Linck & Mülhahn at Hampstead Theater review
Another week, another non-binary performance. Following the fabulous Emma Corrin as the gender-swapped Orlando, Scottish actress Maggie Bain takes on the equally challenging role of Anastasius Linck, a late-18th-century soldier from Hanover who is neither male nor female, but “something else.”
Deserting from the army, they work at a fabric emporium where they meet Catharina Mulhahn (Helena Wilson), a rebellious progressive “spinster” who dabbles in Descartes and longs to escape the suffocating embrace of her overprotective mother (Lucy Black).
Their romance is sparked by mutually articulate wit and quickly consummates in ways I can’t detail in a family newspaper.
Suffice to say, they marry and live happily as husband and wife until Mom blows the whistle on their unnatural union and they are tried for sodomy or lesbianism, depending on what they admit.
Based on real events and characters, Ruby Thomas’s play is a rapier-sharp historical romp, laced with sparkling dialogue, ultimately drawing blood and tears.
Owen Horsley’s direction has a light touch that makes the anachronisms palatable, especially the strong bursts of punk music that punctuate the scenes, mischievously selected as erotically charged reference points.
The Sex Pistols and The Buzzcocks are included, though they missed a trick by not including anything from Stiff Little Fingers.
- Linck & Mülhahn at Hampstead Theater until March 4 Tickets: 020 7722 9301
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