Die Fledermaus

Thu 23rd – Sat 25th February 2012

reviews

Neelum Maqsood

at 09:22 on 24th Feb 2012

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Having a hilarious script with modern twists, a strong set of performances and beautiful music, Die Fledermaus proved to be an entertaining comedy and engaged my interest from the very beginning. The performances were laudable and every actor managed to convey the personal traits of their character through their subtle expressions, characteristic delivery of dialogues and of course with the help of their strong voices and great vocal acrobatics. Sam Oladeinde who plays Gabriel von Eisentein deserves a mention, for he did justice to his character and lent great energy to the stage, a element much needed for a farcical comedy to shine.

Having an eye for detail, I particularly enjoyed the comical love stories that seemed to be developing in the background during the ball; some of the guests not only had distinctive personalities, but they also developed relations with the ones around them. With the portrait of the Prince hanging in the middle of the room revealing an obvious flaw of narcissism, the entire act drops hints of character development here and there. Having the portrait hanging lopsidedly by the end is an ironic chastisement for this flaw, whether intended or not.

Laurie Stevens also ought to be praised for the smooth and self-assured direction of the play. In my opinion, in this play, the smooth blending of asides with interaction amongst the characters and creating moments in the play that lend this comedy a unique modern touch are two of her main directorial achievements. Each act had a different ambience, with the music, costumes and lighting working together to highlight a different aspect of the comedy. For example, the wretched jailer is introduced in the darkest, filthy state, a clear contrast to the preceding act set in an elaborate mansion. This is a reflection of the play’s commentary on the class differences and brings out the comedy of the world around us. Only the jailer has the guts to speak to the audience and bring them back to reality right after the audience has been dazzled by the bright costumes and merry singing set in a luxurious mansion. Perhaps I am reading into it more than I should be, but I found these moments truly redemptive of any flaws this play might have had. Perhaps the only thing that takes points off from my evaluation of this interpretation of Die Fledermaus is the lack of refinement of ambience (although good , it doesn't all come together well) and lack of effortless interaction of the characters with the set.

The crowd enjoyed the operetta and applause was enthusiastic and timely. Some humour was lost on the audience but mostly, the performance drew laughs and appreciation. It was a comic triumph and left everyone with a pleasant feeling about revenge!

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