Danielle Tarento presents the Mercury Theatre, Colchester production of

Man To Man

by Manfred Karge, translated by Anthony Vivis

Directed by
Tilly Branson

Designed by
Eleanor Field

Lighting Design by
Sarah McColgan

Sound Design by
John Chambers

Lucy Jenkins CDG and Sooki McShane CDG



Manfred Karge [Writer]

Manfred Karge was born in 1938. After drama school, he was invited by the world-famous actor, director, ex-wife of Bertolt Brecht, and one-time head of the Berliner Ensemble, Helene Weigel, to join the Berliner Ensemble in 1961. In 1963 he began work with Matthias Langhoff, and also started his career as an actor in major movies.

In 1969 Karge/Langhoff moved to the Volksbuehne, East Berlin. In 1975 they staged the premiere of Heiner Mueller’s Die Schlacht (The Battle). Productions followed in Hamburg, Geneva, Cologne and Hanover. Claus Peymann installed Karge at the Schauspielhaus Bochum. Productions took place in Paris, Zurich, Stuttgart, and other cities.

In 1982 the world premiere of Karge’s first play, Jacke wie Hose, was staged at the Schauspielhaus Bochum, directed by Manfred Karge. Under the English title Man to Man, Tilda Swinton played the character Max Gericke (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh 1987; Royal Court Theatre 1988), and it was filmed. Karge’s second play, Conquest of the South Pole, followed in 1988 (Traverse Theatre 1988, Royal Court 1988) and was filmed.

With Claus Peymann, Karge went to the Burgtheater, Vienna, in 1986 to stage work by Brecht, Fuehmann, Jelinek and others. From 1993 onwards, he has managed the Ernst Busch Acting School in Berlin. He has appeared (as Hassenreuter) in Hauptmann’s Die Ratten (The Rats), as well as (Dr Schoen) Wedekind’s Lulu at the Maxim Gorki Theater. In the last few years Karge has been active as an actor and director at the Berliner Ensemble taking major roles in Richard II, Mother Courage und Ihre Kinder and Die Heilige Johanna der Schlachthöefe. His productions include Schweyk in the Second World War, Fear and Suffering of the Third Reich, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and the Hanns Eisler Revue.

Two books by Karge are published by Alexander Verlag, Berlin: Die Eroberung des Südpols - Sieben Stücke, as well as Nach der Übung all der Jahre - Lieder, Gedichte und Geschichten (After All the Years of Practice - Songs, Poems and Stories). Major plays include: Jacke wie Hose (1982), Claire (1985), Die Eroberung des Südpols (1985), Lieber Niembsch (1988/89), Killerfische (1988/90), Die bärtige Frau (1989), Mauerstücke (1989/90), Faust 1911 (1995) and Faust - Ein Gastmahl/Faust - Eine Höllenfahrt (1996).


Anthony Vivis [Translator]

Best known as the translator of Fassbinder, Kroetz and Karge, Anthony Vivis has been translating German drama since 1966, with performances at the RNT, the RSC, the Royal Court and the Gate Theatre, as well as frequent and wide-ranging productions abroad, including one in Toronto in the last two years. His translations also cover contemporary Austrian drama, including that of Nobel Prize winner, Elfriede Jelinek. Methuen has recently published his translation of Kroetz Plays One, and his translation of Through the Leaves has been performed in the West End (at the Duchess Theatre), as well as at many other venues, here and abroad. For several years he was assistant, then dramaturg, of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has also written a short play about Anton Chekhov, which still awaits production. 

Sadly Anthony passed away during the run in Colchester earlier this year.


Tilly Branson [Director]

From 2011-2013 Tilly was Associate Director at New Perspectives Theatre Company, where she directed Entertaining Angels by Brendan Murray (Lakeside Arts Centre and touring); as well as Due Course (2013) and Goldfish (2012), touring shows created by New Perspectives’ STEP UP Creatives training ensemble. 

She is an associate member of all-female theatre company the Gramophones, most recently directing End to End, which received four and five star reviews at Buxton and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals in 2012 and has toured nationally twice. Other directing work includes Those Magnificent Men (assistant director, Edinburgh Fringe 2011 and two national tours),  Skybus (assistant director, Derby LIVE), Always in the Afternoon, (staged reading, TheatreWriting Partnership Momentum Festival) and TiG (staged reading, Arletty Theatre).

In 2012 New Perspectives and the University of Nottingham received AHRC funding for Tilly to do a Collaborative PhD, researching and making new forms of work for rural touring, which is currently underway. Tilly is also a member of the Young Vic Directors Program.


Eleanor Field [Designer]

Since graduating from RADA’s postgraduate theatre design course in July 2011, Eleanor has worked on a variety of theatre projects including Borderline with Derby Theatre, Romeo and Juliet with RADA Enterprises (Royal Court, QM2); Peaceful with the Off-Off-Off Broadway Theatre Company (Edinburgh, Buxton and Camden Festivals) and devised pieces Anything to Declare (UK tour) and The Smallest Light (Edinburgh 2013). Eleanor also returned to RADA to design Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night for their summer Shakespeare season and school tours. Design for children’s theatre include Bringing Down the Moon with Peaceful Lion Productions (the Pleasance, London, and UK tour) and Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror for OnO Theatre Company (Old Vic Tunnels). Eleanor has designed the musical Bright Lights, Big City for Trinity Laban (the Albany) and design for opera includes two summer seasons with Westminster Opera Company taking Don Pasquale and Il Barbiere di Siviglia to Château de Panloy (Port d’Enveau, France) and The Four-Note Opera with Dioneo Opera Company (touring this autumn). Eleanor also designed the television campaign for Childline’s ‘School’s Out’ initiative.

Eleanor’s full portfolio can be found at www.eleanorfielddesign.com


Sarah McColgan [Lighting Designer]

Sarah Mc Colgan graduated from the technical theatre degree at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, in 2011, specialising in lighting. She has a BA (hons) in Drama and Theatre Studies, with French, from University College Cork. Sarah recently co-lit, with Jason Taylor, the world premiere of John Godber’s new play Jack Steele and Family at the Crucible, Sheffield. Other lighting designs include: KatieMag (Everyman, Cork); Strange Forces (Circus Space, London); Bringing Down the Moon (Pleasance Theatre, London, and tour); Pagliacci (Everyman, Cork - winner of The Irish Times Irish Theatre Award for Best Opera Production) and The Pilgrimage Project (Wilton’s Music Hall, London). Sarah is an associate member of the Association of Lighting Designers. www.sarahmccolgan.co.uk


John Chambers [Sound Designer]

John studied music composition at Trinity College of Music, where he was awarded the Daryl Runswick Composition Prize, the John Halford Composition Prize, and the Chappell Composition Prize. His musical output includes: orchestral and choral works, electroacoustic compositions, music for theatre and contemporary dance, and (occasionally) fanfares for royalty.

Previous sound design and music for theatre includes: Steven Berkoff’s Oedipus (Spoleto Festival, USA; Edinburgh, Nottingham and Liverpool Playhouses); Bringing Down the Moon (UK tour); A Christmas Carol (New Perspectives); White Feathers and A Hero of Our Time (KUDOS); Biblical Tales (New End Theatre); King of the Gypsies (Edinburgh Festival and UK tour); She Stoops to Conquer (Nuffield Theatre, Southampton); Rumpelstiltskin (Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell); The Canterbury Tales (Castle Mound, Bedford); The Big Ugly Monster and the Little Stone Rabbit (Edinburgh Festival and UK tour) and as musical director and arranger: Nosferatu - A Tale of Horrors (Arcola Theatre).