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OYSTERS is a dark comedy shining a powerful spotlight on composer Johannes Brahms - at the party celebrating the first performance of his Violin Concerto. While observing his wit, his genius, his cruelty, his tenderness and his descent into self destructive inebriation, treating friends and associates with all the tenderness of a wrecking ball, we are propelled into a seething cauldron of passionate recriminations and hilarious outcomes.
Following his search for perfection in music, we meet a mesmerizing gallery of characters - the arthritic, embittered and ageing Clara Schumann from his past, mad, jealous unstable virtuoso Joachim, pompous and waspish critic Hanslick and gentle friend and disciple Von Herzogenberg. As the evening progresses and emotions turn on a sixpence the play moves to its extraordinary conclusion fuelled by turbulent emotion and farcical misunderstandings . And laughing through our tears we are continually challenged with the questions: Why Art? What price do we pay for it? Why do we need it?
"Compelling. Moving. The transformations were just wonderful. Acting of great versatility and depth and a fascinating story. I also found it very informative . There seemed to be something for everybody - lovers of music, lovers of history, lovers of a good story. The powerfully developed characters gave us an understanding of the music and the music gave insight into the characters - but there was always an intimacy which took you effortlessly into the world of the characters."
Barbara Gellhorn, Musician, theatre practitioner and resident of Laughton Lodge community