Collide Theatre in association with Neil McPherson for the Finborough Theatre Presents:
An Expressionist play about infatuation with money and the obsessive need to gain more
Written by Georg Kaiser | Directed by Emily Louizou
Finborough Theatre, 4 October – 29 October
A millionaire who grew up in poverty will do just about anything to gain more power and wealth at the expense of the class he was once a member of, but when his children challenge his ruthless exploitation, he is forced to commit the unthinkable.
We are thrilled to be bringing Georg Kaiser’s The Coral to the UK for the first time in 100 years this Autumn.
Part parable, part family drama, and part thriller, this Expressionist play, radical for its time, is an exploration of humankind’s infatuation with money and the power it holds over those who possess it.
Kaiser’s plays ask vital questions about how we choose to lead our lives and The Coral, the first part of his didactic Gas trilogy, is no exception.
Director: Emily Louizou
Designer: Ioana Curelea
Composer: David Denyer
Movement: Ioli Filippakopoulou
Lighting Designer: Amy Hill
Stage Manager: Nell Thomas
Script Consultant: Quentin Beroud
Assistant Producer: Arielle Zilkha
Assistant Director: Aska Hayakawa
Associate Producer: Samuel Skoog
Photography: Sanne Hofker
Production Photography: Marshall Stay
Research Assistant: Charlotte Thalia Neame
Translation Consultant: Natalia Kontiadi
Production Trailer: Teck Krol
Fundraising Collaborator: George Turner
Actors in poster: Vere van den Broek and Toby Robertshaw
Joanne Marie Mason
“Written more than 100 years ago The Coral is a stark depiction of a capitalist society rotting away. Kaiser was writing just after the end of the First World War - in a forever transformed world - presenting a prophetic vision of a society doomed to destruction. Why are we staging it today? Because our world has - to one’s despair - too many similarities with Kaiser’s world. Collide’s passion for an expressionist aesthetic and dream-like visual theatrical language provides the perfect frame for an evening full of twisted doppelgangers, nightmarish visions, and futile escapes.”
What the critics said:
"Emily Louizou's bracing production for Collide ensures the issues are pungent and honours Kaiser’s earnest plea for the common good....
A striking design by Ioana Curelea solves the need to cast identical actors in the roles – Laing and Woolley first appear with their faces fully covered with red material, in one of several eerily choreographed routines. Woolley retains the mask throughout, creating a chilling visage that is paralleled in a scarlet-daubed portrait on the wall. Laing is gruffly combustible as the Millionaire, clashing with his eldest child (a daughter rather than the son of Kaiser’s original) who rebukes the family’s riches. Joanne Marie Mason gives the daughter the right weary certainty, offset by lighter comic performances from the multi-roling Esme Scarborough and Arielle Zilkha.
[...] the production often has a dynamic panache, thanks in part to Ioli Filippakopoulou’s movement direction. David Denyer’s score provides an unnerving industrialised clang, Amy Hill’s lighting design evokes the psychedelic colours of a reef and Kaiser’s closing metaphor of a harmonious coral colony lingers in the mind.
Collide are clearly a company to keep an eye on."
The Guardian [October 2022]