Thursday, 14 June 2018

Theatre Review: 'Winter Solstice' By Roland Schimmelpfennig


Albert - Felix Hayes

Bettina - Kirsty Besterman
Rudolph - David Beames
Corinna - Marian McLoughlin
Konrad - Gerald Kyd

I had the pleasure of seeing 'Winter Solstice' twice when it was being performed at HOME, Manchester back in February.

'Winter Solstice' is set in Albert and Bettina's home on Christmas Eve. Bettina has invited her mother to stay over for the festive season. But all isn't as it seems, as Bettina's mother has invited a stranger over to their house; as they were both stuck on a train in the middle of nowhere.

  Albert is an author and Bettina writes and produces films which are aimed at a very specific audience. Also, on this Christmas Eve they are expecting a guest later on called Konrad, who just happens to be Albert's oldest friend. Konrad is also an artist, and he has painted a canvas for them which hangs in the living room.

'Winter Solstice' is absolutely fascinating to watch, as you have five actors on stage who not only play their own individual characters, but they also set the scenes and perform the sound effects by using props that are laid out in front of them.

  This show also doesn't have an interval; and by doing so it flows at an extremely fast pace. It's also a lot of fun to watch; as it starts off as a family farce and it transpers into something completely different.

It's also worth mentioning that if you understand the history behind this play then it might just hit you like a "tonne of bricks". But, because it written and performed in a such a way the history appears gradually throughout the entire piece.

I also managed to get very relaxed into the final scene; so much so that I was getting ready to drift off on both occasions. I'm just going to blame Bach's Prelude in C Major for that, as it is a relaxing piece of music to listen too.

I personally cannot fault any member of the cast, as the show itself ran seamlessly; despite how complex the script was with the props, setting of the scenes and also the actors individual characters.

I would highly recommend 'Winter Solstice' for anyone who loves history and enjoys exploring new pieces of theatrical writing and concepts.                                 

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