Woyzeck


Missing Cat
Greenside @ Infirmary Street – until August 17th
2 Stars (2 / 5)


What is it like to be Franz Woyzeck? Feverish, lost in a time and place, betrayed and frustrated. Missing Cat brings this to the stage for the audience to experience.

Woyzeck is a soldier, no money to get married to his girl, Marie, who he has a baby with. No money to feed his family. He agrees to participate in a Doctor’s experiment, eating nothing but peas for 3 months. He performs menial jobs for his Captain for extra cash. He gets shouted at and humiliated over and over again.

From the very beginning Franz is unstable and obviously missing some marbles.When he discovers that Marie is cheating on him he loses his senses and kills her, brutally.

Missing Cat touches the social issues of poverty, military discipline, bullying, and many others that lead to the dehumanization and objectification of a person.

However what remains is an acceleration of everyone from Woyzeck’s world (all of them played by one actor with an exception of Marie) circling around him creating a feeling of chaos and a web of insanity. Just like Franz, I felt lost among all the characters, not sure who is who in the fast parade, even though the characters were clearly differentiated with accents and gestures.

In order to sketch the characters, rather than to draw them, even Marie underwent simplification. In every scene she revealed a different part of herself. At one point she is promiscuous and in the following scene she eats a humble pie and prays. However we, the audience, can only guess what changed her so much, which makes the character look just as unravelled as Franz.

The space is not set up for dramatic situations or describing relationships between characters. The boundary between stage and backstage is cancelled and sounds effects are produced from a microphone in a distant part of the room. It was very exciting to observe, but it all led to perception of Woyzeck as a live radio drama rather than a dramatic performance.

It is engaging to observe such a high-energy performance however it leaves you wondering what actually happened. I’m still hoping to figure out what was it about.