Man to Man: a spellbinding revival

Tom Slater

Tom Slater

Topics Culture

After premiering at the Fringe in 1987, and launching the career of one Tilda Swinton, Manfred Karge’s one-woman play Man to Man receives a stellar Edinburgh homecoming at the Underbelly Potterow this year. Telling the story of a young widow in Nazi Germany who assumes her dead husband’s identity, it’s a startling portrayal of the complications, the dangers and the psychological contortions of keeping a mortal secret in dark and uncertain times.

Stretching over 40 years – and now, thanks to an additional section, stretching up to the fall of the Berlin Wall – actress Margaret Ann Bain is a revelation as she contorts her body, changes her voice and scales the walls as she wrestles with her inner demons and competing identities. All the while, Andrzej Goulding’s ingenious set, full of projected silhouettes and hidey holes, provides the perfect mental climbing frame. Spellbinding.

Tom Slater is assistant editor at spiked.

Man to Man is at the Underbelly Potterow until 31 August.

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