Last night the HPs premiered its newest production “Love, Politics & Dirty Laundry” at the Marschnerstrasse. And, boy, what a successful start into a new year of plays it turned out to be for the group of actors and actresses – who are most definitely not “Amateurs”.
It was my first time at the theatre at the Marschnerstrasse (a quite literal translation) and after running around Mundsburg in the darkness, the illuminated playhouse looked like the entry to heaven (digging deep into the pool of metaphors here).
Three one-acts were on the menu: “Amateurs” by David Auburn, “Sure Thing ” and “Soap Opera” by David Ives. And just like the washing machine is spinning round and round, the audience was in a constant cycle of leaning forward in their seats, or clapping their thighs, laughing, and leaning back, admiring the spectacle on stage. Valerie Doyle picked three wonderful pieces for the occasion and highlighted the group’s dramatic force and quality.
The hilarious “Sure Thing” and “Soap Opera” served as the perfect frame for the more serious, emotional “Amateurs”.
The evening started off with “Sure Thing” (starring Alexander Armster-Wikoff & Madeleine Lange), an ideal version of two strangers bonding over coffee and Faulkner. If you have ever tried to chit chat with someone you found interesting/attractive and this person did not reciprocate your obvious attempt of starting a conversation, “Sure Thing” would seem like the perfect solution to the problem! You simply ring a bell and – boom – you reset the conversation to the point that it had started to fizzle out and change its course. We could create the version of a person, the version of a conversation we have in mind but could never be quite satisfied with what’s right in front of us – reality. And reality can be harsh sometimes. That’s why some hellos never end in a good bye.
“Amateurs” (Ellen Bergmann, Jonathan Greenman, Mathilde Berry) was by far the most dramatic performance of the evening. A young woman, who tries to white wash her Dad’s damaged reputation, gets drained by the words of truth coming from her Dad’s former political enemy. Once again, the truth hurts and some dirty laundry never turns clean again. Guilt, pretense and lies bind themselves to the (synthetic) fiber of your shirt/skin and you will never get rid of them again.
“Soap Opera” (Armster-Wikoff, Lange, Amy Lee, Harald Djürken, Kris Löschmann) showcases a man’s obsession with cleanliness and perfection of a washing machine, who overlooks humankind’s imperfection in his frantic devotion to the machine. Just like the first play of the evening “Sure Thing”, “Soap Opera” (in broader terms David Ives) unveils the truth: That we are too often looking for the perfect state of things, perfect people, instead of cherishing the flaws and jelly spots of someone who chooses us for being already perfect to them, just the way we are, clean shirt or not.
But isn’t that imperfection what really makes us humans human and most importantly the individuals roaming this planet? The people that preserve that sense of uniqueness in a brain washed society, teaching us that a version of perfection perpetuated by mass media is what all of us need to thrive and look for, it’s those people that stand out for me.
The Hamburg Players managed to convey these more than superficial, substantial messages from three diverse stories and I encourage all of you wonderful, unique readers to go and experience this lesson on human psychology yourself!
When? Feb 4-6, 10-13
Where? Marschnerstrasse 46
Maria was listening to “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots while writing this review.