by Gilla Cremer
Ruth: Gilla Cremer
Pianist and friend: Gerd Bellmann
Director: Dominik Günther
Scenography: Eva Humburg
Assistant: Uschi Mierzowski
World premiere: 7 September 2016
People with strong friendships are less likely to fall ill, they live longer and are generally happier, claim the scientists. But what is a true friend? How many do we have and why do friendships end?
A well-attuned theatre pair fervently tackles the subject matter by accompanying four school friends on their journey through life. The actress Gilla Cremer and the pianist Gerd Bellmann sing about friendship, present its many faces and narrate stories which reflect equally loss and disappointment as well as trust, solace and joy.
Powerful images with three ladders and a rope
There are only four props on the stage (scenography: Eva Humburg) which Gilla Cremer plays with effortlessly, performing with great virtuosity: three ladders of different heights and a strong rope reflect relationships, developments, incidences, entanglements and render the balance of power immediately visible. It is fascinating to watch how they are made use of so subtly, accurately fitting and yet almost incidentally.
Gilla Cremer leaves sufficient space for her words to reverberate, to ignite our thoughts, to let us delve into memories. You can become involved and even irritated by the four individual paths taken through life, erupt in liberating laughter, recognise yourself in certain bits and find others simply hilarious.
Nothing is spared during the evening: We witness the mysterious blossoming of a friendship, the threads of attachment that often seem irrational, the construction of a world of symbols that is accessible only to the friends. The failure of some attempted friendships, the dense entanglement of the common threads of life, the litmus tests and disasters, the mistakes in life and impositions, similarities, silliness and – rarely – the exuberant or silent happiness in a true friendship.
‘Friendship’ is not – like all plays by Gilla Cremer – an evening that can easily be forgotten. It leaves a deep impression, awakens different memories in every member of the audience and triggers other, very personal thoughts.
A big round of applause at the end for Gilla Cremer and Gerd Bellmann for their two hours of dense text and acting. Theater Unikat’s ‘Friendship’ has added an enormous new jewel to its repertoire which would make for an equally interesting second viewing. Along with your best friend/s or on your own.
KulturPort HJ Fink
Dynamic One-Woman Show
Gilla Cremer’s dynamic one-woman show excites the audience. Her authentic, soulful and touching plea for friendship is thought-provoking.
Every minute of the play Gilla Cremer enthrals the audience with the life of others and makes it a true experience. She is a master at it. Full of energy and expression she shows many facets of friendship and reveals its different faces.
The friends at the centre of Gilla Cremer’s plot are three women and a man. They meet their first great loves, take up their first jobs, have fun on their holidays, envy each other for the first time, overcome conflicts and also encounter hurtful experiences.
NDR Kultur Emine Cekirge
Everyday yet pertinent observations
Directed by Dominik Günther, with Gerd Bellmann on piano (who brings Knut to life with minimal but funny mime) and a bare stage imaginatively designed by Eva Humburg, Cremer illuminates the many facets of friendship during the two and a half hour production.
What makes a friend a really good friend, a true friend? Gilla Cremer tries to get to the crux of this by scrutinising the relationships of her four protagonists – three women and a man. Her everyday observations are striking and apt, ensuring that everyone in the audience is likely to relate to them.
Songs, quotes, poems – Gilla Cremer’s powerful acting lets the elusive notion of friendship come to life on stage.