Monday, June 3, 2013

Recklinghausen - Day Two

So my second day at the Ruhrfestspiele I saw two plays. The first was Le Navire Night, a "dialogue for voice and cello" performed in French (and cello). The music was provided by American cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton, while French actress Fanny Ardant recited a story by Marguerite Duras about a passionate love affair that takes place over the telephone. There was no set and very little movement, which fit the play, which is essentially an ode to the power of the human voice.

The other play, Songs for Alice, was performed in one of the tents set up for the Fringe Festival. Figurentheater Wilde und Vogel performed scenes and songs from Lewis Carroll's "Alice" books, though in no particular order. The play alternated between English and German, sometimes with the two being spoken simultaneously by different performers. The unifying piece was "The Walrus and the Carpenter," which was sung in snatches (in English) throughout the play. Interestingly enough, they translated "The Jaberwocky" into German, which had to have been a feat. I imagine the nonsense words are only truly effective if the rest of the poem is easily understandable, thus the decision to have that piece in German.

Tonight I see Carl Sternheim's Die Hose and Burger Schippel (yes, there should be an umlaut there, but my keyboard is limited right now) in the smaller theatre of the festival house. It's a coproduction of the festival and the Staatstheater Nurnberg. (Again, sorry for the lack of an umlaut.)