Playwright: Mark Ravenhill
Direction / Set & Lighting Design: Fred Abrahamse
Costume Design: Marcel Meyer
Soundscape: Charl-Johan Lingenfelder
Photography: Maggie Gericke, Fiona MacPherson
Cast: Francis Chouler & Marcel Meyer
Venue: Upstairs Theatre at Alexander Bar.
Date: November 2016 [South African premiere]
About: Over There was commissioned by the London’s Royal Court and the Schaubüne, Berlin in 2009 as part of their Off the Wall season, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Ravenhill’s play ingeniously scrutinises the problematic re-unification of Germany by personifying the clashing ideologies of capitalism and communism as twin brothers, Karl and Franz.
In 1964 Franz’s mother escapes to the West with him, leaving Karl behind in East Berlin. Twenty-five years later, Karl crosses the border in search of his other half. As history takes an unexpected turn, and the Berlin Wall comes down, the brothers struggle to reconnect. Ravenhill’s visceral play examines the hungers released when two countries, separated by a common language, meet again. The play’s themes of separation and re-unification are especially pertinent within a contemporary South African context.
What the Press Said:
“perfectly cast…detailed…ingenious design…quite simply beautiful and as the red, black and yellow flashes of plastic gradually litter the stage the deconstructed tricolour flag of Germany is scattered in an exquisite metaphor. It is this attention to detail and repetition of metaphor throughout which makes Over There such a rich and satisfying experience.” THE CAPE TIMES
“Do not miss Over There…Superb theatre, exceptional script, performances, design…thrilling to watch…needs to be seen twice to grasp all the nuances…theatre that makes you gasp as you leave…a knock out production – brilliantly directed by Fred Abrahamse…One of the top five productions of the year” – THE CAPE ROBYN
“In the current political climate, this is essential viewing material ... Over There is a highly satisfying theatrical experience where a strong text and production come together perfectly thanks to the sure hand of an accomplished director.” DIE BURGER
“Loved the design and whole style of production. Both actors at their best. Ravenhill's clever play intrigues and challenges, with interesting US bookends (especially as we awaken to Donald trumping Hillary). As the programme note says, much resonance here in SA (language, colonisation, etc). While it's great we encourage our local playwrights (as in The Heroin Diaries), it's essential that audiences are given the chance to see quality drama from UK, USA and other countries, especially when we can relate to the subject matter.” – BUSH RADIO