Since 1997, many of the international plays developed as part of the International Playwrights Group and through our International Play Development programmes have be...… Read more
The heart of Europe. 1942. Children playing, lovers’ tiffs, a deserted train station and a ramp rising towards a hangar. This is what you can see, but what should the Red Cross representative report say?
Juan Mayorga was a participant on the Royal Court’s International Residency 1997. WAY TO HEAVEN has previously been produced at the Teatro Mara Guerrero, Madrid by the Centro Dramatico Nacional. His other work has been produced in Spain and around Europe as well as in Argentina, Venezuela and USA.
Design: Miriam Buether, Lighting: Johanna Town, Sound: Ian Dickinson.
Cast: Vanessa Ackerman, Jack Binysh, Jake Briski, Leon Garner, Daniel Hart, Richard Katz, Claire Lichie, Alexander Main, Emma Pinto, Abraham Pirry, Jeff Rawle, Dominic Rowan.
INTERNATIONAL PLAYWRIGHTS A Genesis Project
This is a promenade performance
Running time: approx. 1 hour 40 minutes
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Dates in June
|Thu 16 Jun 2005||12:00am||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
Sold out Performances
L to R: John Barrard, Emma Pinto
Photography: Stephen Cummiskey
“Juan Mayorga’s play is about hell. This Nazi camp is based partly on Theresienstadt. The Way to Heaven, Himmelweg, is the ramp that leads to the gas chambers. The Red Cross representative (Jeff Rawle) visiting the camp doesn’t get the point. Nor does he know that Wannsee, the posh Berlin suburb where he is staying in a house once owned by Jews, is where Heydrich recently chaired the conference that set the Final Solution in motion. Nor does he know that the glimpses of ordinary life he sees between the huts – children playing, a man selling balloons, a couple having a quiet tiff – are all a setup, a theatre of deception contrived by the Commandant (Dominic Rowan), a young SS officer, bland, efficient, relentlessly affable. He has recruited a prisoner (Richard Katz) to assist him, and Katz face, his posture, the angle of his neck and head, tell you he has seen things no man should ever have seen. The quality of theatre, its rules, its perverse ceremonies, its need of role-playing, were among the grotesquely inhuman characteristics of the Final Solution. Mayorga, a Spaniard, has a vision like that of his compatriot Calderon: psychological and theological. Life is a dream, a nightmare. We are doomed puppets, manipulated by powers we have partly created. Knowledge is useless, understanding is impossible. This cool, shattering play, coolly and precisely acted, should not be missed.”
John Peter, SUNDAY TIMES4 stars 26 June 2005
“The horror of the situation captured alarmingly well by the cast” Metro
“Way to Heaven, a compelling, cunningly constructed play by the Spanish dramatist Juan Mayorga” The Independent
“Arrestingly staged in semi-promenade fashion by Ramin Gray” The Independent
“Gottfried, played with a terrific power of contained reproach by Richard Katz” The Independent
“Way to Heaven shows us how good theatre can nail down the symbolic and immoral emptiness of bad” The Independent
“powerfully written and imaginatively staged” The Guardian
“Director Ramin Gray and designer Miriam Buether make intelligent use of the enclosed space” The Guardian
“fine performances particularly from Dominic Rowan as the ostentatiously cultured Commandant Richard Katz as Gottfried” The Times