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Wales Millennium Centre to present new version of German classic Man to Man in March 2015

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Wales Millennium Centre is to present a new version of Man to Man in March 2015, the first full in-house production under the new artistic direction of Graeme Farrow. Translated and adapted by Alexandra Wood from Manfred Karge’s masterpiece ‘Jacke wie Hose’, the production will reimagine the one woman show as a visceral and virtuosic piece of physical theatre.

After her husband dies, Ella Gericke adopts his identity and continues working his job as a crane operator in order to survive in Nazi Germany. Compromising her own identity for survival, Ella is plunged into a new masculine world of beer, schnapps and poker; a claustrophobic existence dominated by the fear of discovery and the changing face of authority in a volatile twentieth century Germany.

Reworking the original German masterpiece into an intimate and all-consuming piece of physical theatre, Man to Man confronts the horrors of World War Two from a unique and deeply personal perspective.

Written by up and coming young playwright, Alexandra Wood, and starring Margaret Ann Bain as Ella, Man to Man is directed by Bruce Guthrie, (Associate Director for Sam Mendes on his world tour of Richard III, director of Twelfth Night and Othello, for the Singapore Repertory Theatre), alongside a stellar creative team including Scott Graham of leading physical theatre company Frantic Assembly.

Wales Millennium Centre’s Artistic Director, Graeme Farrow, commented: ‘'Manfred Karge's Man to Man offers a unique perspective on German history with a dazzling mixture of poetry, prose, realism and magic. It is being made with a superb artistic team including the hugely talented physical performer Margaret Ann Bain. We aim to produce bold and striking work like this in Wales and take it to the world. Man to Man is a good place to start.'

Speaking about the new adaptation, Director, Bruce Guthrie, said: ‘Man to Man, is very different to plays I’ve directed before. It’s very episodic - a series of memories that Ella is re-living, and I found it really compelling when I first read the original script. This adaptation will very much be about taking the audience on a sensory journey as opposed to a narrative one, and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to evoke different reactions from the audience based on the series of memories that are explored.

‘It’s a fantastic play, and we’ll be trying various different techniques to establishing a language and relationship with the audience to take them on a journey with the character: projection, lighting, the way that we interact with the set, or with the audience, or the physicality of the piece. It’s all up for grabs because the text is so rich and the memories are so potent. It’s going to be very exciting.’

Manfred Karge’s original version of the play, Jacke wie Hose, was first staged at the Scgauspeilhaus Bocehum in 1982. It was first translated by Anthony Vivas and performed in the UK under the English title Man to Man, with Tilda Swinton playing the role of Ella Gericke.

Man to Man is part of WOW Caerdydd, a festival celebrating, provoking and expressing female achievements, struggles and future challenges taking place in March 2015.

Man to Man is at Wales Millennium Centre 20 Mar - 27 Mar 2015, (preview performance 19 Mar 2015). Tickets are priced at £14, preview, £9. For more information and to book tickets, please visit www.wmc.org.uk or call the box office 029 2063 6464.

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