Man To Man
- Lorna Irvine
- 25 August 2015
This article is from 2015.
A one-woman play with many voices
Manfred Karge's shadowy world is that of the perpetual outsider, with the backdrop of Nazism looming large. Wales Millennium Centre's production is visually ravishing: with the incredible 3D lighting design by Andrzej Goulding and Rick Fisher, it's a nightmarish vision stunningly realised.
Margaret Ann Bain plays Ella Gericke, a young, resourceful woman who takes on her dead husband Max's identity and tries to survive in a hostile, patriarchal environment. She disappears and reappears each time in a new spot, climbing up a wall or, in one astounding scene, sliding through a suitcase, reinstating her sense of displacement.
Her struggle becomes the struggle of so many, with whispering voices underlying much of her dialogue in an eerie, disembodied rejoinder to her isolation.
Bain is brilliant, her engaging, multi-voiced performance a counterpoint to the shadow play, in which the industrial motion of manual labour becomes a zoetrope on the wall, and the Snow White story returns to its twisted origins. She slips between gender and class effortlessly, huge dark eyes flashing with danger or vulnerability. A neat juxtaposition of brutality and fantasy.
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