Woman to Man
Now famous for her own androgynous fashion, Swinton perfectly embodied the role of Ella/Max Gericke, a young widow who realises that the only way she can survive is to take on her dead husband’s job, and subsequently his entire identity. Ella lives through 50 years of turbulent German history in the guise of a man, passing herself off as a working class crane operator with a rabbit's foot stuffed down her britches. Karge created this intimidating character to break down the boundaries between maleness and femaleness, questioning what it is that defines our gender. The play gave Swinton her career breakthrough, leading her into another cross-dressing role as the title character of Orlando in Sally Potter's 1992 adaptation of Virginia Woolf's novel. Mann ist Mann is a play rarely performed in Britain, but is being brought to Park Theatre this November by The Mercury Theatre’s Colchester Productions.
Born in 1938, Manfred Karge began his career as an actor and studied under the careful eye of Bertolt Brecht's ex-wife, Helene Weigel, as part of the famous Berliner Ensemble during the 1960s. Karge was inspired by Brechtian theatrical style and his revolutionary politics, and committed to the idea of epic theatre, the use of theatre as a forum for political theory. Subsequently, Karge often wrote about the poverty of society's underclass, and this powerful tale about one woman struggling in the face of financial disaster certainly resonates across the decades.
One Woman Cast
Tricia Kelly stays with the cast in the challenging role of Gericke, having received excellent reviews for the Colchester run. She has a strong theatrical background, such as the Best Studio Performance Nomination at the Manchester Theatre Awards for her role in The Gatekeeper at The Royal Exchange. Man to Man is directed by Tilly Branson, member of the Young Vic Directors Program and associate member of the all-female theatre company The Gramophones. RADA graduate Eleanor Field’s set design unifies Gericke’s isolation and claustrophobia in an industrial, degenerative atmosphere, applauded by Anne Morely-Priestman, ‘Director Tilly Branson and designers Eleanor Field, Sarah McColgan (lighting) and John Chambers (sound) build the tension gradually but remorselessly up to a final coup de théâtre’.
Man to Man is only 75 minutes long with no interval and is set to be an intense and emotionally exhilarating dramatic experience from one of East Germany's greatest playwrights.
|What||Man to Man, Park Theatre|
|Where||Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, London, N4 3JP | MAP|
|Nearest tube||King's Cross St. Pancras (underground)|
06 Nov 14 – 30 Nov 14, 7:45 PM – 9:00 PM
|Price||£12 - 19.50|
|Website||Click here to book via Park Theatre|