Drama in the dying moments of warComment on this story
Sie Weiss Alles
DIRECTOR: Tamara Guhrs
CAST: James Cairns, Taryn Bennet
VENUE: Kalk Bay Theatre
She knows everything, right? Or does she really? This is what a Wehrmacht captain (Cairns) tries to find out from a German actress (Bennet) in an interrogation room.
Sei Weiss Alles (she knows everything) is set in Nazi Germany in the dying days of World War II.
As the Russians are approaching Berlin, the only thoughts that flood the minds of the remaining SS personnel are that of survival and escape.
With the young actress trapped in his presence, it now becomes the Wehrmacht officer’s duty to find out the whereabouts of her father who, it is suspected, has gone to the Americans.
It is this fact that could actually help in their escape.
However, the answers all lie in the hands of this captured young woman.
In a fight for survival between the SS logistics officer and the woman, they quarrel their way to the truth.
Opening up with Bennet on Cairns’ lap in a romantic kissing clasp, the story plot at first is a bit hard to grasp.
But when the two decide to come up with a story to tell the big boss of the Nazis, it slowly becomes clearer.
The use of an old German war soundtrack adds well to set the tone and atmosphere for the Berlin era.
Cairns and Bennet’s German accents, an SS costume, tweed skirt and sundry props from that grim period in history give you the classic wartime feel.
And then there’s the famous Hamlet that comes into play, thanks to the actress who last performed the role of Ophelia when being critiqued by the captain himself a few years earlier.
They rehearse the “Get thee to a nunnery” scene from Hamlet, which they perform in front of a high-ranking Nazi official as though their lives depend on it (which in fact they do).
Watching the drama unfold between these two characters during this rehearsal process is thrilling and it is through these scenes that the depth of their characters is revealed, making for their best deliveries in the play.
Here it cleverly becomes a play within a play. The script is multi-layered, cleverly using wit and humour to enhance the drama.
There is tangible chemistry between Cairns and Bennet, who make the work totally absorbing, along with the underlying layers in the production which add to the various gripping observations.