Posted by kluster on May 16, 2011
I have a long, rich history with Bertolt Brecht. It began in Year 11 drama class and continues to this day. In summary: anyone who dedicates their life work to the exploration of anything epic, let alone epic theatre, is alright by me.
So, it goes without saying (although, I’ll say it regardless – for dramatic effect) that I approached the Sydney Theatre Company’s Baal with a large degree of anticipation - and a small amount of trepidation.
This newest reworking of Baal - a Malthouse Theatre co-production - is somewhat brief at 70 minutes from opening line to conclusion. That, coupled with the young median age of the cast, extremely high amount of on-stage nudity and the explored themes of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll more than subtly suggest that this offering is aimed at the younger end of the STC audience demographic.
If their aim is, as we suspect, to engage a younger audience, Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company have created the kind of production that will undoubtedly do just that. Powerful and original, Baal is true to Brecht’s original intention without presenting as staid. The aforementioned young cast work under what can only be described as trying conditions (revealing any more would be tantamount to an experience spoiler and it’s better seen than read anyway, so I’ll elaborate no further) and more than rise to the occasion.
If a strong script delivered by a powerful young cast, nudity and some darn impressive scene changes are your idea of good entertainment book thee a ticket to Baal. For those of you under 30, don't forget to take advantage of the Sydney Theatre Company's reduced ticket prices offers.
Baal is now playing at Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company.
For more from the stage see Kluster's Theatre.