Linck & Mülhahn at Hampstead Theatre reviewFebruary 16, 2023
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Another week, another non-binary performance. Following the fabulous Emma Corrin as the gender-changing Orlando, Scottish actor Maggie Bain takes on the equally challenging role of Anastasius Linck, a Hanoverian soldier in the late 18th Century who is neither man nor woman but “something other.”
Deserting from the army they work in a cloth emporium where they encounter Catharina Mulhahn (Helena Wilson), a progressive and rebellious ‘spinster’ who dabbles in Descartes and aches to escape from the smothering embrace of her over-protective mother (Lucy Black).
Their romance is sparked by a mutually articulate wit and is rapidly consummated in ways I cannot detail in a family newspaper.
Suffice to say, they get married and live happily as man and wife until Mum blows the whistle on their unnatural union and they are put on trial for sodomy or lesbianism, depending on their admission.
Based on real events and characters, Ruby Thomas’s play is a rapier-sharp historical romp, festooned with sparkling dialogue, that ultimately draws blood and tears.
Owen Horsley’s direction has a lightness of touch that makes the anachronisms palatable, especially the loud bursts of punk music that punctuate the scenes, mischievously selected for erotically-charged reference points.
The Sex Pistols and The Buzzcocks are included, though they missed a trick by failing to include anything by Stiff Little Fingers.
- Linck & Mülhahn at Hampstead Theatre until March 4 Tickets: 020 7722 9301
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