Based on a real crime in 1821, when a jealous soldier stabbed his lover to death, the German play signals a turning point in drama. Though staged in 1913, it introduces the naturalism and episodic, fragmented forms that have since shaped the course of modern theatre, from Brecht to Churchill.
There is no single text; Woyzeck exists in four German variants. Büchner died before finishing the play, so there is also ambiguity over the ending. But the openness fascinates; it's the kind of seminal story that attracts creatives and inspires countless revivals and reinterpretations, including operas, multiple films, a Tom Waits musical and even the basis of Punchdrunk's immersive Hollywood fable The Drowned Man.
After cutting his teeth on gritty teen drama in Channel 4's Skins, then impressing on stage with a chilling adaptation of vampire drama Let the Right One In, Jack Thorne has graduated from promising young writer to Big Deal thanks to the coveted role of working alongside J.K Rowling in writing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Thorne's reworking of Woyzeck for the Old Vic is described as 'an unforgettable howl of rage' that will bring the classic story into a contemporary context.
At the core of the enduring fascination with the play is its central character. Boyega, who was thrust into the spotlight after starring as Finn in the latest Star Wars film, will take to the stage to play Woyzeck. Middle class, with shade of King Lear and rich web of motivations and sympathies, he is no pure villain. Instead the story of paranoia, suffering and anger unpicks the ways in which social and economic factors have a bearing on behaviour.
We look forward to seeing how this perennially powerful play fits into Matthew Warchus' vision of an 'energising and unintimidating' theatre with 'something for everyone'.
|What||Woyzeck, Old Vic Theatre|
The Old Vic
The Cut, London, SE1 8NB | MAP
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
06 May 17 – 24 Jun 17, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£12 - £60|
|Website||Click here to book tickets via Culture Whisper and See Tickets|