There are so many amazing shows, plays, concerts and events in Berlin. If I had the money and the time, I could go out every night and enjoy something, and I think I could spend more than a year doing that without ever having to repeat myself.
Now, I have neither the time nor wallet to be able to do quite so much, but I told myself that I would try to catch at least some of what this city has to offer and I'm working on it. Even when I have exams....
Okay, I hadn't exactly planned to do so much during my exams, but when two friends (one of whom I hadn't seen for at least half a year) turn up during the weekend right between two exams, what are you to do? Well, I made sure to study extra much the week before and spent time with them, walking through an icy Berlin the first day, and then hiding in various museums the second day. I absolutely
need to go back to the Neue Museum btw, we just had time to rush in, admire the Nefertiti Bust and peek at the Egyptian department - I think I could spend an entire day in there though, so much cool ancient things!
Anyway, while B-san and T-san had tickets to B2ST, I as it happened had booked (something like three days before they told me they were coming) tickets to Brecht's Dreigroschenoper
(The Threepenny Opera) and, well, ain't missing that for no exams!
It was A-MAZING. I managed to fuddle up things with the tickets just before we split up, so I had a load of stress getting there, but once I was inside, it took only a short time before I got into the flow of things.
This was a very cool, distanced rendering of the play, with mime-like make-up on the actors and extremely few props. Now, this is a style of theatre that is quite popular in Stockholm (in my, admittedly, limited experience) and for many plays and operas *cough*Wagner*cough*DonJuan*cough* it just doesn't work very well. It all tips over into uncomfortable sillyness and, depending on what kind of plot it has, sometimes it also gets too confusing to follow.
It's a bit different with Brecht, of course. This is what Dramaten seems to aim at and don't always hit.
Fluorescent tubes in front of a sometimes completely black stage, white faces in velvet jackets and and a androgynous Mack the Knife, with hints of both Marlene Dietrich and the Joker, against the wonderfully grotesque-clownish Peachums don't hinder the Threepenny Opera, but make the absurdity into a rather elegant joke. I've read several reviews of the play in German magazines, and some feel that this too cool, too stylish version has lost the political edge, but I dunno... It was all so peeled off, so bare, that the actors had to carry it almost entirely on their own, and they did so with a captivating and sometimes biting disdain for the issues of poverty, justice and fairness.
So that's what I did when I should've been studying. Don't regret a second :P
Tonight (which is actually after the exams, so go my planning skillz) I went with my landlady to see Philippe Jaroussky
, a countertenor who was singing French pieces in the Chamber Music Hall
by Potsdamer Platz.
Lovely. The songs were often very delicate and elegant, though some of them - especially at the end, he really relaxed during the extra numbers - were also very lively.
In the first half we unfortunately realized that our places weren't very good, since we were high up and just behind him, so the acoustics got a bit murky. The small size of the room and the amphitheatre shape, did however make it feel quite intimate.
After the break, we moved down (snagging the places left when two ladies moved even further down, heh) and then things really took off! I've got next to no knowledge about classical music, but there was something quite otherworldly about how his thrilled above the accompanying piano.
When we walked out, it felt as if I left several kilos of pure stress behind ^_^ Absolutely a treat that I received just at the right time
Afterwards, we walked round Potsdamer Platz and Eva showed me how the Berlinale works. Might go there tomorrow after school and see if I can catch something...