‘UNSER MANN IN HAVANA’ PERFORMED IN BAD WIMPFEN ON 18 MAY 2022.
It was reported in the February 2022 ASON that the premier of a stage production of ‘Unser Mann in Havana’ had taken place at the Badische Landesbühne Theatre in Bruchsal, Baden Württemberg in November 2021. As I live in Munich I thought what a chance I had missed to see a Graham Greene book adapted for the stage in Germany so I investigated further. I found much to my delight or maybe relief that other performances were up and coming and I chose to see the one in Bad Wimpfen on 18 May 2022. I also contacted Die Badischche Landesbühne in Bruchsal telling them about the piece in ASON and my interest in Graham Greene and they very kindly sent me the programme and poster for the play.
I travelled by train to Bad Wimpfen (about 250K from Munich) on Tuesday, 17 May. Bad Wimpfen is also in Baden Württemberg and is a relative small spa town high above the Neckar river with a population of around 7,500. The town as shown below has many half-timbered houses. There is also a Kurpark (Spa park) away from the centre and it was in the Kursaal (Spa hall) that the play was performed.
UNSER MANN IN HAVANNA IN KURSAAL BAD WIMPFEN 18 MAY 2022
First of all I have to say how much I enjoyed the production. There were four actors plus a guitar player (who sat stage right). The role of Wormold was played by René Laier and 15 roles were shared out Tobais Strobel, Martin Behlert and Nadine Pape. I was amazed by the versatility of the actors. The production was 1 hour 45 minutes long with no break. There were very few props on stage – three high back blue chairs used for example as seats in an aeroplane when Carter sits next to Wormold, three stools used among other things as car seats and an orange long desk used as a bank counter, a bar and a dining table. When the play moved to discussions in London the actors held open black umbrellas above their heads. I thought the play had pace, captured the story well, and with the actors changing their roles at times as they stood on stage this only added to the humour of the story.
Before going into the hall I asked if I could meet the actors after the play had finished. I was given a very positive ‘Yes’. I first spoke to the assistant director Kristina Ebeling and told her how I had found out about the play and also about the Graham Greene Birthplace Trust. She was very pleased to hear about this and then I meet the actors who kindly signed my programme.
I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening and I think it is highly notable that a relatively small theatre group go to great lengths to provide such cultural events for small towns.