Der Premieren- und Festivalblog des Thalia Theaters Hamburg
Foto: Armin Smailovic
Von Malva Cepeda
„Helter skelter“, the impending apocalyptic race war, the end of time and the beginning of chaos.
Charles Manson believes the world we live in shall not be, and another one should take its place, something more similar to hell and the underworld, and the thin red line he was living in flowed from his libertine ways to his morbid doings.
Charles Manson: Summer of Hate was just a small representation of the larger than life character Manson was and still is.
The stage shows itself to all of us and we are all struck back to the United States of the sixties, the decade of love, peace and ideals. A catharsis happened as soon as the music, the hatred and the passion started. The costumes, the hair, the atmosphere; everything was perfectly set to create a far past, which hunts us until the now present. The youth rebelling against the society of the time by trying to get away from the past prudish decades.
The music was full with broken ideals and crying noises, executed with the right amount of sounds and voices. Though perfectly matched with the topic, there was a lack of content, of meaning dialogue. The public didn’t get to see the man behind the crimes, the meaning behind his logic. A bigger analyze, in regards to his persona was expected, some kind of psychological diagnosis to his diabolic ideals, so that the public may be able to understand and maybe find some kind of true reason to the crimes he committed in the name of some fake justice.
Though lacking in new content, there were some strong scenes, specially the one focused on the interview to Susan Atkins, one of the members of the „Manson Family“, in relation to the night of the Tate Murders. The public was able to see on the back of the stage the real footage of the interview. „I’m the devil and I am here to do the devil’s business“ is what Watson, also a member, said when he was asked by the people in the house of Tate who they were.
This particular scene was incredibly concise in showing the public how senseless were the acts committed that night, how Manson manipulated these people to engage in such a horrifying deed. Atkins said it herself, that she wasn’t able to „bring the knife down“, there must have been something inside of her at that time that told her, that what she was doing wasn’t right.
The actress was standing in the middle of the stage reciting the content of the interview and at some point the image in the back became bizarre and grotesque, giving a feeling of coldness in the room, which is exactly how the people that were murdered must have felt that horrid night.
Personally, I felt a sense of fear during the ending stages of the play, some kind of developing awareness of the world around us and the way people misunderstand the real meaning of justice and fairness. The world continues changing and we continue changing with it, maybe Charles Manson thought differently at the time and gave up on all hope on a better world, and with it a better society.