The Hampstead Theatre is currently involved in a production with the English National Opera, this is the first time that the two groups have worked together and they are putting on a rather clinical performance by Jakob Lenz.
This piece of music runs for one hour and 15 minutes and despite being written in the late 1970s, it definitely sounds as if it could have been written several decades before that. It is real masterpiece and in so many you can hear the schizophrenia of its composer being brought through in the music.
In many ways it can jangle the nerves and it could be described as a jittery composition. Most people who listen to it, will admire it for this honesty and its melodies are something that, although wonky, will definitely be able to touch many listeners.
The production has been put on with an orchestra composed of 11 pieces and the performance is very characteristic of these two companies. The location for the performance is also well chosen as the Hampstead Theatre is a very intimate space.
The theatre is reminiscent of in the round, but is not quite as there are only seats on three sides of the main performance area. This sort of stage setting works very well for the production as the audience will really feel more involved with it and be able to feel the mental decline of the composer.
As the production goes on it gets more and more intense and this drama, although strangely static, will definitely leave audience members rather shaken up. Interestingly, the production chose to place the orchestra in front of the singers which meant that some of the words were lost and the audience might struggle to understand what’s happening at some points. Overall, an interesting, and moving production.