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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Antigone

Antigone
Director: Jette Steckel
Writer: Sophocles, translated by Frank-Patrick Steckel
Cast: Aenne Schwarz, Mavie Hörbiger, Joachim Meyerhoff, Mirco Kreibich, Martin Schwab
Seen on: 26.6.2016

Plot:
Antigone’s (Aenne Schwarz) brothers have both fought on opposite sides in Thebes’ civil war and they both died doing it. As if that wasn’t bad enough, King Creon (Joachim Meyerhoff) has decided that Polyneices, who fought against him, is to be left unburied outside the city gates. Antigone can’t bear the thought that one of her brothers should be thus treated. She tries to convince her sister Ismene (Mavie Hörbiger), but ultimately she goes alone to bury Polyneices, despite Creon’s having expressly forbidden it.

Antigone is a fascinating play and the production I saw was interesting in many ways, but not successful in all aspects.

antigone

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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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