I was lucky enough to be invited to see Marius von Mayenburg’s Eldorado at Hackney’s Arcola Theatre last night. With a magical mixture of music, tension and humour, new theatre production company Mongrel Thumb has landed a real hit.
This blurb from the Arcola website sets the scene:
“Anton’s got it made: dream house, artistic wife, baby on the way. And, as the smoke rises from another city saved by coalition bombs, there’s a fortune to be made rebuilding the wreckage. So what’s he doing forging his boss’s signature? And why has his wife crushed her hands under the piano lid?”
From this rather grim outset, and an interesting backdrop, the characters really come to life. Secrets and lies are at the heart of this piece, and so is music – not just the sound of it, but the emotional effect that it has on those who create it. I found that this play’s other focus is really about gender. The creative and musical roles are taken by women, and the more strict and ‘professional’ by men, and this divide could in some part lead to the plot climax.
For me, this play is one that takes a while to sink in. Having seen it last night, and had the opportunity to speak to members of cast and crew after the show, I find myself re-thinking various aspects of the play itself even now.
I’d recommend going to see this beautifully produced and acted play – pop down to the lovely venue The Arcola Theatre for a real treat.
24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL. Box Office: 020 7503 1646