Time Zone Theatre's take on Büchner’s unfinished classic lacks precision
This article is from 2014.
Discovered unfinished at the time of his death, Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck’s fragmentary beauty has become a touchstone for theatrical experimentation since its premiere in 1913. It is not unsurprising then that Time Zone Theatre would select it as the base for their ambitious undertaking.
Beginning with a quiet austerity, Gareth Somers’ solo performance flits between styles with plentiful energy. However, when Somers starts to leap from character to character, with a quick sidestep signifying the bridge between them, the expressionistic nature of the text begins to overwhelm the action. Whilst there is joy in Somers’ cartoonishly camp Captain and gruff Drum-Major, which do elicit laughter from the audience, the production’s initial ambition to invest in the relationship between Woyzeck and the audience is undermined by the excessive energy of an otherwise physically impressive performance.
In rendering the schizoid Woyzeck thus, Time Zone Theatre lack the precision to land either the consistent laughter of the grotesque or the deftness of a personal connection.
C Nova, 0845 260 1234, until 25 Aug (not 11), 5 pm, £8.50–£10.50 (£7.50–£9.50).