Theatre Event

Taking Sides

The Crescent Theatre Company presents

Taking Sides

by Ronald Harwood | Directed and Designed by Alan K. Marshall

17 - 24 Jan in the Studio at 7.45pm | Matinees: Sunday 18 & Saturday 24 January 2.45pm

There will be an After Dark discussion following the 19:45 performance on Fri, 23rd Jan. Free to ticket holders.

This riveting play by Ronald Harwood, writer of stage and screenplays including The Dresser and Quartet, is set in Berlin, 1946. The great German conductor, Wilhelm Furtwängler, is being investigated as a suspected Nazi party member. Based on Furtwängler’s own diaries, the play follows the protracted, brutal denazification process that he underwent.

His nemesis, the ill-mannered and foul-mouthed Major Arnold, stoops to any level to force the conductor into an admission of guilt in this intense, head-on collision between the cultured and brave man of music and his crass, blinkered persecutor.

The play raises issues of guilt and compliance that still resonate today and reminds us all that we should never allow ourselves to be fooled by appearance.

Directed and Designed by Alan K. Marshall


Major Steve Arnold - Graeme Braidwood
Emmi Straube - Lara Johnson
Tamara Sachs - Amy Findlay
Helmuth Rode - Phil Rea
Lieutenant David Wills - Scott Richards
Wilhelm Furtwangler - Tony Daniels

Production Team

Production Assistants - Carolyn Bourne, Jackie Blackwood
Stage Manager - Alan Bull
Lighting Design - Jack Tustin
Sound Design - James Booth
Wardrobe - Vera Dean, Pat Brown
Properties - Richard Constable
Lighting Operators - Jack Tustin, Craig Storey, Ollie Emmerson
Pyrotechnics - Chris Briggs
Dialect Coach - Michael Barry
Dramaturg - James Knapp
Set Construction - James Booth, Alan K Marshall, Judy O’Dowd, Ian Moule, Alan Bull, Richard Constable, Andy Elkington, Carolyn Bourne, Jackie Blackwood

Audience Reations:

"This was a remarkble production of a remarkable play, and one of the best evenings I've had at the Crescent. The performances were excellent, exhibiting a degree of focus and emotional truth that was moving one minute, and genuinely funny the next. Special mentions for Graeme Braidwood's brash and driven Major Arnold, Lara Johnson's nuanced and heartfelt Emmi, and for Phil Rea as a rather lovable Helmut Rode. The direction was precise and gave plenty of room for the characters and their words to take centre stage. The set was wonderfully atmospheric, supported effectively by the lighting and some subtle uses of sound - the ticking clock in Act One was used brilliantly. Congratulations to everyone involved - I'm sure it takes a lot of people a lot of time to put something like this together!"

"Indeed rivetting - constant dramatic punch interspersed with poignant hilarity and topical intrigue - as a musician it was fascinating from a historical perspective, but highly recommended to anyone and if these guys aren't just as good as the RSC then I was once a second violin in the Berlin Philharmonic." Anon

“Just back, and still reeling, from Taking Sides. I have seen many wonderful things at The Crescent, but this was just off the radar! Do, please, see it. Cannot use enough superlatives!” JC

“I enjoyed Taking Sides this afternoon; an interesting play, a thoughtful production and some terrific performances. Recommended.”

“Some really fantastic and skillful work by the cast of taking sides last night. Well done all.” DH

“Very well done to the ensemble of Taking Sides. Excellent performances all round.”

"Fantastic performance from a strong cast, I was absorbed from start to finish, a difficult and demanding play to stage but everyone contributed to an intelligent and thought provoking piece of theatre. The elegant but flawed humanity of Furtwangler equally matched by the ultimately decent American officer. Love The Crescent!"

Taking Sides is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, LTD

Tickets: £11 | £10 Concessions | Sunday Matinee only: £6.00

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