SCENE Productions present their take on Büchner’s Woyzeck at Salisbury Arts Centre next week.
Woyzeck tells the story of a soldier on the brink of madness, forced to perform menial tasks to help provide for his partner and illegitimate child. Oppressed and plagued by apocalyptic visions, Woyzeck is driven to murder.
Büchner’s haunting drama, though never finished, has become a hugely influential piece of theatre and has been interpreted in countless ways since its original conception.
It’s currently an A-level drama set text and has influenced the work of acclaimed theatre companies such as Punchdrunk.
Scene Productions explore set texts in innovative ways to appeal to both general theatre goers and school audiences. Staging the play with a versatile cast of just three, the company takes the audience into a world that is disturbingly atmospheric and heartbreakingly poignant. Woyzeck’s story is experimentally told with choreographed movement, puppetry and multi-purpose props, adding to the expressionist elements of the play.
The company chose to set Woyzeck at the end of the First World War, marking its centenary. Artistic director Katharine Hurst said: “We wanted to explore shell shock as one of the major contributing factors to Woyzeck losing his mind. Our production incorporates flashback scenes to Woyzeck's time.
“Not only is it relevant to the centenary of the First World War but it is just as relevant nowadays for soldiers returning from combat.”
Set against this backdrop, the production demonstrates the agonising effects of war trauma and the devastation of the downtrodden man, themes which still resonate 200 years after the play was written.
Woyzeck will be performed on Tuesday, February 4 at 8pm. Tickets are £12 or £10 concessions, available from salisburyartscentre.co.uk or on 01722 321744.