Wittgenstein is a monodrama about Ludwig Wittgenstein, written by Wilhelm Pellert [German], starring Reinhard Hauser and directed by the both of them.
[Full disclosure: Wilhelm Pellert is my uncle, so that probably colors my review, even though I try that it doesn’t.]
Wittgenstein (Reinhard Hauser) leads us through his life: From his beginnings as the son of a very rich industrialist family, the inheritance of which he rejects to become a teacher in a village school. There he writes his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus which in turns leads him to being offered a chair in Cambridge where he meets Bertrand Russell who becomes his lifelong mentor and friend. During all of this Wittgenstein is severely traumatised by both World Wars and his own battle with himself.
Wittgenstein was a good play, though it did have moments of length and moments where it was just a little too dramatic. But Reinhard Hauser does a good job and it makes for a very enjoyable night.
Pellert has written four monodramas over the last years. I missed the one about Oskar Werner but I saw the others, all very fascinating personalities. Apart from the one about Hedy Lamarr, I liked Wittgenstein best. He just has this dramatic family and personal history combined with a rather troubled, if not to say psychotic personality that makes for a good show.
And Reinhard Hauser does him justice. It’s pretty impressive. His performance only gets a little wobbly when he switches between personalities. And when he starts talking with an English accent to signify that he’s Betrand Russell, it just became a touch annoying.
But that’s pretty much my only complaint about the play. It was entertaining and very informative. When I came out of the theater I just wanted to finally read the Wittgenstein biography I bought a while back (actually it’s about the Wittgenstein family and not just Ludwig) and then never got around to. Like so many books.
Anyway, to sum up: good entertainment.
Summarising: it only had a short run, but if they take it up again, you should check it out.