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The luminosity of 1980s Berlin is brought compellingly to present day Liverpool by the Everyman Company in The Conquest of the South Pole. Associate Director Nick Bagnall directs Manfred Karge’s story of rebels who imagine themselves on Roald Amundsen’s expedition in their attic. Full of inventiveness, defiance and aspiration, the spirit of this classic European text is as vital now in Brexit Britain as it was in Germany 30 years ago.
‘No it’s not triumphs we need to act out, friends, not triumphs. We do failures better, they’re our staple diet. Every trip to Poundland is a failure. Every phone call about a job ad is a failure. Spending so many hours at the keyboard the letters come off on your hands.’
Manfred Karge’s, The Conquest of The South Pole is a story about a desire to break free from the underclass and unemployment through five young people’s journey of hope in the face of adversity. This story of togetherness, friendship and never giving in resonates in Liverpool like no other city in Britain.
Originally written in East Berlin in for another famous group of actors, the Berliner Ensemble, it is now brought to life by another; the new Everyman Company.
Director Nick Bagnall said: “The themes in The Conquest of the South Pole speak directly to the heart of this city. A city which refuses to give in and is not prepared to back down. It’s a play about holding hands, telling stories and using your imagination.”
Manfred Karge began his career as an actor at the Berliner Ensemble under the leadership of Bertolt Brecht. As an auteur in his own right Karge is one of the most produced contemporary German playwrights. His plays include Man to Man and Killer Fish. The Conquest of the South Pole was first performed in Alexander Verlag, Berlin in 1986 and has since been performed in more than 15 other countries around the world.
The cast for the production is Dean Nolan (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Everyman; Oresteia, Shakespeare’s Globe) as Slupianek, George Caple (Who Cares, The Lowry; Epic Love and Pop Songs, The Pleasance) as Braukmann, Liam Tobin (Hamlet, Clwyd Theatr Cymru; Clybourne Park, Unity Liverpool) as Buscher, Emily Hughes (Into the Woods, Oxford School of Drama) as Seiffert, Laura Dos Santos (The Morris, Everyman;Educating Rita, Menier Chocolate Factory) as La Braukmann and Zelina Rebeiro (Three Sisters & Othello, Royal Court Upstairs) as Frankie Boy, along with Patrick Brennan (Land Of My Fathers, Theatre 503; A Shadow Of A Gunman, Tricycle) as Rudi and Keddy Sutton (Farting Around in Disguises, Everyman; Peppa Pig, West End) as Rosi.
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