gareth Somers shifts between the broken soldier and the officers and doctor who taunted, manipulated and humiliated him. A tremendously physical performance sees him clambering amongst the audience, adding a frisson of unease that perfectly complements the brooding tension of the play. It’s a warm, often humorous performance, too, humanising a character that can easily be too abstract, too detached. As Woyzeck narrates the story of his life unravelling, his mind wanders, fittingly reflecting the damaged psyche of a man haunted by paranoid delusions. There is no outside truth, only the shattered fragments of a broken man. Outstanding.
C nova, until 25 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Andrew Leask]
A few audience members posted responses to Woyzeck at Edinburgh this year..
Amazing, captivating one man show. I sat gripped throughout the whole performance. Fantastic. This is one of two productions this year, each different from the other in the way it is adapted. Well worth seeing.
I was utterly captivated by this adaptation of Woyzeck!. The dialogue is stripped back so that, unlike other one man plays, you don’t get lost in prose, and each word and movement has a specific purpose for the retelling of Woyzeck’s story. Funny in parts and tragic in others, a wonderful portrayal of manipulation and mental illness. How clever to use newspaper as a prop which seamlessly embodies both a baby and a woman, and which also beautifully reflects the disarray and confusion in Woyzeck’s mind. Can’t recommend this highly enough – definitely one for lovers of real theatre.
Absolutely blown away by this production. Highly engaging piece of work with a captivating performance from the actor Gareth Somers who took the audience on a very personal journey. The subtle writing and adaptation of the original script leant itself well to the purpose and Mijailovic’s stripped back honest style of directing allowed the tale to be told with no frills. Thank you! I highly recommend it!
Beautiful one man production. The actor’s interpretation of the reduced script (nice adaptation for a solo performer) was so moving as he physicalized (is that a word?) different characters. Here was a man exorcising himself of the elements that led to his demise. I would have preferred to be left in silence instead of the music which swelled up at the end, for it is the actor’s last hard earned words delivered so beautifully I wanted to hear ringing in my ears.
Honest, direct and inventive, using only the simplest staging, Somers and Mijailovic give new life to a theatre classic, without the need for tiresome gimmicks. Scary and sweet by turns, Somers reaches out to us, taking the audience right to the heart of the action. Loved it.