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Over There is one of the best plays I have ever seen. Luke and Harry Treadaway are truly amazing actors.
Over There - Mark Ravenhill
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a proper play. Yes, I’ve seen a few musicals, Legally Blonde and Sister Act, if you were wondering. Anyway, I was re-watching one of the plays that I had bought on Digital Theatre, as I felt that in the few weeks before going back to University, I should divulge in something a little more, serious. So I decided to watch “Over There”, a play written by Mark Ravenhill for the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Two identical twins, Karl and Franz, are separated by the Berlin Wall, sharing minds across the two countries. When the wall finally falls, they realise that despite their similarities, some differences are hard to overcome.
Luke and Harry Treadaway play the twins, showing that despite brotherly affection, the adjustments made by East and West Germans proved difficult. Franz of the West striving for individuality from his identical twin, while Karl of the East mourns the loss of his Communist world and rejects his brothers attempts to Westernise him.
I absolutely adore the aesthetic of this play, the stripped down set of three light blue walls, no doors or windows making the bright underpants of the twins and branded products that make the props and scenery look brash and immediate.
The dialogue; although halting and full of unfinished sentences and, in the beginning half of the play at least, has the twins speaking at the same time as each other a lot of the time, is almost enough to drive you mad, but does give a raw quality to the words. I have a feeling that if this play was performed by anything but a set of twins, it would not have the same gravity, but then I suppose that was the whole point of the allegorical Franz and Karl.
In true Mark Ravenhill style, this play does plenty to shock the audience, with masturbation, the actors wearing little for the majority of the play, and Luke Treadaway having to do a genital tuck when he portrays his brothers lover in the final moments, this is not a performance to watch with your parents.
Full of metaphors (Honestly, you could write a book with the amount of allegory and metaphor in this play) smeared with Nutella, mustard, custard and god knows what else, this is a show that will gently tug on your heartstrings and make you think about how that Iron Curtain affected so many lives, long after it had been torn down.