Böse Frauen

Böse Frauen (literally: Bad Women)
Cast: Denise Teipel, Cristina Maria Ablinger
Music: Sabine Bacher
Seen on: 11.12.2019

Content Note: (critical treatment of) misogyny, rape culture

“Plot”:
Böse Frauen looks at the history of witches and witch hunts, drawing parallels from the Malleus Maleficarum to today.

I always enjoy it when I get to see an openly feminist play (though strictly speaking, this was somewhere between a play and a reading, accompanied by music), and I really loved how they brought many different things together in this one. Very enjoyable (except for the part where it isn’t).

The production poster showing half of a peeled tangerine on turquoise background.

I think I can confidently state that I know a lot about feminism, so a lot of what they brought up here was not exactly new to me. But they put things together really nicely, drawing good parallels, connecting dots and just making their points. I particularly liked their delivery of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” at the end (appropriately Christmassy, too).

That being said, I don’t know that much about the historical witch hunts (except for the broad strokes) and those parts did give me new information. Especially when they read directly from the Malleus Maleficarum – it was really hard to take those parts. Not only because the misogyny is so strong in this historical text, but also because so much of this shit is still relevant today. It’s really creepy.

Fortunately, the play has a sense of humor, softening that impression a little, but not so much that you can just shrug it off. That’s as it should be, even if it isn’t particularly comfortable. Despite that, and because of that, it was a very fine performance.

Summarizing: very well done.

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