„Chess“ - The Musical

On June 12th our form 9b, our History and our English teacher met in front of the Stadttheater at 7:45pm to wtach „Chess“. Chess“ is a musical by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaes (members of the Swedish pop group ABBA), and Tim Rice and currently it is performed by the ensemble of the Stadttheater Bielefeld. Because of our school's cooperation agreement with the Stadttheater Bielefeld we were lucky to get a ticket for the show.
Before we went to the theatre we had learned about the historical background of the musical in our History lessons. In our English lessons we had discussed the plot and the lyrics of some of the songs which we had also listened to.

Here are some of our opinions, thoughts and statements we collected in class the next day:

•    I am very much interested in history. The stage design, the costumes and the actors helped a lot to get an idea of the Cold War era.

•    It was good that we had talked about the plot in class. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have understood the story.

•    The music was great but too emotional for me. I think it's rather a girls' show. But I enjoyed „One night in Bankog“ very much.

•    I liked the scene best in which Florence Vassy sings and tells the little girl to stand up and figth for her rights and dreams.

•    Roberta Valentini (Florence Vassy) is a wonderful singer and actor in my opinion. Her duet with Karin Seyfried (Svetlana) almost made me cry.  Anatoly Sergievsky has a great voice, too. But unfortunately the music was too loud sometimes so that we could not at all understand the lyrics – what was hard for us anyways.

•    I'm not really interested in love stories but I liked the music very much, especially the electric guitar and the drums were fantastic and it was very interesting to watch the musicians playing their instruments.

•    I liked the colourful and creative costumes best, especially the ones of the „Arbiter“ and of the Russian dancers.

•    The scene in which Frederik Trumper sits opposite  Anatoly Sergievsky and then suddenly freaks out and wipes the chess board and the figures off the table impressed me a lot. It must be hard to act that convincing.

•    Tim Rice's idea to use a game of chess in the times of the Cold War for the plot of a musical is very original and clever, I think. It is a very vivid and intersting way to teach history.

•    When we met in front of the theatre that evening everybody had dressed up a little, everbody was a little excited and in a good mood (even the football fans who missed the match Poland – Russia on TV!). That night probably made some of us a little bit more interested in theatre, what was one of our teachers' aims. But it was as well very good for our class because it was a really relaxed atmosphere and we had a nice evening  together, outside of our school.

•    I had never been to the theatre before. So just being inside that building was special and a little exciting for me. I liked the show and I can very well imagine to go to the theatre again soon. I think I never would have had that idea if my teachers hadn't „made“ me go there that night.

  by form 9b, June 21st  2012