We’re in one of many identical burgundy rooms, decorated only with dimly-lit wall sconces. Two orphans are up past their bedtime – they are playing with a white rabbit they found in the forest. Their governess finds them at last and the girl is charged to run off to bed. The governess perches at the edge of her chair, looking down at the unbuttoned pajamas of her charge, the pre-adolescent Miles, lying on the floor beneath her. He’s been kicked out of school for some mysterious, violent crime. Is it really sexual tension in the air? The rabbit twitches its nose. The governess might – it can’t be, can it? – kiss him. Her face is inches away from his as it cuts to black.
David Lynch’s new film? No: Turn of the Screw at the Staatsoper, directed by Claus Guth. It’s a limited run, so get to it on Saturday – the show is delightfully weird, hugely unsettling, and impeccably conceived. The Lynch-y visual world of Bly manor is amped up by James’ classic tale of sex, power, ghosts and madness. Britten’s haunting music completes the world: Turn of the Screw is firing on all cylinders. The production makes the combination of the music, story and the design feel inevitable. Which is what opera is supposed to do, right?
You might need a drink afterwards, so discuss the opera over a nightcap at the Black Lodge: the “no signage on the outside just enter the closed-down Kneipe” entrance makes the approach suitably surreal, but inside it’s not-too-surprising: a solid, smoky, all-black bar with lots of candles and a great whisky sour. The side room, though, with a thick red velvet curtain and black and white-patterned floor is pitch-perfect Red Room from Twin Peaks.
If nothing but the real thing will do, Schillerkiez stalwart Café Engels is screening Twin Peaks in its entirety this winter. They’ve already had a few installments, but jump in this Sunday for episodes four and five beginning at 9pm. It’s free and there is, yes, damn fine coffee (no update on the cherry pie). It’ll keep us busy until April 15, when experimental post-punk band Xiu Xiu will bring the music of Twin Peaks to Silent Green. It’s hard to imagine Angelo Badalmenti’s perfect score without the show itself, but Xiu Xiu’s version should wail a little harder, and we can’t wait.
TURN OF THE SCREW Feb 20, 19:30 | Staatsoper, Unter den Linden 7, Mitte, U-Bhf Ernst-Reuter-Platz
BLACK LODGE | Sanderstaße 6, Neukölln, U-BhfSchönleinstr.
TWIN PEAKS SCREENING Feb 21, 21:00 | Café Engels, Herrfurthstr. 21, Neukölln, U-Bhf Boddinstr.
XIU XIU PLAYS THE MUSIC OF TWIN PEAKS Apr 15, 20:00 | Silent Green, Kuppelhalle, Gerichtstr. 35, Wedding, U-Bhf Leopoldplatz