Woyzeck (2014/2015)

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"... hilarious and horrific ...frankly brilliant ... spot-on chimpanzee impression..."

Three Weeks

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"There is never any doubt that the show is in good hands, and between the acerbic wit of the production and the delighted audience there is a clear investment from the company in giving the audience plenty of ideas to consider, but stopping short of telling them what to think."

The List

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"There is pleasure behind every moment of this show and from this joy we see the sparks of destructive rage and annihilating authority"

Total Theatre

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"So impressive! Thank you for giving us such an inspirational interpretation of this most brilliant play."

Laura Hobbs, Head of Drama,
Ralph Allen School

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"... it is so nice to see kids who would never have seen anything like this in their everyday lives so full of excitement about drama ... nobody else makes theatre like Splendid do!"

Stephanie Harrison, Broadgreen International School

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"... it was the mercurial shifts in character, atmosphere that got to me, a peal of laughter dying in the throat. Those white faces can be so threatening and sinister as well as playful and fun... Cracking stuff."

Matt Smith, Head of Drama,
Lancing College

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"Your passion and commitment for the work is exceptional, contagious and your encouragement and support to the students left them inspired, elated, empowered and ultimately more authentic performers."

Mike Perry, Warwick School

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"The performance was incredible, students loved it but us staff were blown away!"

Josh Avory, Chobham Academy

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"The opportunity for students to see such careful, excellent quality work is always valuable. "

Cassie Bullock, Subject Leader for Performing Arts,
Waingels College

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"Thank you for another inspirational morning! Students left buzzing and full of excitement about Drama."

James Watson, Head of Drama,
Imberhorne School

A_Gift
Alive_Unchained
Beautiful_Sin
Captain_Shaving
Captain_Woyzeck_Gestus
Children_Run
christian
Dance_Rehearsal
DM&Marie
DM&Woyzeck
Doctors
Drum_Major
End_Of_The_World
End_Shot
Fight
Grandma
Hide_Evidence
His_Name_Is..
James
Jealousy
Jim_Showman
Jim_Side_Shout
Kerry
Kerry_Showman
Killer
Look_At_Me
Marie_Christian
Marie_Horse
Marie_Moon
Marie_Seduction_Opening
Marie_Showman
Merciful_God
Misery Cup
Monkey_Cymbals
Murder_Action
Off_Duty_Point
Oh_Yes_He_Will
Oh_Yes_She_Did
Peas_Pulse
Protecting_Doctor
Scott_Showma
Seduction
She_Knows
Showmen
Simon
Stab_Accordian
The_Dance
Travellers
Violence
Whoaaaaa
Will_Fight_For_Food
Woyzeck_Ecstacy
Woyzeck_Gary
Woyzeck_Knife
Woyzeck_Soldier
Woyzeck_Strangle

  Kerry Frampton, Jimmy Whiteaker and Scott Smith in Splendid’s 2014 production of Woyzeck (photos: Lewis Wileman)

“A good murder, a proper murder, a lovely murder, as good as anyone could wish…”

Splendid Productions proudly present our new creative adaptation of Georg Büchner’s unfinished classic.

Living in poverty, with his woman, Marie, and a child to support, lowly soldier Franz Woyzeck has agreed to become a medical experiment for the regimental Doctor. But is it his diet of peas that leads him into the forest with a knife, or the rumours of what Marie has been doing with the peacocking Drum Major?

Taking Büchner’s script fragments as a starting point (he was still writing the play when he died) we tell the story of Woyzeck as a sequence of scenes that play in a seemingly random order.

A tireless cast of three take on sixteen roles, creating music and sound effects live, while piecing together a fractured story in this fast-paced mix of comedy, tragedy, puppetry, and song.

