The incredible true story of a woman forced to adopt the identity of her dead husband in order to survive in Nazi Germany comes vividly to life in Man to Man at Birmingham Repertory Theatrefrom 26 – 30 September.
Manfred Karge’s acclaimed one woman play, tells the life story of Ella Gericke, who lived with her husband Max until one day he died. Compromising her own identity for survival, Ella is plunged into a new masculine world of beer, schnapps and poker; a claustrophobic existence dominated by the fear of discovery and the changing face of authority in a volatile 20th Century Germany.
Shunted from one memory to another, the audience experiences the full force of this all-consuming one-woman play, confronting the horror of the Second World War from a unique and deeply personal perspective.
Man to Man opened to 5 star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015. Translated by award-winning playwright, Alexandra Wood, this new version unites the talents of a multi-Olivier and Tony award-winning creative team, led by directors Bruce Guthrie (Director of RENT the Musical & The Last Mermaid) and Scott Graham (Artistic Director of Frantic Assembly and Movement Director of Olivier-winning West End/Broadway production The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time).
Director, Bruce Guthrie said: “Man to Man is a series of fragmented memories that our protagonist Ella is remembering and re-living. She is a working class character with no sense of self pity: a hero in many ways who finds herself having to make life and death choices on a daily basis. I found that compelling when I first read the script. It is a familiar yet alien world. This version is about taking the audience on a sensory journey, evoking different reactions based on the series of potent memories explored.”
As Ella, actress Maggie Bain, whose credits include Emma Rice’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe, gives a tour de force performance in this beautiful, thought provoking production. Described by The Times as “one of the most extraordinary performers on the fringe,”Maggie Bain’s electric energy and captivating performance make the 75 minutes of action go by in a flash.
Renowned as one of the UK’s leading presenting houses, Wales Millennium Centre has recently embarked on producing work with the intention of taking the very best made in Wales to the world. As one of their first productions, Man to Man demonstrates the bold ambition of Wales Millennium Centre as a national home to the performing arts – to Inspire our Nation and Impress the World.
“The main triumph is Maggie Bain’s. She sculpts her voice and body to become a cast of dozens” The Guardian (5 stars)
“This stunning revival… is destined for classic status” The Times (5 stars)
“An impressive performance in an even more impressive visual production” The Stage (5 stars)
“A beautifully mesmerising 75 minutes, which will leave the audience surprised, touched and enriched.” British Theatre Guide (5 stars)
“This is political theatre par excellence” The Arts Desk (5 stars)
Packed with lucid movement, beautiful projection and nerve-hitting video, Man to Man is a raw and vividly immersive piece of theatre.
Tuesday 26 to Saturday 30 September
Performance times: 7.45pm Tues to Sat, matinee at 2.45pm on Sat
Tickets from £15
Age Guidance: 14+ (Contains strong language and adult themes)
The STUDIO, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2EP
Box Office: 0121 236 4455 Online booking: birmingham-rep.co.uk