Saturday, June 8, 2013

Auf Wiedersehen, Recklinghausen

Today was my last day at the Ruhrfestspiele. I saw a production of Karl Schönherr’s Der Weibsteufel directed by Martin Kušej. The most striking feature of the production was the set. Massive logs spanned the stage, all jumbled on top of one another. The actors, who were dwarfed by this fallen forest, then had to walk on, climb on, and seduce each other on these massive logs, which had a few handle holds but no flat surfaces that I could see. The actors probably deserved their standing ovation just for that.

Last night I saw Bertolt Brecht’s Die Kleinbürgerhochzeit. This set had one long flat room at the back where there was just enough room for guests to sit behind a long table. There was much comic business involving people getting to their seats and squeezing past one another. Downstage from this room was a sloping platform, and then below that was the area where the dancing took place. The bride and groom went wild dancing with other people in an attempt to make one another jealous. In fact, the groom’s lascivious dancing was so outrageous, at one point he fell off of the stage and into the area in front of the audience.

Today, rather fittingly, I saw what appeared to be a bachelorette party preparing for their own Kleinbürgerhochzeit. They were in some sort of float or wagon being pulled by a tractor. One of the women on the float, wearing a pair of devil’s horns, offered to high five people as she passed. I declined.