For the benefit of those who don’t have time to read the programme notes of Sadari Movement Laboratory’s interpretation of Woyzeck before the show — maybe because of the rather laid-back style of service in the QEH foyer bar — here is the synopsis:
1 Woyzeck & the Captain: The Captain bullies Woyzeck, and taunts him for his sin of fathering a child out of wedlock.
2 The Field: Woyzeck is in a field that is partially a cemetery. He is plagued by terrible visions: a human head that continually rolls down a hill, and a demonic horde under the ground blowing hellish trumpets and bells.
3 Marie sees the Military Parade: Marie holding her child sees the military marching past. She catches the eye of the Sergeant-Major, who decides to seduce her.
4 Fairground: A country fair: a fairground barker calls out to the crowd, urging them into the show in which various animals are trained to behave like human beings. Woyzeck and Marie decide to go inside. While Woyzeck is distracted by the show, Marie and the Sergeant-Major have sex.
5 The Captain and the Doctor: The Captain looks on as the Doctor conducts experiments on Woyzeck. They have put him on a diet comprising only peas. Woyzeck urinates down the wall, which brings on taunts. They also hint to Woyzeck that Marie has had sex with someone else in Woyzeck’s bed.
6 Marie and Woyzeck: Marie at the mirror, with the earrings the Sergeant-Major has given her. She tells Woyzeck she found them but he does not believe her.
7-1 Love Motel: Marie and the Sergeant-Major meet and make love while Woyzeck is locked inside chairs. A dance rhythm begins to swirl up inside Woyzeck’s head.
7-2: The vision of the sky on fire and the dance whirling faster and faster are the forms Woyzeck’s agony takes as Marie and the Sergeant-Major make passionate love.
8 Delusional Voice: Woyzeck is alone on a tower, voices assail him. They announce the vanity of life and urge him to kill Marie.
9 The Tavern: The Sergeant-Major and soldiers drinking in the bar. Woyzeck enters and is forced to drink.
10 The Purchase: Woyzeck buys a knife from a merchant.
11 The Church: Woyzeck is in a church. His torment is like that of Christ alone in the garden the night before his arrest. The chorus are voices that taunt Woyzeck with the meaninglessness of his life and the hopelessness of his situation.
12 Marie’s Death: Woyzeck and Marie enter the woods – the murder is like a dance that overtakes both Woyzeck and Marie.
“Military Marching” and “Sex” on the same page! This post is sure to be a popular one in my google rankings. If only the show had managed to work in some “Korean celebrities having plastic surgery”, this would be a winner.
- Saharial’s review of the show