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Linck & Mülhahn

Linck & Mülhahn

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com shall not be deemed to endorse, recommend, approve and/or guarantee such events, or any facts, views, advice and/or information contained therein. He’s almost as bilious as some of the Hampstead’s patrons, who habitually barge past you en route to their seats.

Thomas’ play tries to encourage us to go beyond initial impressions to appreciate one’s fine, inner being, but I am only left enjoying this production in a wider, general sense, with the deeper ideas not quite shining through. Many of us, one would like to think, should be familiar with the concept of gender presentation, but there is little offered here beyond reinforcing the idea of being true to oneself – though perhaps that bears repeating in this day and age.Owen Horsley directs at Hampstead for the first time; his credits for the RSC include the recent double bill of Rebellion and Wars of the Roses as well as Maydays and Salomé. Scene changes on Simon Wells’ stark, revolving set – of a staircase, a landing and a wall – are accompanied by jarring bursts of rock music including The Sex Pistols and The Clash. If you missed I, Joan at the Globe last year, then Hampstead Theatre’s Linck and Mülhahn tries to emulate its daring and ambitious nature, but only somewhat successfully. The most frustrating example of this is in its conclusion, where an intriguing commentary on truth is presented by the older Mülhahn, about something being made being “un-made”, and how the concept of truth has become subjective, ready to be reinterpreted by individuals as they see fit.

Our autumn/winter season celebrates Hampstead’s cosmopolitan roots with a range of international playwrights from Scotland to the USA, Northern Ireland to France and some great homegrown talent in between. It follows her two sold-out plays for Hampstead Downstairs: The Animal Kingdom ('pure theatre’ – The Guardian) and Either (‘marks Ruby Thomas out as a daring and exciting new voice’ – The Arts Desk). Maggie Bain (Man to Man, Wales Millennium Centre; Henry V, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre) plays the role of Anastasius Linck with Helena Wilson (Jack Absolute Flies Again, National Theatre; The Lady from the Sea, Donmar) playing the role of Catharina Mülhahn and Lucy Black (The Durrells, ITV; The Haystack, Hampstead Theatre) playing Mother. Officers whore in the back streets, while the wilful Catharina (Helena Wilson) sits crossly against a wall of Simon Wells’s revolving acrylic set, listening to her life ticking loudly away.RSC director Owen Horsley gives us an arch and glossy production with a touch of Moll Flanders humour, the narrative occasionally interrupted by bursts of punk rock. Like the principal characters, Thomas’s script eludes categorisation, weaving in Restoration comedy, Jane Austen and courtroom drama, as it depicts the unseemly scrabbles of the marriage market. Most of the nuances and ambiguities have been ironed out; this is history as viewed through the prism of an Adam Ant video. They are joined by Daniel Abbott , David Carr, Marty Cruickshank, Kammy Darweish, Qasim Mahmood, Leigh Quinn and Timothy Speyer. Written by Ruby Thomas, this epic love story centres on the true lives of a gender-pioneering couple – dashing soldier Anastasius Linck and the rebellious Catharina Mülhahn.

Ruby Thomas’ epic and playful modern love story is inspired by eighteenth century court records and the extraordinary true lives of this gender pioneering couple. The title of Ruby Thomas’s play suggests some kind of cringey comedy double act, but the reality is weightier, stranger and sexier than that.Anastasius Linck boldly renounces skirts and embroidery in favour of living as a man, and Catharina Mulhahn's own act of bravery is to love and marry him, slipping their relationship right under the noses of their narrow-minded neighbours. Bain, who is non-binary, released a video statement on Instagram addressing some of these concerns, and Hampstead offered free preview tickets to trans and queer individuals who wanted to see the show but couldn’t afford a ticket. We’re passing through a phase where dramatists addressing the question of gender identity seem to place uplift above all else. But the whole thing is too gimmicky and too self-conscious in its juxtaposition of different eras to really work. All well and good, but I wish Thomas and her director Owen Horsley had dug more deeper and faithfully into the story's period setting, and allowed us to care about both characters as messy, complicated products of their specific moment rather than as emblematic figures co-opted by history, even if the words non binary and trans are conspicuously not used.

But when he meets passionate young Catharina Mülhahn, so strong is the attraction that the match becomes inevitable. Wilson’s sparky, self-deprecating Mülhahn completes the two-hander, whose enthusiastic embrace of the philosophies of love is endearing, and echoed with tragic reflection from Mülhahn’s older self (Marty Cruikshank).Home to William Golding, Sylvia Plath, Kazuo Ishiguro, Sally Rooney, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Max Porter, Ingrid Persaud, Anna Burns and Rachel Cusk, among many others, Faber is proud to publish some of the greatest novelists from the early twentieth century to today. With classics such as Ted Hughes's The Iron Man and award-winners including Emma Carroll's Letters from the Lighthouse, Faber Children's Books brings you the best in picture books, young reads and classics. Owen Horsley directs at Hampstead for the first time; his credits for the RSC include the recent double bill of Rebellion and Wars of the Roses, as well as Maydays and Salomé. There’s potentially rich material here, but Thomas’s freely invented portrait of two happy-go-lucky nonconformists is very much a 21st-century morality play about intolerance, ignorance and the evils of the patriarchy. Based on real events and characters, Ruby Thomas’s play is a rapier-sharp historical romp, festooned with sparkling dialogue, that ultimately draws blood and tears.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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