Dirty hands (Die schmutzigen Hände)
Staggering Through a World of Confusion
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Leander Steinkopf, 22.01.2012
When viewing this new production of Sartre’s sixty-year-old play, you don’t feel the velvet-upholstered seat or hear your neighbour breathing. Nothing jars you out of this experience – not even when the actors first evoke strong emotions only to stifle them with irony. The set is Hugo’s inner self turned inside out. Walls that appear to be made of cement swivel and move around, forming new walls and openings. Sometimes the on-stage action gets into Hugo’s head, into his dreamworld or his inebriated state. […] Even if the heroes are dead and compromise triumphs in the end, this production is life, pure and simple – without compromise. Theatregoers have every reason to go home happy.
A Lone Wolf’s Lust for Life
Berliner Morgenpost, Georg Kasch, 22.01.2012
Few actors ooze loneliness as coolly as Ulrich Matthes, who here is even more virile, brooding and, at the same time, more belligerent than usual. His Hoederer is a lone wolf who hides his longing behind a mask of chummy nonchalance – whether he’s dressed in sweatpants or in an elegant suit. But his eyes track the life of the young with barely suppressed greed, as if to soak it up.
In Praise of Betrayal
Neues Deutschland, Hans-Dieter Schütt, 22.01.2012
In their central debate, [Ulrich] Matthes and [Ole] Lagerpusch are brilliant, fiery and ecstatic. Then the director sits in quietly in the corner and just listens, knowing that it’s better not to interrupt – and to let the play get on with the main part of its work. It still has the power to frighten.
SWR 2 Journal am Morgen, Ina Beyer, 21.01.2012
Jette Steckel’s great strength lies in presenting characters who can speak about themselves in a believable way. Placing them in a neutrally modern set, in casual everyday clothes, accompanied by classy music, she lets them become timeless. The director’s clear insight into the material and the subtle way in which she addresses us through the characters makes this production topical and highly political.
A Gun(man) with Erectile Dysfunction
Die Welt, Matthias Heine, 25.01.2012
At the end they’re all dead – with or without a burial. But Jean-Paul Sartre is more alive than ever – at least as a playwright. […] After this production Dirty Hands should, once again, be extolled as the best political play of the 20th century.
That Obscure Object of Struggle
Der Tagesspiegel, Christine Wahl, 22.01.2012
While Hugo, who’s emotionally and intellectually captivated by Hoederer, keeps putting off his ‘assignment’ and is eventually suspected of being a traitor, Katharina Marie Schubert as Jessica grins and sticks Hugo’s gun into her fancy camisole. Then she crawls around under Hoederer’s desk wearing XXL gloves and breaking into fits of hysterical laughter. Only one thing matters to this girly girl: that something happens, no matter what. […] In Ulrich Matthes director Jette Steckel has a Hoederer who subtly masters this constant switching between tragedy, irony and deeper meaning, and sovereignly rises to the challenge of appearing timeless.