Edinburgh Fringe 2014 poster design: Ben Hales, photo: Josué Aton

Splendid Productions’ ‘Woyzeck’
Toured Sept 2014 – March 2015
Written by: Georg Büchner
Adapted by: Kerry Frampton & Ben Hales
Directed by: Mal Smith, Lucy Cuthbertson, Matt Wilde
Songs by:  Ben Hales & Duke Special, Mal Smith, Kerry Frampton
Design by: Kerry Frampton
Movement by: Genevieve Say

Cast & Characters

Scott Smith: Woyzeck, Monkey, Showman
Kerry Frampton: Marie, Doctor, Captain, Showman
Jimmy Whiteaker: Drum Major, Doctor, Astronomical Horse, Grandmother, Showman

Polish language consultant: Monika Tuite

More about Woyzeck

Woyzeck DVD
£35
Woyzeck script
£15
Woyzeck Education Pack
£12
Woyzeck Super Pack
£55

“…what a fantastic production last night. I brought 10 students along and we all thought it was brilliant and very engaging. It has given us lots to talk about in how to portray the play as well as inspiring us in our current work on our devised pieces. So impressive! Thank you for giving us such an inspirational interpretation of this most brilliant play.”
Laura Hobbs, Head of Drama, Ralph Allen School

“Just wanted to send another massive thank-you for a hugely inspiring and brilliantly fun afternoon on Friday. The kids bloody loved it! Thank-you again for bringing theatre alive… it is so nice to see kids who would never have seen anything like this in their everyday lives so full of excitement about drama. As Hayley put it: nobody else makes theatre like Splendid do!”
Stephanie Harrison, Broadgreen International School

read more…

“…what a fantastic production last night. I brought 10 students along and we all thought it was brilliant and very engaging. It has given us lots to talk about in how to portray the play as well as inspiring us in our current work on our devised pieces. So impressive! Thank you for giving us such an inspirational interpretation of this most brilliant play.”
Laura Hobbs, Head of Drama, Ralph Allen School

“Just wanted to send another massive thank-you for a hugely inspiring and brilliantly fun afternoon on Friday. The kids bloody loved it! Thank-you again for bringing theatre alive… it is so nice to see kids who would never have seen anything like this in their everyday lives so full of excitement about drama. As Hayley put it: nobody else makes theatre like Splendid do!”
Stephanie Harrison, Broadgreen International School

“Massive congratulations and thanks for last night’s performance of Woyzeck! It has been invaluable for my AS group to appreciate the Spass of Brecht and for my A2 group to once again enjoy the palpable energy you guys bring to every performance.”
Anna Quiros, Subject Leader for Drama, Mayfield Grammar School

“It ticked so many boxes for me but above all was so wonderfully accessible as a piece of theatre – a brilliant adaptation of, let’s face it, something of a worthy warhorse of a play. The songs were terrific too, but it was the mercurial shifts in character, atmosphere that got to me, a peal of laughter dying in the throat. Those white faces can be so threatening and sinister as well as playful and fun… Cracking stuff.”
Matt Smith, Head of Drama, Lancing College

“… your visit has had huge impact on the students. They absolutely adored the show and most importantly being with three of the most refreshing, skilled and assured artists we have ever met. Your passion and commitment for the work is exceptional, contagious and your encouragement and support to the students left them inspired, elated, empowered and ultimately more authentic performers.”
Mike Perry, Warwick School

“The performance was incredible, students loved it but us staff were blown away!”
Josh Avory, Chobham Academy

“The characters are so well performed and clearly defined that the students will be able to describe the performance really clearly in their written exams. It will also form the basis of some very good practical work. The opportunity for students to see such careful, excellent quality work is always valuable. “
Cassie Bullock, Subject Leader for Performing Arts, Waingels College

“Gives the students an opportunity to see live theatre (regardless of financial ability to come on trips, or commitment to coming in an evening) and a great opportunity for all the sixth form students to work together and develop practical techniques.”
Michelle Sinclair, Assistant CL Drama, McAuley Catholic High School

“The students were engaged, motivated and inspired. The Brechtian style theatre you produce provides an excellent example of the skills and techniques within this genre. The students use the performance as inspiration for their work. It takes them out of their ‘kitchen sink’ way of acting.”
Jodie-Leigh Brunt, Course Leader of Performing Arts, Thomas Rotherham College

“The performance is engaging for students so they enjoy writing their live evaluation pieces on it. Devising and performance work also improves because they see how good theatre can be (and should be). Work on students committing fully and taking risks was most valuable. This is something we try to instill in our students but it’s difficult to make them realise the value of being brave in rehearsal – that was what I saw Kerry bring out more in the session.”
Rebecca Johnson, Head of Drama, Great Sankey High School

