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Catherine Street, London, WC2B 5LA
Ended 30 Aug 2009 after 3 months
A gripping reminder of just how fragile our freedom, artistic or otherwise, can be.
Dominic Maxwell, The Times
This question is at the heart of both Collaboration and Taking Chances, two meaty dramas which make up Ronald Harwood's critically acclaimed double bill. Scrutinizing art and artists in politics, the plays probe audiences to consider the moral choices made by the protagonists and weigh up the responsibilities of the individual in totalitarian regimes. Collaboration ignites debate about participation and association and betrayal, whilst remaining highly entertaining and searing, intriguing theatre.
In both Collaboration and Taking Sides, Michael Pennington plays the protagonist, providing a curious and subtle link between the two dramas. Collaboration, which is more of a domestic play than Taking Sides, Pennington plays composer Richard Strauss, while the David Horovitch plays the Jewish writer Stefan Zweig.
It's 1931, Germany, and aged composer Richard Strauss is working on an opera with Stefan Zweig, an Austrian writer and Strauss' long-term artistic partner. Strauss is rejuvenated as he feels his creative energies reignited. However, his joy soon sours and the optimism of the collaboration quickly fades. Zweig is Jewish and times are changing. The Nazi movement is gaining momentum and the authorities are beginning to pressurize Strauss's collaboration with a Jew. Strauss struggles with agonizing personal and moral decisions as making art in Germany becomes rapidly constrained.
Previews from: 22 May 2009
Opening night: 28 May 2009
Closing night: 30 August 2009
Collaboration is suitable for audiences aged 14 and upwards
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