Winter Solstice by Roland Schimmelpfennig (translated by David Tushingham) – The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth
I was blown away by the skill of the actors in this piece. The play is so densely wordy I’m astounded that they’ve managed to remember all of it. The actors describe the inner thoughts of characters and narrate the world around them. It never takes you out of the action though, the performances are still believable and engaging. Felix Hayes’ Albert was a particular highlight, neurotic and hilarious.
The majority of the stage directions are spoken aloud which helps marry the set to the action. The piece is set in an office, with the cast rearranging tables and fashioning office supplies into the various props required. It all worked really well and seeing the ingenious uses for seemingly incongruous objects added a level of fun to proceedings. My only complaint was that it was performed end on. In its original run at The Orange Tree Theatre in London it was performed in the round, which I think would have improved things. It was still great, but there were certain aspects that seemed to have been planned with in the round performance in mind.