“The Wave” premiered at the Landestheater Linz
Relocating the world premiere of a commissioned work to the Internet instead of celebrating with the premiere audience was probably not an easy decision, even in times of pandemic. The Landestheater Linz proved that the emotions can spill over into the living room on Saturday evening with Or Matias “Musical” The Wave “, the second online premiere on the” Netzbühne “.
The plot of the musical is based on a social experiment by history teacher Ron Jones from 1967: His students cannot understand how the fascist regime came about in Germany. So he decides to demonstrate it to them with the help of an experiment and founds the movement “Die Welle”, based on discipline and a sense of community. Within a few days, however, the whole thing gets out of hand and Jones not only has to admit to himself how much “Die Welle” has carried him away, but also has his hands full to make it clear to the students how much they feel like the ” “normal people” from the Third Reich were seduced by the atmosphere and the (empty) promises.
Or Matias created a commissioned work for the Landestheater Linz from this material. In his musical (staged by Christoph Drewitz) the experiment is less the result of the students’ lack of understanding of National Socialism, but rather teacher Ron (Christian Fröhlich) makes it clear right from the start: “My course is about people like you: weak, average , influenceable “. The majority of the class can be attributed to “Strength through discipline! Strength through solidarity! Strength through deeds! Strength through pride!”, Not least because of the promised good grades. swear in. Only Ella (Hanna Kastner), model student and critical mind, escapes the suction. In the end, it is she who acts as a “breakwater”, shaking Ron awake and thus ensuring that the experiment comes to an abrupt end.
As a viewer you feel like you are in a school class, so authentically the actors embody the youthful characters: Next to Ella there is the shy Robert (Lukas Sandmann), whom the community feeling of the “wave” brings out of his snail shell, Jess (Celina dos Santos) who hides behind this name, James (Samuel Bertz), the boy from a wealthy family who is ultimately less adapted than it first seems and basketball star Stevie (Malcolm Henry), who cares less about his academic failure than he pretends .
The online format manages to convey the emotions, above all Robert’s desperation at the end – not least through the close-ups, which bring out the facial expressions more clearly than in the back seats of the theater. At the same time, however, something moves out of focus that sets theater apart from film: the view of the stage as a whole, the actors in the background, the set design.
“The Wave” turns out to be a musical without a catchy tune, but with a current topic, today as it was in the past. The stream cannot replace a visit to the theater, but it makes you want to be carried away by a musical wave again soon on site in the theater.
(SERVICE – “The Wave”, musical by Or Matias based on the report by Ron Jones, musical direction: Juheon Han, staging: Christoph Drewitz, stage: Veronika Tupy, costumes: Anett Jäger, choreography: Hannah Moana Paul. With: Christian Fröhlich, Hanna Kastner, Lukas Sandmann, Celina dos Santos, Samuel Bertz, Malcolm Henry, Alexander Findewirth, Carolina Juliana Hat, Paolo Möller, Lena Poppe, Alexander Rapp, Kathrin Schreier. Available until April 17. In the streaming offer of the Landestheater Linz is “pay as you wish”. Tickets at http://go.apa.at/DrEuqRhX or www.landestheater-linz.at/netzbuehne/unser-angebote)
(BILDAVISO press images are available for download at https “> www.landestheater-linz.at/presse”> https://www.landestheater-linz.at/presse.)