This was the set for The Berliner Ensemble’s production of Die Mutter. It was experimental, roughly 3 hrs, and in German, so I didn’t understand a word of it, but holy shit this stage: a raked platform (had to be roughly 5-6ft off the ground at the back) coming to a point.
Towards the end of the play, the mother walked upstage slowly, slowly, in near-darkness. It was silent. Looking like she was going to walk straight off the upstage edge, she tripped and crumpled. Hard to tell if it was scripted or not. The whole audience sucked in their breath. She didn’t get up. She didn’t get up. She got up.
THAT was a fuckin present audience. THAT is some theatrical magic.