Just Call Me God: A dictator’s final speech @ Union Chapel
Music theatre production commissioned by Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
Michael Sturminger: director, writer & producer
John Malkovich: Satur Diman Cha Head of State and General of the Armies of the United People’s Republic of Circassia, called the Dictator
Sophie von Kessel: Caroline Thomas attractive and successful journalist in her early forties, chief interviewer for CCN-TV
Martin Haselböck: music director, organist & producer
Watching John Malkovich on stage is an opportunity I couldn’t miss, and despite him being VERY John Malkovich, this production is a bit of a letdown. I have a morbid fascination of dictators - their larger than life personalities, idolisation through self-promotion and myth making as a tool for control of the masses - so the idea of John Malcovich playing a dictator gone underground in his subterranean private concert hall accompanied by the organ (THE instrument of power), seemed too good to be true. It was.
The Union Chapel is a magnificent venue and undoubtedly the star next to Malcovich. This show could have been monumental with better writing, but in the end Malkovich’s portrayal of Satur Diman Cha is nothing more than a caricature. There are incredibly funny lines, but the framing story is useless and when Malkovich is off stage we are left with very little…. except the Chapel itself.
Michael Sturminger is a writer and director of opera and theatre productions, as well as feature films. He has worked with the best of the best in opera, but his talent is completely lost in this production.
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