Walking into the Rialto Theatre felt like being transported back to a more gothic age. Small walkways and a dimly lit room with a bar in it set the scene for the play we were about to walk into. Marxism was founded in the 19th century by Karl Marx. The playwright, Howard Zinn, has decided that Marxism is not dead and has created a play just to show how real it is in today’s capitalist world. With workers being seen as a commodity, buying people for their labour power, this show is about to force you to re-evaluate the world you live in every day.
Re-evaluate the world you live in today
Through breaking down of the fourth wall, Bob Weick becomes an old friend within the theatre space. Weick’s acting is incredible throughout the performance; his portrayal of emotion makes you believe him to be the real Karl Marx. Although the acting of this one man makes the show watchable, I believe that there is a larger need to learn more about Marx’s personal life. For me, the show lacked a pull due to my lack of emotional attachment to Karl Marx, only really having dipped in and out of his studies. The reactions of the audience really lifted this show, with people leaning in to hear better, and even question his life choices. I felt like I was one of the only ones not on the same page. It may be due to my age, as many others seemed to be older than me, but for this reason I wouldn’t recommend this play to people who haven’t studied, or have an interest in, Marxism.
All in all, Weick and Zinn create an amazing portrayal of Karl Marx adding different levels as the play progresses, making it really engaging. However, it will depend on your personal taste in what you look for in a play, whether that be action and drama or an informative monologue. If it is the latter, then this is the show for you.