Boilerhouse Theatre Company, No New Miracles

Review in Issue 7-4 | Winter 1995

Georg Buchner's novella Lenz, which inspired this play, is about madness.

The deranged German writer, Jacob Lenz, journeys into the Vosges mountains to seek out help from a certain Pastor Oberlin. Oberlin is a remarkable, compassionate holy man who loves and pities this tormented soul but finally can do little to cure him.

Boilerhouse adapt this tale of angst-ridden Romanticism with skill and imagination. The elemental power of the landscape was conveyed through a set of rocks, water and back-projection of rolling clouds. The opening journey struck the right feverish note. The fractured mind was expressed through broken, non-linear narrative, bursts of sound and violent movement followed by sudden calm. Peter Grimes in the central role sustained an emotionally-charged yet controlled tension throughout, and his demonic side was played with lurking menace by dancer Andy Howitt.

Less successful was the transposition of the priest and the village community into a 'colony’, a new-age type sect of two beatific girls and an annoying smiling Buddha-like leader called 'the Founder'. This unreal, cloying world seemed in danger of making Lenz's mental state worse, as well as calling to mind recent suicidal religious cults – a contemporary echo that the company may not have intended.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Sep 1995

This article in the magazine

Issue 7-4
p. 24