"I’m not living with you! We occupy the same cage, that’s all."
It’s Big Daddy’s birthday and he has gathered his family to celebrate his life – but everyone except for him and his wife Big Mama is aware that he is dying of cancer. His favourite hard-drinking son Brick and his wife Maggie, his eldest son Gooper and his wife Mae with their brood of children – all of them are driven by a hunger for money and material possessions, for love and recognition and are terrified of life, physical decline, illness, death and their sexuality. Maggie, the Cat on the Hot Tin Roof, tries to break through the family’s hypocrisy and mendacity with the help of a lie. She wants to fight for Brick and fulfil Big Daddy’s last wish for an heir. She does not have the "charm of the defeated"; she wants to win.
In his 1955 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Tennessee Williams paints a picture of an inhumane, capitalist society falling apart, in which lies are more attractive than the truth and a family is plunged into an existential crisis when unconscious desires and repressed feelings are spoken out loud. "The human animal is a beast that dies but the fact that he’s dying don’t give him pity for others."
German by Jörn van Dyck
11 December 2020