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Physical Theatre
‘Woyzeck’  – Portrayal of a bleak society
The Korean Sadari Movement Laboratory

“Woyzeck”, one of the most well-known plays written by German dramatist Georg Büchner, goes on stage October 2 and 3 at the Macau Cultural Centre, in a new dynamic theatre experience from South Korea by the Sadari Movement Laboratory.
Through movement, sensuality and poetry, Sadari Movement Laboratory’s performance was a sold-out hit at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it won a “Herald Angel Award” and “Total Theatre Award”.
The Sadari Movement Laboratory (SML) brings a constellation of object, body, movement and space that generates a new theatrical experience.
Their approach to “Woyzeck”, based on the true story of a soldier in Leipzig found guilty of having murdered his mistress in 1824, is poetic and sensual.
Georg Büchner (1818-1837) adapted the facts from the German soldier’s trial creating the world’s first expressionist drama.
Woyzeck struggles to support his family by performing menial jobs for the Captain and agreeing to take part in medical experiments. The tragic consequences of his increasing alienation and tormenting visions unfold in this shocking drama both for its content and its radically innovative episodic, hallucinogenic structure. Through this play, Büchner – who was then only 23 and already suffering from typhoid fever that ultimately led to his death – portrays a dark society in which the weak and oppressed are exploited by the stronger and those in power. A society in which violence begets violence, being as relevant then as it is today.
Georg Büchner left no complete manuscripts of Woyzeck, only four different drafts of incomplete fragments, no page numbers, with mixed up scenes. With no definite version and the first reliable version dating from 1976, the drama has been subject to various interpretations with multiple narratives and sequences allowing the creativeness of directors and cenographers.
That is one of the reasons why Woyzeck is considered an enigmatic masterpiece, and one of the most influential works of Modern Theatre.
In the Sadari Movement Laboratory performance, chairs are used as objects to depict the authority and the sense of oppression of Woyzeck.
“…When his own chair fragments into pieces and – like his life- will not come together [the performers] conjure up not just physical contexts but atmospheres and inner states”, as one of the reviews pointed out.
The music of the Argentinean composer Astor Piazolla boosts the breathtaking drama and Woyzeck is performed in Korean and surtitled in Chinese and English.
Besides this production SML is also involved in this year’s “Physically Speaking – Korean Exchange programme”, commissioned by CCM.

Tickets are priced at $14o with several discounts and are available from August 21 (Friday) at CCM box office and Kong Seng outlets. For further enquiries please visit www.ccm.gov.mo. or call (853) 2870 0699. Credit card ticketing hotline (853) 2840 0555.

 

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