Students from the Arts University College at Bournemouth performed Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening at the Poole Lighthouse theatre.
Spring Awakening, Frühlings Erwachen in German, was written in 1891 and first performed in 1906 and then banned for several years due to its controversial content including sexuality, homosexuality, suicide and abortion.
Firstly, it was a great performance from all the AUCB student actors and the plot proved interesting, but a little lost.
Spring Awakening is almost a 1900’s German version of the film Trainspotting. The essence of it is the confusion of sexuality, education and the life of the youth and the absurdity of the rules and ideas at that time.
The actors really delivered this emotion to the audience. Ben O’ Shea’s performance as Moritz was precisely as it should be. He really brought this sensitive poor boy back to life. He let the audiences feel the depression and sensitivity of Moritz, the pressure of the whole education system in 1900’s Germany.
Almost every actor had more than one character in the play, but it worked well, especially for Peter Shimmin who had three characters and every time he entered the stage he represented each part distinctly.
The tale of Wendla-Melchior which is supposed to be the main plot line of this play, wasn’t fully developed. The whole script payed more attention to presenting the whole environment of the society and education system, this was ambitious to give a broader view.
However, in a 3 hour play, the Wendla part of the whole play was rushed. Her tragic story could have been presented in a more touching way with longer scenes and more foreshadowing.
Also, the music is the weak link of the play. There wasn’t enough music through the show which could have brought it to a whole new level, and the music it had was also not a very good choice. Sometimes it did not portray the emotion properly and sometimes even distracted audiences from the scenes.
All in all, it is actually quite a good work from AUCB though it has some flaws. Pay attention to these talented actors, they may bring you a real masterpiece some time in the future.