Mother Tongue Mameloschn (Muttersprache Mameloschn)

by Sasha Marianna Salzmann
World Premiere September 9, 2012
Gabriele HeinzLin
Anita VulesicaClara, Lin's daughter
Natalia BelitskiRahel, Clara's daughter
Clara, Lin's daughter
Rahel, Clara's daughter
Süddeutsche Zeitung
Peter Laudenbach, 12.09.2012
[Marianna] Salzmann’s look back at history and the lives of the older generation is free from the know-it-all attitude of those born later. It’s devoid of kitsch and full of respect. This is what makes her characters so lively and her play – in a word – touching. (…) Young director Brit Bartkowiak has staged it with humour and avoids falling into the trap of becoming too sentimental. With its old cupboards, tables and chairs, the stage (designed by Nikolaus Frinke) is a junk room full of memories. Gabriele Heinz is the plucky, bitter old communist, Anita Vulesica her daughter Clara with the shellacked hairdo who shows no interest in ideology, while Natalia Belitski is the good humoured, acerbic granddaughter Rachel. Together they’re an enchanting group of gals. [Marianna] Salzmann’s look back at history and the lives of the older generation is free from the know-it-all attitude of those born later. It’s devoid of kitsch and full of respect. This is what makes her characters so lively and her play – in a word – touching. (…) Young director Brit Bartkowiak has staged it with humour and avoids falling into the trap of becoming too sentimental. With its old cupboards, tables and chairs, the stage (designed by Nikolaus Frinke) is a junk room full of memories. Gabriele Heinz is the plucky, bitter old communist, Anita Vulesica her daughter Clara with the shellacked hairdo who shows no interest in ideology, while Natalia Belitski is the good humoured, acerbic granddaughter Rachel. Together they’re an enchanting group of gals.
nachtkritik.de
Esther Slevogt, 10.09.2012
Brit Bartkowiak has staged this roughly outlined story of three women with laconic poetry and, most importantly, three strong actresses. Gabriele Heinz is the grandmother Lin who defends her Jewish-communist past to daughter Clara with bitter desperation. Anita Vulesciva plays Clara, with self-irony and plenty of nuance, as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown (one who would fit right in to a Yasmina Reza play). And then there’s the young Natalie Belitski as Rahel, Clara’s lesbian daughter who’s fled to New York to escape from this matriarchal hell. With a gentle smile and a dry sense of humour that sometimes lapses into melancholy, she argues with her mother and grandmother, explains her view of life and, to make her philosophy more palatable, tosses off Jewish jokes for the audience’s benefit. Staged as a portrait of a modern-day family, it’s all pleasantly cliché-free and strikes a good balance between depth, poetry and popular theatre. Brit Bartkowiak has staged this roughly outlined story of three women with laconic poetry and, most importantly, three strong actresses. Gabriele Heinz is the grandmother Lin who defends her Jewish-communist past to daughter Clara with bitter desperation. Anita Vulesciva plays Clara, with self-irony and plenty of nuance, as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown (one who would fit right in to a Yasmina Reza play). And then there’s the young Natalie Belitski as Rahel, Clara’s lesbian daughter who’s fled to New York to escape from this matriarchal hell. With a gentle smile and a dry sense of humour that sometimes lapses into melancholy, she argues with her mother and grandmother, explains her view of life and, to make her philosophy more palatable, tosses off Jewish jokes for the audience’s benefit. Staged as a portrait of a modern-day family, it’s all pleasantly cliché-free and strikes a good balance between depth, poetry and popular theatre.
Die deutsche Bühne
Barbara Behrendt, 10.09.2012
Salzmann’s chamber play is rich in biting Jewish humour and pointed dialogue. Though set in the psychological intimacy of a living room, it dares to go beyond this and consider the socio-political perspective. Jumping back and forth in time, and interjected with letters to Rahel’s brother who has emigrated to join a kibbutz, the playwright creates three characters who are prototypes for different lifestyles. Young director Brit Bartkowiak, who has previously been entrusted with smaller productions for the DT’s Box stage, directs this one in a manner that’s understated, but thoroughly clever. Salzmann’s chamber play is rich in biting Jewish humour and pointed dialogue. Though set in the psychological intimacy of a living room, it dares to go beyond this and consider the socio-political perspective. Jumping back and forth in time, and interjected with letters to Rahel’s brother who has emigrated to join a kibbutz, the playwright creates three characters who are prototypes for different lifestyles. Young director Brit Bartkowiak, who has previously been entrusted with smaller productions for the DT’s Box stage, directs this one in a manner that’s understated, but thoroughly clever.
Der Tagesspiegel
Andreas Schäfer, 11.09.2012
The play starts with a joke. And one-and-a-half amusing, moving, poetic and unspectacular hours later -- during which time we’ve grown fond of the three women:  Lin (the grandmother), Clara (the mother) and Rahel (the granddaughter)  -- the play also ends with a joke: How does a smart Jew talk to a stupid Jew? On the phone and from New York! The play starts with a joke. And one-and-a-half amusing, moving, poetic and unspectacular hours later -- during which time we’ve grown fond of the three women:  Lin (the grandmother), Clara (the mother) and Rahel (the granddaughter)  -- the play also ends with a joke: How does a smart Jew talk to a stupid Jew? On the phone and from New York!
Berliner Morgenpost
Reinhard Wengierek, 11.09.2012
Director Brit Bartkowiak sensitively unleashes a gripping war of words. Here egomania, hate, guilt, pain, love and devotion – as well as the longing for a breath of fresh air, freedom, and the comforting warmth of tradition, integration and security -- mix like meshuga in Nikolaus Frinke’s meaningful set. Director Brit Bartkowiak sensitively unleashes a gripping war of words. Here egomania, hate, guilt, pain, love and devotion – as well as the longing for a breath of fresh air, freedom, and the comforting warmth of tradition, integration and security -- mix like meshuga in Nikolaus Frinke’s meaningful set.

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