Gross Und Klein

Date(s) - 14 Dec 2011
1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney

Gross Und Klein (Big & Small)

Captioned Performances: Wednesday, 14 December at 1pm and Friday, 16 December at 8pm at Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay

Sydney Theatre Company and UBS Investment Bank present Gross Und Klein (Big and Small)

A Journey across contemporary Germany by Botho Strauss

English text by Martin Crimp

Whisking us down a rabbit hole and into a wonderland-like world, Gross und Klein (Big and Small) transports us to a hotel dining room in Morocco where Lotte sits alone. She is all dressed up with nowhere to go. There is no one to chat to. Her siesta tour group is ‘at odds’ so she declines to join their excursions. She hasn’t the money to pay for them anyway. For now she will sit alone, listening to the men arguing outside the window, stoically cheerful in the hope that someone, somewhere will need her help or affection.

Here begins an exquisite sequence of scenes in which the courageously optimistic and perpetually disappointed Lotte searches for human connection. She is rejected by her husband, unrecognised by old friends and unfamiliar with her family. Even Lotte’s acquaintances won’t admit to being acquainted with her. Whether she is outside a window peeping in or buzzing on an unanswered intercom this iconic protagonist never quite fits. Like Carroll’s Alice, sometimes Lotte is too big for her surroundings, sometimes too small to be noticed within them.

First staged in 1978, this delicately surreal play was written by Botho Strauss (The Park, Seven Doors, Time and the Room) who, over the course of his long and prolific career, has become one of the most extensively performed playwrights modern Germany has produced. Now another of Europe’s great writers, Martin Crimp (The City, The Country, Attempts on Her Life) will create a new adaptation of Gross und Klein (Big and Small) especially for this production by the legendary theatre director Luc Bondy.

In venues across the globe, from New York to Edinburgh to Vienna to Aix-en-Provence, Luc has stunned and delighted audiences with his unique theatrical and operatic creations. His controversial responses to cherished classic works have rocked the arterati of Europe and America, drawing rave reviews and earning him a reputation as one of the master directors of our time.

Now, for the first time, this virtuoso will come to Australia to direct for Sydney Theatre Company. While the production will be a significant ‘first’ it will also mark a significant ‘last’ for Luc: it’s the only one of playwright Strauss’ gorgeous, dreamlike plays that he has yet to direct. Bringing with him an opera director’s sense of scale, he will realise this panorama of a play as a mesmerising journey from the imposingly grand to the minutely detailed.

This ambitious theatre project is a co-production with some of Europe’s leading theatre companies and festivals including Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, Théâtre de la Ville Paris and Luc’s own Wiener Festwochen. It will premiere at Sydney Theatre in 2011 before touring to Europe in early 2012.

Duration: 3 Hours, including interval

Venue: Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay

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