theatARGH

thoughts and frustrations on Melbourne theatre through bright young eyes

Archive for Marius von Mayenburg

Review of The Ugly One, Royal Court Theatre

Debuted alongside the launch of the Royal Court’s 2007 international writer’s season, The Ugly One, by Marius von Mayenburg (and not directed by Benedict Andrews – would you believe?) received a two week remount in June this year in the Jerwood Downstairs Theatre, London. A world away from his darker and more dramatically experimental works, The Ugly One is a fifty-five minute farce and in the hands of Ramin Gray, it represents von Mayenburg at his most straightforward and simplistic. Unfortunately, it’s also his least exciting work, adding little to very well-trodden thematic terrain.

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Review of Moving Target, Malthouse Theatre

The last time that I saw Benedict Andrews and Marius von Mayenburg collaborate on a piece of theatre was El Dorado in 2006 at the Malthouse in the Merlyn Theatre. Aside from the slow-burning, epic narrative and the immediately striking aesthetic of the glass enclosure, what had a lasting impact on me, and what seared a still vivid imprint onto my mind, was the opening prologue: Robert Menzies, pressed against the glass, sweating, spitting and delivering a breathy monologue before disappearing into smoke. Few theatre beginnings, outside of a couple of MIAF shows, have commanded my attention in such a way since. Which leads me to ask: what, oh what, were von Mayenburg and Andrews thinking with the opening of Moving Target?

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