"Spring" and "Awakening" by Nottingham New Theatre.
Theatre is, as we all know, about connection. Connection with, not only the audience but with other actors and the characters. That is what brings a story and chemistry together.
Nottingham New Theatre present two separate self isolated, social distanced plays titled "Spring" and "Awakening", an adaptation by Tara Anegada of the Franz Wedekind play "Spring Awakening".
The play criticises the sexually oppressive culture of nineteenth century Germany and offers a vivid dramatisation of the erotic fantasies that it breeds. Due to its controversial subject matter, the play has often been banned or censored.
It also questions the power of dreams and the way that the children are treated by their peers, the pressures of a Christian lifestyle and the fear of the future.
It also brings into play how not talking to your children, trying to preserve their innocence, is not always the best way to parent them. They will find out what they need to know from somewhere, or someone, and maybe too late to realise that their innocence is lost!
I've seen a few productions of the play and enjoyed them all greatly. It's one of those stories that everyone can,m in some way relate to as we've all been there and experienced the joy and pain of transgression during the change from being a child to an adult.
The productions also deal with the actions and reactions of some of the characters who have their lives changed throughout this period of growing up.
The cast for "Spring" are Natascha Austin (Wendla Bergman), Toby Russell (Hans Wedekind), Katie Booth ( Martha Zundenschlag), George Baxter (Ernest Kollman), Lily Bailes (Mrs Bergmann), Barney Hartwill ( Mr Zunderschlag/Dr Lemonade),
The cast for "AWakening" are Reilly Salmon (Melchior Gabor), Olly O'regan (Moritz Steifel), Daniel Cresswell (George Schulmann), Sofia Bassani (Ilse Franz), Jessica Staplehurst (Mrs Steifel/ Mrs Gabor) and Alex Levy (Reverand Gabor).
Directed by Tara Anegada, Assistant Director is Lillian Race for "Spring", Produced by Alice Walker, Skylar Turnbull Hurd and Zoe Smith and for "Awakening" Emily Rule and Lucy Chandler and Jack Titley Directed "Awakening".
Presented in a very up to date way, in places almost as a diluted "50 Shades Of Grey" descriptive mode, especially during the "Spring" section. You can feel the sinfulness of just reading the passages that some of the characters relate, and you get to see two sides of the original storyline and characters.
Filmed in a modern way, there is only scene that has more than one character in, which in a way allows you to get under the skin and start to understand every character in a way that maybe you wouldn't do if you were watching this in a theatre.
The filming and editing is excellent on both.
It also, in places, allows you to let your imagination to fill in the story and pictures that hints at the more disturbing. Especially with Martha and her father.
The various styles of delivery of the characters and pieces vary from a very natural pace and feel to a more rigid, almost classic Shakespearian delivery (Moritz), which is great because it bridges the time periods from when it was originally written, back between 1890 and 1891, and today's metering styles.
Although filmed solo, you'd think that it wouldn't be easy to emote some of the pieces and script, without another character to bounce off, but I found Malchior's final delivery really moving.
This production is presented online at 7.40pm Saturday and Sunday 28 June 2020. Please visit the Nottingham New Theatre website for more details of how to view this very special theatrical production.