Next week I’ll go and see my first play in English in Leipzig. It’s called The Mysterious Mr. Love, from English Theatre Leipzig, and it will run May 28th through 30th, starting each time at 8 p.m., at Neues Schauspiel. It’s about a conman (“George Love”) who tries to dupe a spinster (“Adelaide”) into marrying him so he can run off with her money, but nothing goes as planned, and intrigue, drama and – perhaps even romance??? – ensue in the London of 1910.
It will be a great thing for me, because my two experiences with plays in Leipzig were in the complicated German of Friedrich Schiller, in non-traditional productions at Schauspiel. Now, this is coming from someone who, on good days, can understand how a friend’s day went in German, and on bad days, can’t even understand the cashier at a supermarket asking if she has a customer card. So at Schiller’s Maria Stuart last week (about the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, the cousin of Elizabeth I), I looked at the characters’ clothes to try to determine their level of ruthlessness (black suit for most ruthless, brown and green for more ambiguous), and their level of frowning, glaring, screaming and stomping to try to determine their strength. The minimalism of the dystopian, post-industrial era set in this alternative version of the play, along with the solid colors on few pieces of clothing in lieu of elaborate royal costumes, helped me be able to focus on the actors’ body language. My German companion’s reply of “Yeah, that’s interesting” to my interpretation of both plays (this and Kabale und Liebe) indicated that I may have been, perhaps, somewhat, on the right track… or maybe not.
But with the play in English I shouldn’t have this problem… right? Unless British accents and my short attention span for words get in the way. Looking forward to understanding at least most of the bloody brilliant dialogue.
The Mysterious Mr. Love
(play by Karoline Leach)
When: May 28-30, 8 p.m.
Where: Neues Schauspiel, Lützner Straße 29, Leipzig
Tickets: 10€/8€, from Neues Schauspiel
Cast: Peter Seaton-Clark and Nicola Chapman
Director: Tom Bailey