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The Investigation

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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Employing 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.

3Bugs 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.

The 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.


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