Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Death in Venice

I quite enjoyed Death in Venice last night. There was an odd moment, however, when the waiter came over to Aschenbach and asked him to sign a bill. The scene was done in English, in spite of the rest of the play being in German. Why? Aschenbach is German, and the waiter is Italian. Perhaps they wanted a foreign language, but one that would be better understood than Italian.

There is an incident in the novella where an Englishman warns Aschenbach about the cholera epidemic. In the scene in the play, however, the waiter flatly denies any health problems in Venice, so this clearly wasn't that. What is more, the scene was performed very quietly, almost in whispers.

A woman in the back screamed out, "Lauter!" However, the actors had obviously been directed to speak that quietly, and the dialogue was not necessarily even meant to be understood.

There was a wonderful sequence at the end with some dancing Maenads, but I think I'll save writing about that for my review.