performed by Het Homerostheater
Saturday, 19 January 2019
Directed Arne Sybren Postma
Starring Lara Stanisic and Sandy Topzand
Last night I had the privilege of seeing Het Homerostheater's production, The State of Mary, at WORM, Rotterdam. I say privilege with all sincerity; Het Homerostheater has been performing this script for a while, honing it for at least a year. Last night's performance was a culmination of their work.
Starring Lara Stanisic and Sandy Topzand, The State of Mary draws on historical works and imagination to create a compelling and fascinating study between Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, the contested heir to the Throne of England. Artfully directed by Arne Sybren Postma, the performance utilized the negative space of the room to their full advantage. An inventive and wonderful modular set design, created by Micah Westera, took center stage in the darkened room and was the perfect foil to this production that effortlessly swung from physical comedy to serious drama and back again. The costumes designed by Greet van Buytene and Joke van de Graaf were a wonderful amalgamation of modern and period, allowing both actors to quickly move between characters scene to scene.
The power of Stanisic and Topzand's performances was undeniable. They entered in simple lingerie, greeting each other and the audience as they dressed on stage in preparation for the performance. At a nod they were off, modifying their body language, accents, and costumes scene to scene. We were introduced both Queens: Mary (Stanisic) and Elizabeth (Topzand). When not playing royalty both actors took accompanying roles as ladies' maids, slipping effortlessly into submissive and often very comedic characters. I found myself amazed at this movement back and forth, so much so that I sometimes lost the thread of dialogue because I felt so flabbergasted by the sheer magnitude of what I was witnessing. The script offered the actors ample improvisational latitude and they took full advantage of it, addressing and even using audience members on stage.
Last night was a total triumph for all involved, and a total delight for the entire audience.