Friday, 21 October 2016

Theater Basel | Urfaust

Nora Schlocker staged Goethes Urfaust at the Theater Basel, the earliest version of Faust, alternating between forms of verse and prose. To make the plot more fluent, Nora Schlocker also added elements of Faust 1 to the play. That way the story is also more understandable if someone is not very familiar with Faust.
The play begins with a prologue by Ann Cotten, a modern version of Gretchen (played by Lisa Stiegler), philosophising about how Goethes Faust affects todays Gretchens and Heinrichs. The switch to the actual plot is then fluent as Mephistopheles appears.
One thing that is very special is the setup of the stage, on stage there is a huge room that is slightly funnel-shaped, open to the audience and a bit narrower in the back. That way we felt like we are soaked directly into the play. The ceiling is one large mirror, allowing the audience to also see the play from "above" which we think is a bit like a god-like view.
The actors were absolutely brilliant, Nicola Mastroberardino created a unique version of Mephistopheles, full of wit and sarcasm, and especially in the first half of the play he made us laugh rather than disliking his character. Max Rothbart is a very impressive Faust, his mood shifting constantly between anger at the world and himself and desperation, and exuberance and hope for a brighter future.
Gretchens fate is a terrible personal tragedy and after the more light and amusing first part it hit us even harder towards the end, even though we knew what was coming.
During the play there is life music on both sides of the stage, surrounding the audience with mood music for all the happenings on stage, creating an even more tense and intense atmosphere.

production: Nora Schlocker
stage and costumes: Marie Roth
music: Benedikt Schiefer
lighting designer: Roland Edrich
dramatic composition: Katrin Michaels

musicians: Jérôme Lepetit, Benedikt Schiefer, Lukas Rickli / Samuel Wettstein

Max Rothbart as FAUST
Florian von Manteuffel as WAGNER
Nicola Mastroberardino as MEPHISTOPHELES
Elias Eilinghoff as STUDENT

journeymen in Auerbachs basement:
Elias Eilinghoff as FROSCH
Florian von Manteuffel as BRANDER
Michael Wächter as SIEBEL
Liliane Amuat as ALTEN

Lisa Stiegler as MARGRETHE
Myriam Schröder as MARTHE
Michael Wächter as VALENTIN

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