I had no programme and therefore no names, but the actor who plays Woyzeck is very convincing in his portrayal of this disintegration. The five supporting actors are all good in a variety of parts: the captain is hilarious, the doctor crazy-eyed, Marie is tortured by her infidelity. What is really stunning is the choreography. The characters move seamlessly from part to part around each other. The sound track is also excellently put together, but unfortunately frequently too loud, drowning the actors’ voices.
A quick word about the playwright Buchner: he studied medicine and loved Shakespeare – the scene with Woyzeck trying to wash the blood off his hands was straight from Macbeth. He had to flee his native Germany because of his revolutionary beliefs and died in Zurich of typhus aged only twenty-three, a year after being appointed lecturer in anatomy there. He never finished this, his last play, though several others have since tried to finish the play for him. This performance, however, has the original Buchner ending, I believe. The play is based on a true story and, significantly, is supposed to be the first literary work in German where the main characters are working class.
This is a difficult play to understand without some background knowledge and without a programme: come on, Burton Taylor, surely a single sheet of information could have been forthcoming! So this review tries to supply enough background to enjoy the play, which is definitely worth seeing.