16 February 2009

The Stone by Marius Von Mayenburg
(translated by Maja Zade)

Witha - Linda Bassett
Hannah - Loo Brealey
Wolfgang - Jonathan Cullen
Stefanie - Amanda Drew
Mieze - Justine Mitchell
Heidrun - Helen Schlesinger.

Director Ramin Gray
Designer Johannes Schutz

From the 'off the wall' season (....Germany & The Wall) at the Royal Court (downstairs) D6 on a £10 Monday ticket.

Less than half way through this I was wondering when I would be able to return in the 10p slips to see it again. New writing like this makes me as excited as a child at Christmas.

I think it's appropriate to put a quote from the RC webpage here:-

1935: A young couple buys the house from a Jewish family, and so the myth begins
1953: The couple's daughter discovers the stone
1978: The family returns to claim what's rightfully theirs
1993: The house is back in their possession

As a house passes from owner to owner, and from generation to generation, the secrets buried in the garden and seeping from the walls reveal themselves.

......reading that afterwards, I've now managed to introduce some confusion that I didn't feel before but I'll sort it out. That's the wonderful thing with a play like this. In it's simplicity lies so much to ponder. Very witty and poignant lines. Incredible performances from Linda and Amanda. The set was a sealed three wall-er so the cast approached from steps along the front of the stage. This leads me to note that the front row would be a perfectly comfy seat for this production, if anyone is wondering.
Funny little note though - on the night we saw it there was no stone used as a prop. Cupped hands with looks of awe and wonder but no actual stone. The set was by necessity (crossing so many generations) sparse but there were cups, a coffee pot, cakes, a box of letters & medals and a box with a wedding veil along with two tables and an axe but no sign of the eponymous stone.

I can't recommend this more highly and at the moment you might be able to cleverly incorporate a wonderful rehearsed reading and/or 10 minutes of delight from Caryl Churchill into your evening.

Edited to add that I couldn't resist seeing this again after the rehearsed reading two days later..........and the cast were happily reunited with the stone - a rather large chunky cobble. Somewhere in a Chelsea mews an ankle will be turned on a pot-hole!
I also noted that Frank McCusker stayed after his rehearsed reading to see this and on the 18th the circle smelled of fish paste.