You knew there was going to be a cello, and there is one, offstage. You also knew, because it’s a National Theatre production, that the staging would be vague.
Sir Antony Sher holds the boards for an hour and a half declaiming Levi’s witness of Auschwitz dramatically, that is to say, distinctly.
Whatever staging is provided serves this well.
One of the greatest pieces of writing in English is delivered on the stage uninterrupted. A face in a war documentary tells the whole story in precise detail, down to the last moment of degradation. He tells what those behind the camera looked like.
There is a calmness in Auschwitz and a routine especially noted.
No explanation is given of the laboratory’s purpose and work, the girls and the steeple of the town are noted.
Weather is a factor. Meadows exist beside the labor road in Spring.