"I search for myself but find myself no more."
A tragedy in five acts translated from French by Friedrich Schiller
In Theseus’ palace – the king has been missing for some time – forbidden passions rage: his wife Phaedra is hopelessly in love with her stepson Hippolytus. He in turn is in love with the enemy prisoner Aricia. When news comes of Theseus’ death, the hidden secrets erupt to the surface, the lovers admit their passions, and guilt and shame turn into irrational hope and the fulfilment of desperate longings. But the king is alive and on his way home …
In Racine’s play, Phaedra is a human unaided by divine grace. Her desire, and the guilt that this desire evokes, torment her mercilessly. Racine wrote this masterpiece of classical language in 1677. It is a candid exploration of humans as truth-seeking yet deluded creatures at the mercy of their passions.
Today, Racine’s dramatic tragedy stands like a monolith – strange, deep and powerful. The precise language seems to conjure up images and scenes from another world: full of excesses, contradictions, conflicts, tragedy and passion.
Stage lighting Robert Grauel
Premiere on 12 May 2017, Deutsches Theater