Thursday, August 22, 2013


Ludwig&Lohengrin is a production at the 32nd annual Edmonton Fringe Festival on the life of Ludwig II of Bavaria, either the Dream or Mad King of Bavaria.

The production is written, directed and stars Calgarian, Kyall Rakoz. Rakoz portrays all the characters in the production.

I give this production 4/5. Some of you might not know but lately I have been getting into a couple of internet arguments over how far the liberties of interpretation can go. My argument is that interpretation should be formed from true facts - the blurred lines are where you can open yourself to interpretation, not what is generally assumed aka considered facts. And with in this vain, Ludwig&Lohengrin does it brilliantly. All of the plot points corroborated fully with the knowledge I already have of Ludwig (although some might take this as an indicator of how very little I know of the Dream King of Bavaria - teehee) but it had the right amount of zest to make it come alive. The murky points of the king's insanity and death are done exceptionally well by Rakoz. In fact, the production taught me something new. I had no idea that Duchess Sophie Charlotte in Bavaria fell in love with Edgar Hansfstaengl during her engagement to King Ludwig. Some characters are exaggerated for comedic effect but on the whole, lots of research into the production and it really shows. 

You can tell that Rakoz really tried to get into the mind of Ludwig II - despite the fact that Rakoz never actually plays the character. It's all told from the different perspectives of people that knew him. It is not big production as Rakoz wears twenty first century clothing with only a white sheet to aid him but he manages to pull it off. A minor detail that I could not help but love is that when he portrays a woman he will tie the sheet around his waist. To the average person this would obviously just indicate that he is portraying a woman but for those that know a bit of Victoria fashion, Rakoz actually does make a bustle. 

After asking four friends to go with me to this production, I was at the end of my rope when I decided to ask my friend, Blanche. She was the perfect companion to go with me. During her highschool days, she had gone on the school trip to Europe and that year they went to Bavaria to see Neuschwanstein Castle. After the production was over and we went to go grab a bite to eat, she was telling me all about how accurate his description of the castle was and then she went off recounting how beautiful the castle was. Going with Blanche was an absolutely amazing experience - I really feel that I connected with someone on an intellectual level that day.

It is such a pity that I do not know of any historical drama fans that lives in Edmonton because I would surely recommend this to them and we could call it a fairy tale date.

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