Die Orestie [Oresteia]

Die Orestie
Director: Antú Romero Nunes
Writer: Aeschylus, translated by Peter Stein
Cast: Sarah Viktoria Frick, Maria Happel, Caroline Peters, Barbara Petritsch, Aenne Schwarz, Irina Sulaver, Andrea Wenzl
Seen on: 2.4.2017

Plot:
After Agamemnon (Maria Happel) returns home from war with Kassandra (Andrea Wenzl) as his trophy, his wife Klytameistra (Caroline Peters), who is living with Aigisthos (Barbara Petritsch), kills Agamemnon and Kassandra both, to avenge Agamemnon’s killing of Iphigenie, their daughter, a continuation of the family curse that weighs on Agamemnon due to his father and uncle sacrificing their own children to the gods. Agamemnon and Klytameistra’s son Orestes (Aenne Schwarz) vows to revenge the murder of his father too, continuing the spiral of blood and violence.

The production of the Oresteia walks the line between traditional setting and modern sensibilities. Ultimately it is visually striking and well-acted, but maybe a little too conservative.

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Hermann und Dorothea [Hermann and Dorothea]

Hermann und Dorothea
Director: Alfred Kirchner
Writer: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Cast: Maria Happel, Martin Schwab
Seen on: 12.3.2017

Plot:
Hermann falls in love with Dorothea, a young refugee who is passing through his village. Since Hermann comes from a rather rich family and Dorothea is penniless, he can’t simply marry her. To make sure that she is of sound character, the Priest and the Apothecary ask for character witnesses. When those are overwhelmingly positive, Hermann brings Dorothea home – introducing her as a maid though.

Hermann and Dorothea is not a play but a poem and Kirchner decided not to adapt it as a play, either, but to have Happel and Schwab dramatically read the poem instead. I think, I would have appreciated a drama version of it a little more.

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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

Plot:
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.

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Die Unschuldigen, ich und die Unbekannte am Rand der Landstraße [The Innocents, I, and the Unknown Woman at the Edge of the Country Road]

Die Unschuldigen, ich und die Unbekannte am Rand der Landstraße
Director: Claus Peymann
Writer: Peter Handke
Cast: Christopher Nell, Martin Schwab, Maria Happel, Regina Fritsch, Felix Strobel, Fabian Stromberger
Seen on: 6.3.2016

Plot:
A young man, introducing himself as I the Narrator (Christopher Nell), claims a bit of country road for himself. It’s his bit of the world and his alone, without anybody else interfering. But it doesn’t stay that way for very long. Soon others, the Innocents, come and intrude on his bit of the world, led by the Capo (Martin Schwab) and his wife (Maria Happel). Among them is also an enticing Unknown Woman (Regina Fritsch) who is not quite as taken with I as he is with her. While I maybe wouldn’t mind the intrusion of the Unknown Woman, the rest of the Innocents and the inevitabilty with which they are irritates I.

Die Unschuldigen, ich und die Unbekannte am Rand der Landstraße is a little how all the derogative views on modern theater say that modern theater is like: incoherent, overly long, self-congratulatory and often incomprehensible. It does have strengths, but they are far from outweighing the weaknesses.

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Der Revisor [The Government Inspector]

Der Revisor
Director: Alvis Hermanis
Writer: Nikolai Gogol
Cast: Michael Maertens, Maria Happel, Dörte Lyssewski, Fabian Krüger, Oliver Stokowski, Hermann Scheidleder, Dirk Nocker, Johann Adam Oest
Seen on: 26.12.2015

Plot:
The Mayor (Michael Maertens) of a small town has heard that a government inspector just arrived incognito in his town. He informs the most important men in his town, causing quite a stir among all of them, since neither of them really is without blame in their departments. When they find out that a stranger is staying at the inn, they decide that it must be the inspector and promptly start to shower him in gifts. The stranger – Chlestakov (Fabian Krüger) – is young and poor and doesn’t really know what prompts his good luck, but he’s determined to use it as long as it’s given.

There is a lot going on in this production of Der Revisor, from fake fat to actual live chickens on stage. It was a little too much for my taste, although the parts themselves were really good.

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