Berlin, Life in Berlin, theatre

The New York Project at TheaterForum Kreuzberg

NYProjectvs_2-01KleinLiving Room Productions is currently staging two plays by New York playwrights Daniel Sauermilch and Barbara Hammond at the TheaterForum Kreuzberg. Each play runs for 45 minutes, with a 15 minute break in between.

Barbara Hammond’s play June Weddings is about two solitary people who meet in a bar in Washington Heights. I got lost on the way to the theatre – as always happens to me in the area around Schlesisches Tor for some reason –  so I missed it.

Nonetheless, here are my impressions from the foyer; a male actor’s voice projected very well; in the beginning, were noises that sounded like doors slamming; later on, a telephone rings; towards the end everything became very quiet. Then there was a big applause. I’ve seem Hammond’s work in Berlin before; she’s a talented writer, so I’m sure the play was grand.

Daniel Sauermilch’s The Rwandans’ Visit is described as Albee meets Polanski, or ”Who is afraid of Carnage?” 

Two couples meet for a drink in an apartment in Prospect Park. One pair has just returned from a ‘life-changing’ trip to Vietnam and the other has been looking after two Rwandan exchange students who have just gone missing.

The characters are pretentious, racist and self-involved, despite thinking themselves liberal, politically correct and philanthropic. The dialogue is witty and it’s good fun watching their evening descend into farce. Yet the play lacks the tension of Albee and Polanski. Probably because the players always feel like characters born of other characters. This may have been the point, but it still left me wanting more. What is the history between these people, and what, apart from the playwright, is keeping them in the same room together?

The New York Project is on at the TheatreForum Kreuzberg tonight and tomorrow night at 20.00.

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