“Thank you for another inspirational morning! Students left buzzing and full of excitement about Drama.”
James Watson, Head of Drama, Imberhorne School

“The GCSE students (especially the year 11s) were inspired and interestingly all their work in lesson post-workshop have been hugely influenced by the work. Students were captivated.”
Laura McConville, Head of Drama, Gordon’s School

Press on Woyzeck

… hilarious and horrific… frankly brilliant… spot-on chimpanzee impression…”
Three Weeks – Read the whole review…

Woyzeck, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2014
Reviewed by Three Weeks

Büchner’s fragmented tragedy of jealousy and madness is rightly regarded as an existentialist masterpiece. It’s just not usually this funny.

Splendid Productions confidently break down the bleak text, twisting it into a dark, anarchic music hall act that’s equal parts Brecht and Monty Python. Seamlessly splicing physicality, wicked asides and warm audience interaction, these three superb performers inject the show with wit, pathos and tremendous energy. It’s hilarious and horrific, erotic and brutal, and the hairpin emotional shifts could easily feel forced in less confident hands. Here though it’s never less than enthralling, held together with perfect timing, self assured ad-libs and a spot-on chimpanzee impression.

This is a powerful, unsettling experience and a frankly brilliant performance.
[Dave Fargnoli]

… There is never any doubt that the show is in good hands, and between the acerbic wit of the production and the delighted audience there is a clear investment from the company in giving the audience plenty of ideas to consider, but stopping short of telling them what to think.”
The List – Read the whole review…

Woyzeck, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2014
Reviewed by The List

In their rendering of Büchner’s unfinished text, Splendid Productions adopt a playful timbre that sees them skip between scenes, co-opt the audience as the rumour mongers, and gleefully demonstrate the mechanisms behind their skilful stagecraft: as Kerry Frampton gleefully cries ‘Scott’s started now, can’t you tell? There’s been a tonal shift!’

The ensemble’s familiarity with the spirit of clowning allows them to interact playfully with their audience, on whom they never dim the lights. There is never any doubt that the show is in good hands, and between the acerbic wit of the production and the delighted audience there is a clear investment from the company in giving the audience plenty of ideas to consider, but stopping short of telling them what to think. In his Pythonesque turn as the grandmother, Jimmy Whiteaker turns an unexpected burst of laughter from the audience into a jumping off point for further comic improvisation.

The direction by Mal Smith, Matt Wilde and Lucy Cuthbertson makes for a slick production, peppered with engaging details: foley-style sound effects, the almost mechanical eating of peas by Scott Smith’s Woyzeck, and the vividly realised caricatures of the Doctor and Captain performed by Frampton. Splendid Productions strike an energetic balance of playful and clever, with enough detail to keep you thinking well after the hour has passed.
[Elliot Roberts]

“There is pleasure behind every moment of this show and from this joy we see the sparks of destructive rage and annihilating authority”
Total Theatre – Read the whole review…

Woyzeck, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2014
Reviewed by Total Theatre

Before the play begins the three actors (Scott Smith, Kerry Frampton & Jimmy Whiteaker) are playing for us and with us, offering jovial enticements to engage. Their games are declared, we are all in the same room, there is dialogue back and forth, Whiteaker picks up on a audience response and plays with it. I find myself cast as a doctor. We are in the world of theatrical clown.

The company proceeds through the show’s unknown and unknowable order with playful brutality, rich tones of character and a rhythm that feels like rough tree bark dripping with grease. They paint a sumptuous portrait of the power of command and emotional turmoil over the broken Woyzeck. These are delicious grotesques, the pair of Doctors perverted, Frampton’s Captain corpulent and putrescent, a hobbled and creaking Woyzeck captured by Smith. Technically joyful, with points of play and dialog lined with precise fixed points, tactile stillness amid the stylised play.

There is tenderness mixed with aggression, the world is bleak, devoid of hope, the crimes recurrent, the passions deep and sinuous. You get a sense of each performer’s personal voice, there is no bland style rather each brings to the stage their idiosyncratic personal energy. There is delicacy too in the scenes of Woyzeck and Marie, adding pathos to the biblical jealousy and calm ruination of the final scene.

There is pleasure behind every moment of this show and from this joy we see the sparks of destructive rage and annihilating authority.
[Edward Rapley]

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