Woyzeck in Winter at The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin Theatre Festival 2017

On Wednesday 4th of October last I saw Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival’s production of Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck in Winter at The Gaiety Theatre in Dublin. The massive, teetering set composed of dark, brooding Piano carcases is designed by Scenographer Jamie Vartan. The set references Schubert’s song cycle Die Winterreise which Schubert was still working on in 1827 when he died aged 31. Jamie Vartan’s stage setting provides a menacing performance space with semi concealed stairways, doors and performance areas. Influenced by the poetical work Winterrise by poet Wilhelm Müller, the poetic, nihilist Woyzeck in Winter is set or around 1833-37 Austria.
This dark, despairing and robustly performed production is not for the faint hearted, do not expect to whistle a production tune on your way home. Informed by the accounts of the French Revolution and of women, wives, lovers’ brutally murdered by nihilistic men, Büchner struggles to contextualise and express this human condition through his, arguably unfinished work.
The overall performance space and smaller ensconced spaces presents an apt and visually satisfying set design. The scenographer Jamie Vartan. I collaboration with Lighting Designer, Paul Keogan, provide the performers and audience with a collaboratively menacing environment in which to embrace the ambience and menace generated by this dark production.
The Costumes designed by Designer Joan O’Cleary and Supervised by Orla Long provide the actors with convincing evocative characters of a time and place long past yet appallingly relevant to the contemporary world. All in all it is an appealing design solution, a setting that provides a menacing and versatile performance space for the actors and the characters they portray.
The production was developed and directed by Conall Morrison, Scenography (Set Design) by Jamie Vartan, Costumes Designed by Joan O’Cleary, Lighting Design by Paul Keogan (based on original design by Ben Ormerod), Musical Director and onstage Pianist, Conor Linehan, Sound Design Mike Nestor

Published on: 
Friday, 6 October, 2017