From Morning to Midnight, theatre review: 'A strangely hollow experience'
Lyttelton, National Theatre
Monday 09 December 2013
Georg Kaiser's 1912 play is reckoned to be a landmark of German Expressionism but in this rare revival, adapted by Dennis Kelly and directed by Melly Still, it comes over as a massive white elephant.
The play follows the fortunes of a bank clerk (Adam Godley) who, after misinterpreting an encounter with a glamorous foreign customer, goes AWOL from his robotic routine with a stolen fortune. He then embarks on an increasingly alienated quest (that takes in a sports stadium and a brothel before winding up at a Salvation Army meeting) to find an experience worth buying and “a reason for actually drawing breath”.
Still's bravura production presents his existential breakdown in a kaleidoscope of styles – a long-mimed introduction to the mechanistic rituals of the bank; grandiose fantasy alternatives to reality that are like a Teutonic version of Reggie Perrin; a snowy lightbulb moment in a wasteland of white sheets etc, etc.
It's impressive but overblown and only succeeds in drawing attention to the odyssey's wearying predictability and while Godley's performance rightly and admirably eschews pathos, the play leaves you feeling indifferent to the Clerk's fate. A strangely hollow experience.
To January 15; 0207 452 3000
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Daredevil, Netflix, TV review: Marvel wins first fight in bid for television domination with Charlie Cox's superhero vigilante
London art exhibition features portrait of Iraqi migrant shot dead in Iraq after being refused UK asylum
Grace Dent on TV: Peter Kay's Car Share made me genuinely LOL
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
London Marathon: Best running songs from Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar to 'Uptown Funk'
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns