Ganesh Versus the Third Reich
Royal Lyceum Theater
The Royal Lyceum is a beautiful traditional theater; gilt tiers and opulent surroundings, it is a real joy to experience, & Ganesh Versus the Third Reich is suited perfectly to this grand location. A powerful, sensitive, awe inspiring play, which leaves you questioning the very essence of reality and belief. It’s the tale of the Hindu God Ganesh who embarks on a journey to Berlin during the second world war to take back the swastika, which was originally a Hindu symbol of strength and overcoming obstacles. On another level the play is about the surprising and unlikely cast, who are in the process of creating the play, facing their own challenges and power struggles and questioning their responsibility in recreating history. It deals with issues of power and ownership, fact and fiction, mythology and the role it plays in the identity of culture.
Ganesh versus the Third Reich is a wonderfully crafted piece of theatre working on so many levels, weaving humor and horror as effortlessly as it slips from the land of Gods to the folly of man. The space is ingeniously utilized, with back lit shadows and layers of transparent curtains that conjure up otherworldly scenes. We are transported from mythical forests in the company of an elephant headed god to ominous train journeys through German mountain ranges, to then be snapped out of the moment, as the curtains are ripped back, to a stark empty stage and another layer of the process of the creation of the play. The visual layers echo the depth of truth that this beautifully crafted script explores.
The actors carry this play to another level of theater that seems almost impossible to achieve, a humane, humorous and powerful performance by each one of the unique characters that we meet. Ganesh versus the Third Reich is a thought provoking exploration of the nature of humanity. It questions how people create myths, how myths creates beliefs, that are then reduced to symbols that themselves become the corner stone of cultures that adopt them. This wonderfully crafted piece exists on so many levels, making us question the very fabric of reality and history, and the part that we play in it. Powerful and beautifully executed. A mesmerising theatrical journey. FIVE STARS
Reviewer : Glenda Rome