Runtime: 2h 00m
There is often a good reason why a play has gone unrevived for a century, but if it has been unfairly overlooked, you can bet it will be the postage-stamp sized Finborough which will notice and make amends. Written at the end of WW1, Georg Kaiser’s expressionistic parable tells of a man who grew up in poverty but becomes immensely rich by exploitation. But when his children challenge him, he takes drastic action involving a doppelganger. Emily Louizou of Collide Theatre—a company dedicated to reinventing classic texts in innovative ways—directs a tale of about how the endless quest for wealth destroys lives. Sounds horribly apt.
The first UK production in 100 years Join a father’s quest to escape the horror of his past. Join his children’s quest to change the status quo. The Millionaire is the autocratic boss of a factory, intent on acquiring as much wealth as possible in order to distance himself from his unhappy poverty-stricken childhood. He has hired his exact physical double, the Secretary, who impersonates him at public functions. The only physical difference between them is a piece of coral on the Secretary’s watchchain… The Millionaire’s son and daughter feel utter disgust for their father’s money and his ruthless exploitation of the poor. The last thing they want is to inherit the money and become like their father. Part parable, part family drama, and part thriller, tragic yet deeply cynical, Georg Kaiser’s symbolic and epic play is a radical exploration of humans’ absurd and eternal entanglement with money, a world where the few have accumulated so much wealth and so much power to be able to destroy the many. Playwright Georg Kaiser is one of Germany’s greatest dramatists, best known to UK audiences for his Expressionist classic, From Morning to Midnight. His plays, written just before and during a world war, ask vital questions about how we choose to lead our lives. First produced in 1918, and unseen in the UK since 1923, The Coral stands alone in its own right, but later became the first part of Georg Kaiser’s classic Gas trilogy. Collide Theatre’s passion for an expressionist aesthetic and a dream-like visual theatrical language provides the perfect frame for this unique rediscovery of Georg Kaiser’s unfairly neglected modern classic. Age Recommendation: 13+