ARC’s production of Marius von Mayenburg’s 2012 play Martyr opened at the Aki Studio last night. It’s presented in an English translation by Maja Zade and directed by Rob Kempson. I think it’s more than a just a direct German to English translation. names have been changed for instance and there are definite shifts in directorial approach from the Berlin production. I think the best way to understand what this is all about is to start with the original German version and how it may have looked to a Berlin audience and then look at how time, space and directorial decisions may affect audience reception.
Brandon Jacobs-Jenkjins’ play Gloria, directed by André Sills is currently playing at Crow’s Theatre. It’s a hard play to describe as spoilers must be avoided and it works at many different levels. The initial setting is the offices of a New York “culture” magazine where we meet various members of the highly dysfunctional workforce. A shocking event happens and the rest of the play explores how various parts of the media industries relate to such events in the internet age along with issues related to who really “owns” an experience and in what sense does that “ownership” validate or privilege their version of events versus any other. One of the ideas here is that the “product” has become in every way secondary. The magazine is little more than a prop for blog posts. Book publishing is largely geared around selling the movie or TV rights. Movie and TV production is largely about providing a package for prefabricated celebrities to feature in. The irony of a print and internet reviewer writing about all this is not lost on me!