'Man to Man' review or 'Is that a hare's foot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?'
'Man to Man', Manfred Karge
Park Theatre, 5th November 2014
Written for The Arts Desk
When it comes to the manly side of Ella’s new persona, Kelly is very strong. She has a deep "geezer" voice and, when she barks that she is "man enough to wear the faaaaakin' trousers", we believe her. It is the less bolshy moments, the spooky lyrical sections and sexily tinged fantasies, that fall flat.The most compelling scenes are those in which Ella, with her sweaty hair and pot belly, transforms into a brutish man in front of our eyes. We watch Ella’s first few days masquerading as a man, as she takes over her husband’s job as a crane operator and banters with his colleagues. In one particularly fierce scene, Ella sits on a chair – her legs splayed open – and swigs beer with the lads. Ella’s aggression builds and builds until, with defiance sparking from her eyes, she blasts out the words: "Ich bin ein Deutsche Mann!"