Die Affäre Rue de Lourcine [L’Affaire de la rue de Lourcine]

Die Affäre Rue de Lourcine
Director: Barbara Frey
Writer: Eugène Labiche in Elfriede Jelinek‘s translation/adaptation
Cast: Nicholas Ofczarek, Michael Maertens, Peter Matić, Markus Meyer, Maria Happel
Seen on: 3.4.2016

Lenglumé (Nicholas Ofczarek) wakes up one morning after a night of partying. He doesn’t really remember much and only barely recollects that the snoring man next to him is his school friend Mistingue (Michael Maertens) who was with him at their school reunion. Mistingue is doing similarly well. When Lenglumé’s wife Norine (Maria Happel) tells him about the murder of a young, poor woman the previous night, Lenglumé and Mistingue find clues that they were the killers and start putting a plan in motion to conceal their deed.

Die Affäre Rue de Lourcine was funny but also pretty exhausting. I think that another staging would have made it flow much more nicely. Instead it felt pretty long to me in spite of its short 90 minutes running time.

Continue reading

Rechnitz (Der Würgeengel) [Rechnitz (The Exterminating Angel)]

Rechnitz (Der Würgeengel) is a play by Elfriede Jelinek. She had originally barred it from being shown in Austria but made an exception for the Festwochen. It was directed by Jossi Wieler [German] and stars Katja Bürkle, André Jung, Hans Kremer, Steven Scharf [German] and Hildegard Schmahl.

Rechnitz is a town in the East of Austria, where in 1945 during a party by Countess Margit von Batthyány, Nazis killed about 200 Jews as part of their entertainment. Until today, the remains of the victims were not found, neither was the whole affair properly investigated.
The play itself doesn’t really have a plot. It consists of five people, referred to as Delivery Persons/Messengers, telling the story of the massacre in ever repeating circles.

Before I say anything else, let me perfectly clear: I don’t get Jelinek. I don’t get why she’s famous, I don’t get why she’s so fucking complicated and I don’t like her style. I wouldn’t have watched this play if my whole family hadn’t said that they wanted to see it, too and as an Austrian I think it’s my responsibility to a) confront myself with WW2 on a regular basis and b) see at least one Jelinek play (I have read one of her novels already, so I can check that off my list*).

Bearing that in mind, I really did not like the play.

Continue reading