Theater Review: Woyzeck

In the title role actor Tiran gives the most honest performance I have yet seen from him. His tender, bewildered, put-upon, increasingly desperate Woyzeck invites both horror and pity.

Theater.311 (photo credit: Nathan Brusovany)
Theater.311
(photo credit: Nathan Brusovany)
Woyzeck
By Georg Büchner
Translated by Dori Parnes
Directed by Itai Tiran
Cameri Theater 4/10/10

There is a vivid intelligence at work in Itai Tiran’s phantasmagorical evocation of Büchner’s classic tale of brutality and exploitation that he based on an actual event.
In order to support his lover, Marie (Ruthie Asarsay), and his child, Woyzeck (Tiran) works two jobs. He is batman to a stupid officer (Alon Dahan) and experimental guinea pig to an obsessed physician (Uri Ravitz). When Marie succumbs to ferally male Drum-Major Oded Leopold, Woyzeck murders her in a fit of jealousy.
Do the characters live in the real world, or an insane asylum? Tal Shacham’s dirty, grey, and deliberately hideous set, her ambiguous costumes provide nightmare intimations of both.
In the title role actor Tiran gives the most honest performance I have yet seen from him. His tender, bewildered, put-upon, increasingly desperate Woyzeck invites both horror and pity. Uri Ravitz seemingly cannot give a bad performance and as the Doctor he is quite simply Mt. Everest! Ruthie Asarsay invests Marie with sensuality, with vulnerability and a fatal ignorance of what the real world is all about, Drum-Major Leopold might have gone over the top, but magnificently does not and as the stupid Captain Alon Dahan projects a wonderfully willful ignorance of the above-mentioned consequence.