Beware of Pity


Beware of Pity

09 Feb 2017 - 12 Feb 2017

£16.00 - £40.00

Pro reviewers rating
10 reviews

4.0 out of 5.0
Peer reviewers rating
1 reviews

3.0 out of 5.0

Young officer Hofmiller commits a faux pas at a soirée held by a Baron, unwittingly asking his paralysed daughter to dance. The mistake pulls him into a relentless train of events in this devastating depiction of honour, love and betrayal, realised against the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire – a catalyst for the outbreak of the First World War.

A vivid account of a young man’s slide into a terrible situation, his struggle to extricate himself from it raising questions of consciousness and compassion.

Two of Europe’s most boundary-pushing, imaginative theatre companies work together at the Barbican for the first time.

Performed in German with English surtitles

Part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary  

Ages 12+


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“Compelling... Nerve-racking... Uses brilliantly eloquent non-naturalistic means to build up a sense of unstoppable disaster.”

Paul Taylor (The Independent)

“McBurney is a maestro... the most acute sensibility for theatrical tone; a conductor's sensitivity to rhythm and timbre.”

Matt Trueman (What's On Stage, Time Out)

“Dazzling piece of storytelling theatre... Breathlessly told by the seven-strong ensemble... The kinetic pace of a thriller.”

Andrzej Lukowski (Time Out)

“Mesmerising production... soon takes on the compelling quality of a thriller... Subtly lends a new urgency to Zweig’s warnings.”

Sarah Hemming (Financial Times)

“Astonishing... A story of great psychological perception becomes a prophetic vision of a civilisation on the verge of collapse.”

Michael Billington (The Guardian)

“McBurney’s production has a hypnotic quality... While there are Complicite flourishes it’s the story that propels things.”

Natasha Tripney (The Stage, Time Out)

“The imagination of McBurney’s production leaps over even awkwardly placed subtitles... It fizzes on the spot.”

Susannah Clapp (The Observer)

“I have to confess to being more stupefied than swept away by this... Smacks of a nasty, strangely familiar fairy-tale.”

Dominic Cavendish (The Telegraph)

“McBurney and his actors build an extraordinary tension... Zweig's story is a compelling one, and strikingly told.”

David Nice (Arts Desk)

Reviews (1)    

3-stars is for my experience - I can't really review the piece. At times there's so much going on that it's a real challenge to read the titles and follow what's going on onstage. I suspect the visual element adds a lot if you speak German and can watch it properly. Nevertheless, it's a compelling piece of storytelling, with the slightly heightened quality of a deeply disturbing dream.

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Ivy Pavlova 15 Feb 2017