verbatim material and a courtroom setting, The
Investigation takes as its subject the Frankfurt Auschwitz
Trials, a series of criminal trials which took place almost 20 years
after the conclusion of the more famous military tribunals held in
Nuremberg in the immediate aftermath of the war.
Theatre introduce elements of physical theatre and contemporary dance
in an attempt to dramatise the harrowing testimonies of the guards
and medics who served at Auschwitz, and the prisoners who suffered in
the camp. There is some evocative choreography in the piece, but its
scope is limited by the cramped conditions of a stage far too small
for the company's physical ambitions.
documentary nature of the play also proves challenging for the young
cast. The ensemble are simply not flexible enough as actors to handle
The Investigation's breadth of characters:
witnesses of all ages and backgrounds are called to the stand but
playwright Peter Weiss's script gives so little away in terms of
character that the actors end up falling back on simplistic modes of
expression to portray the horrors examined in the play.