23/11/2018 - Mary Collins
Tucked away off a main street in "Old Town Basel", the neat, well set, Cellar Theatre, English Seminar, Nadelberg 6, Basel, surprises one with the great use of space. Having reminded me of the Shakespearian /Elisabethen style theatre with a balcony and the close proximity of the actors, one immediately feels comfortable in the space provided. A continuation of this feeling is in the way the production is played out. " In Elizabethan Theatre Conventions, acting was largely presentational in style. Plays were more overtly a “performance” with clues the actors were aware of the presence of an audience instead of completely ignoring them as part of their art.
Movements and gestures were more stylised and dramatic than one might ordinarily expect in a modern naturalistic or realistic drama, speech patterns were heightened for dramatic effect," In the case of Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, the actors did not have fancy costumes one might expect in a fairy tale sequence, but played out their roles over dramatically which led to the excellent humor of the performance overall. The actors involve the audience and there are quite a few hilarious moments when audience members become involved (to their surprise and delight, surely).
The excellent twist to the storyline is that in some way or another all the fairytale characters in this play are related, by birth or fate and there is an even quicker re-cap at the end, attempting a re-explanation of these connections. It reminds me a bit of the 1985 film "Clue" with its "re-cap" choices and in my opinion, with just as a delightfully talented cast!
Each actor plays a multitude of roles, in a relatively short period of time and with the amount of running up and down the stairs and to and froing from the stage, to behind the scenes, the enthusiasm is maintained with a fair amount of empathy for the actors, (especially for the poor guy who did it all efficiently and somewhat gracefully with a leg in a cast!)
Surprisingly characters one might assume non-relevant in one scene /story become center stage in another storyline, really giving all the actors a chance to shine equally.
The only review I can truly give the Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, for direction, technical and acting are four thumbs up, from both my guest and I!
Utterly, delightfully, well acted and staged, and I most definitely will be on the look-out for more productions by the directors Jessica Meier and Selina Wolfisberg and with these talented actors ; Charis Billingham, Laura Billingham, Andrew Gabriel, Silja Keller, Maria Ionescu, Mark Zeman, Heidi Haas, Shannon Hughes, Léon Othenin-Girard, Michelle Steinmetz, Stuart Brown, Adrian Oettli
For further Crew information, click here Show dates are November 23, 24, 26, 28, 30 and December 2, 4, 6, 8 20.- CHF regular tickets, 15.- CHF for students, AHV, IV