based on the story of the same name by Einar Schleef
in a version by Jakob Fedler
Gertrud nurses her sick husband Willy until his death. She remains alone in the small Thuringian town of Sangerhausen, tries to reorient herself, accompanied by her memories. “I was a child during the time of the German Empire, a young woman in the Weimar Republic, married under Hitler and grew old in the GDR. My head is fit to burst. I’ll never experience the millenium.” She meets friends, visits her sons in Berlin and West Germany, walks through her hometown, speaks with her dead husband, searches for new love, longs for death.
Einar Schleef’s novel Gertrud is an idiosyncratic, volatile, revelatory tower of a story. Schleef wrote the fictitious monologue of his mother, Gertrud, a seamstress, as a rough and angry, yearning an self absorbed confession of a "respectable woman", but also as a history of the 20th century from the German Empire to the late GDR. Schleef uses the backdrop of the industrial and mining town of Sangerhausen to highlight the breakdown of the promises of the industrial age and its proletarian milieu, as well as the petit-bourgeois will to survive and the constant non-appearance of the future.
15 December, 2017, Kammerspiele
Coproduction with Schauspielhaus Bochum