Das Spiel @ The Ovalhouse Theatre Review

Das Spiel, Das Spiel, Das Spiel – the audience repeats as the performer invites one more person to be part of the game. Everyone is playing – direct or indirectly. This is a carefully and obscurely crafted performance, highly interactive and connecting the audience to that specific time and place.

 

A serious of random, yet incredibly connected series of events takes place leading up to the choice of a trustworthy person from the audience and four players, me amongst them. After initially proving his outstanding abilities to sense things even when deprived of his own senses, Philipp Oberlohr, physical theatre actor and magician, takes us completely into his game. We are all laughing with him, on a first name basis and holding hands with him as he calls us onto the stage. This feels personal, it feels welcoming – it really makes you feel that there is nowhere else you could have possibly been that evening other than there.

He blatantly looks us all in the eyes and reads us shamelessly. I was chosen as a player and had to secretively write down on a piece of paper the name of my first kiss. Needless to say I wasn’t hired to act here and still, without him ever having a chance to read the paper, he guesses what is written there. He guesses everything the four players have written and delivers these guesses in such a theatrical and dreamlike way that it makes you feel that magic really does exist. We hold our heads as in thinking – “This is not possible!” – but the eeriest part is yet to come. I won’t spoil it for those who will watch it still – but there is an envelope hanging in the wall of the theatre space from the beginning that, as it is opened only in the end, reveals some fantastic truths. Philipp I would now like to thank you personally for calling out to my imagination, wonder and ability to remember. Thank you for letting me be part of the game.

It is quite unsettling to leave this show and not know how on earth the things that happened in it were even possible. One cannot stop thinking about it, as it is a question left unanswered. We, curious human beings, want the answers to those unanswered questions. But I suppose Philipp would not share his ways with me, even after our rendez-vous in Tokyo where I re-lived my first kiss, as some mysteries are best unsolved – specially for those who live off of them. 4.5/5

Review written by Sofia Moura.

Das Spiel is currently showing at the Ovalhouse Theatre until Saturday 16th May. For more information on the production, visit here…

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