Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Force Is with This Bold Version of an Elusive Masterpiece

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Force Is with This Bold Version of an Elusive Masterpiece

Article excerpt

FIRST NIGHT WOYZECK Old Vic, SE1 FIONA MOUNTFORD If ANYONE can sprinkle some magic on Georg Buchner's elusive masterpiece, left as a series of fragments upon the author's untimely death in 1837 at the age of 23, it's Jack Thorne, the playwright behind the stage adaptation of Harry Potter.

Another key ingredient here is John Boyega as the eponymous antihero seemingly doomed to self-destruction. Thorne's version is earthy, robust and admirably clear, a quality that is by no means a given when it comes to this play. The new setting works very well: it's the early Eighties in Cold War Berlin and Woyzeck is a British squaddie, short on money and with a new baby to feed. There are brief flashbacks to a very disturbed childhood and hints that he is haunted by a previous tour in Belfast. His girlfriend Marie (Sarah Greene) is an Irish Catholic and their unmarried status means no accommodation in the barracks; instead they have a cramped, stinking flat above an abattoir. …

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