28.05.2015

[en] Wyrd sisters - theatre play in Hanau

It's been a while already since I enjoyed this play, because there was a lot of everything else, both private and professional, but I finally wanted to report about another wonderful piece of drama in Hanau, Germany (some kilometres from Frankfurt), before I forget too much of it.

Once a year we can expect a new play from the young Dramateure ensemble. Well, obviously it won't be "new" anymore since the regrettable passing of Sir Terry Pratchett earlier this march, but "new" as in "it's new in our repertoire".

Just as a sidenote the last piece of work by STP will be published late this autumn and it will be the long-expected 5th part of the Tiffany Aching series called "The shepherd's crown".
The Dramateure ensemble

"Wyrd Sisters" resp. "MacBest", as it is titled in german translation, is one of the early works by STP in which he used up dramas and fairy tales from our roundworld. The german title reveals a lot more about the main topic than the english one: obviously it deals with "MacBeth" by Shakespeare, the instigated king's murder, bad conscious afterwards, narrowly rescued king's son and of course the three witches who want to meet again ("next tuesday would be fine" ...). Nevertheless STP adds his very own special flavour to this mixture of threads.

Magrat Garlick, youngest witch
At least equal in quality to their previous plays the actors together with director Jonas Milke do a wonderful performance. In fact I dare say they continually improve, while keeping the same scarce scenery as in previous years. I absolutely love it each time. Since I like footnotes very much after I started playing "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" around 1985 on my Apple ][ I especially enjoyed them in the play. Footnotes are characteristic for nearly all of Pratchett's books and they add a very particular piece of fun and pun (sorry, "pune" it is in the books - a play on words). Approaching certain keywords in the play the whole acting froze, one of them picked up a big * sign and a speaker appeared, explaining - quite hilariously - some detail that had just been mentioned but required a little bit more of a definition or sidenote. After the speaker disappearing the frozen time thawed and acting continued ;)

v.r.t.l.: Magrat, Esme, Nanny
As already mentioned the scenery was mostly rather scarce apart from some notable exceptions (see later), but this was not the least negative, it perfectly matched - the actors were always so present as to create the exact impression of the scenery the audience should have. One example for this acting presence was the "play in the play" when the witches and some peasants were watching a play on stage but Esme Weatherwax does not or does not want to recognize that it's only a play. Whenever there's a twist she jumps up and shouts it out to the actors on stage. The other viewers start to think that the witches (easily recognized as such) are part of the play being placed inbetween the audience by intent. Grand!

Timeshift
In comparison to that the scenery becomes overwhelmingly copious when the witches move Lancre into the future by 20 years. They are so impatient that the king's son stands in as a heir and fights the murderers that they employ magic and travel the whole kingdom with their magic brooms to accomplish this time travel, and they have to do this in just one night.
Witches at work


The director did not of course hire a company like ILM or Pixar to make the brooms fly but instead settled on a wallet-friendly implementation by moving the scenery around and the witches' actors only move in slow-motion through the countryside.

Encarcerated





Same is true for the incarceration: a huge steel grid door cannot keep the witches.

DEATH and late king
At the beginning and of course near end of the play we meet DEATH which is a recurring and probably one of the most popular characters on the discworld. He explains facts about his passing to the quite surprised king Verence I. The late king is dressed and rouged completely in white (I admit the verb "rouged" sounds like a pun in itself for this role). The king is playing superbly and during the "showdown" theatre play in the castle even takes control of the living actor's king's role to confront the acting king being a murderer. Both actors - live and late king - speak in unison and this is so great and so creepy!
Evil queen

The queen, being the real evil person in this play, and having instigated the murder in the first place, flees into the forest and makes some unpleasant encounters there which did not like trees being cut ...

Murderous King

The acting king removes himself from life - he thinks that he's dead already and tries to fly from the castle's tower. Reminds me of a funny poem by 50's writer and actor Heinz Erhard, "Ritter Fips und sein anderes Ende" ... (I cannot translate this, sorry!)



Tomjohn
Tomjohn, the real son of the late king Verence I., wants to stay with the actors troupe, and the jester, hinted to maybe be an illegitimate son of the late king, is crowned as Verence II., and we already know from succeeding books as well as from one of the previous plays that he will marry Magrat.
Jester and king


My final conclusion: I enjoyed the play very much as did my daughter, and I can't wait for next year's plans.




Ensemble at encore
There was no particular actor who excelled - they all acted equally fine and performed together perfectly as a team - I loved all of them. I could not name a single favourite when asked. Kudos to all of them!