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Samstag, 24 März 2018 18:59

A Couch in New York – when theater beats cinema

geschrieben von
Daniella Wood als „Beatrice Saulnier“, Henning Bakker als „Henry Harriston“ Daniella Wood als „Beatrice Saulnier“, Henning Bakker als „Henry Harriston“ © Photo: Dirk Opitz

In times of increasing popularity for platforms like Airbnb and Homestay we have accustomed to the idea of moving into the apartment of another person. But an apartment is not just a building it also comes with a social setting. “A Couch in New York” originally is a movie written and directed by Chantal Akerman in 1996. It features a scenario in which two people swap their flats and get embroiled in the other’s environment much more than they planned to.

Karin Reilly translated the piece into English and directed it for the English Drama Workshop. She did an excellent job because she actually managed to make her version more entertaining than the original. Quite frankly speaking - apologies for this rude statement - the movie is boring. The uninspiring and clichéd plot is neither bolstered by cunning dialogues nor heartwarming emotions nor great acting. The crew of the drama workshop presented a much more atmospheric performance, carried by excellent acting, perfectly timed dialogues, amusing use of requisites and a dynamic assembly of scenes.

The famous American psychoanalyst Henry Harriston and the French dancer Beatrice Saulnier swap apartments seeking an escape. Henry wants to escape his intrusive patients and doubts about his impending wedding. Beatrice wants to escape her intrusive suitors and the incessant noise in her apartment.  In New York, Beatrice fails to refuse Henry`s patients and starts seeing them. They feel comforted by her unconventional style of therapy. In Paris, Henry fails to find peace in the noise of his new apartment, bothered by the heartsick admirers of beautiful Beatrice. He decides to fly back to New York, shows up unannounced at his apartment and discovers Beatrice treating his patients with surprising success. Curious, he schedules an appointment for himself under a false identity and is quickly trapped by the sincere spirit this woman radiates. She is impressed by the deepness of his character. The mix-up story develops into a romantic play.

A lot of emphasis was put on the characters and their interactions. Henning Bakker as Henry and Daniella Wood as Beatrice were completely taken up in their roles as the composed psychoanalyst and the affectionate dancer. Other than in the movie, the supporting actors were given more importance and had room to unfold the oddities of their characters. No matter how small the role was, every actor played with full commitment and credibility.  In the end, the audience was completely mesmerized by the performance, expressed by the many Uhs, and Ahs, the roaring laughter and the big, big applause.

The English Drama Workshop is an excellent opportunity for international students who have not yet mastered the intricacies of the difficult German language to still enjoy theater as well as to act themselves. Currently, it performs the play “A Couch in New York” in the ThOP– it is hilarious.

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Weitere Informationen

  • Kategorie: ThOP
  • Übertitel: English Drama Workshop
  • Untertitel: Premiere von „A Couch in New York“
Letzte Änderung am Mittwoch, 11 April 2018 08:44

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