Review: Man to Man @Northern Stage

This reviewer feels naive and silly when she does not fully comprehend the story of a theatre production. But perhaps that was the intention of Manfred Karge, to not fully understand the meaning of the play but to feel the emotions of the character.

As Manfred Karge’s Man to Man tells the story of Ella (Maggie Bain) ; a woman forced to adopt the identity of her dead husband in order to survive in Nazi Germany.

As Ella is forced to adopt this anomalistic and masculine physicality drinking beer and playing poker.  Whilst confronting  the Second World War and hiding who she really is.

You can imagine what an emotional roller coast ride she goes through.

There is so much going on in Man to Man, both emotionally and in the narrative, I do find it hard to keep up with the story. But we do grasp the concept of what Ella is going through.

Storing the story aside for a moment, I applaud the way the set has been designed and the way Bain manages to contort herself into tiny corners of the set and the way she clamber up on and off walls , swinging from roofs to guide the story through.

Man to Man is heavily reliant on props and other forms of media. This reviewer particularly enjoys the way Bain plays with the coat reenacting moments when her husband was alive. Audio and projection play a big role to the narrative as without it I feel that the production isn’t as powerful or intense.

There is a lot to focus on in this production and there are moments in the performance when I think it is going to stop  but it still goes on and there are a lot more developments in the  narrative.   And though I did not fully understand it, I apprecited the innovative work that has been done to create this powerful story of a woman in Germany.


Man to Man is on till 18th October for more information click here 

For more of my reviews click here 

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