THE blurb for Scene Productions’ version of Georg Büchner’s influential 1836 work promises to “plunge you into the darkly comic world of Woyzeck”.
That may be a little bit misleading.
It is certainly dark but I wouldn’t have described it as “comic”, despite the occasional momentary laugh.
But that isn’t to say it’s not well done.
This production is slick and clever, effectively portraying just enough so you can follow what is going on without making your mind up for you as to its cause.
Büchner left the play unfinished when he died and, rather than tidying it up and finishing it off, this version seems to echo its fragmentary state.
Only you can decide if Woyzeck’s descent into madness and murder is due to war, poverty, medical experimentation, jealously, rage, social exclusion or a combination of all or some of the above.
The three skilled and versatile actors play multiple parts and use the inspired sound track (this time accurately described as “spinechilling”) and props to great effect.
It’s a play that makes you think uncomfortable thoughts; to feel for Woyzeck and to wonder if anyone is capable of what he does if they’re pushed far enough.