THE BLUE ROOM

Creative Playground 2009

THE BLUE ROOM
By David Hare
St Nicholas Church, Dyke Road, Brighton, E. Sussex, BN1 3LJ
24th - 25th July 2009

Directed by Aaron Swartz

The Blue Room is a 1998 play by David Hare, adapted from 'Der Reigen' written by Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931), and more usually known as La Ronde. The original play is based on a series of two-character sketches and was too sexually explicit to be performed at the time. Subsequently it was read and then performed in private. Its first public performance in 1921, under the now accepted title Reigen, was closed down by the Vienna police - Schnitzler was prosecuted for obscenity.

Der Reigen ("Round Dance") was meant as a dramatic expose of the decadence of the Austrian society. Max Ophuls's 1950 film version of La Ronde, became a cult classic with its influential blend of nostalgia, enchantment, and titillation. David Hare's adaptation transfers the action from Vienna to 'one of the great cities of the world, in the present day'. The characters change accordingly, the soldier becomes a cab driver, the parlour maid becomes an au pair, and we are left with a contemporary version that views the sexual act as a sexual leveller.

Hare's major difference from the original piece was the idea of performing it as a two-hander, having just two actors perform all the parts and thus the whole piece. ACT director, Aaron Swartz, gives the roles back to ten different actors performing across Hare's ten distinctive scenes.

CAST

GIRL ... Raquel Buckland
CAB DRIVER ... Nick Green
AU PAIR ... Mireille Hobson
STUDENT ... Robert Wise
MARRIED WOMAN ... Mona Walsh
POLITICIAN ... Sukh Virk
MODEL ... Kitty Wallace
PLAYWRIGHT ... Mike Toon
ACTRESS ... Franny Skeeles
ARISTOCRAT ... Steve Clark

Directed by Aaron Swartz

Lighting Design ... Mike Toon
Lighting Operator ... Marie Meredith
Sound ... Kidd Studios
Graphic Design ... Monica Murgu