"There is nothing political about my body and there is nothing political about my holidays."
It is Christmas, and three generations are gathered in front of the Christmas tree – an extremely abhorrent family. The two teenage daughters are having a catfight, one is pregnant, the other is consumed by envy. Mum and Dad hate each other with a passion, and the grandparents seem to be the source of all the problems: Granddad is a liar and a cheat, while his working wife has put up with him for a lifetime and even finances his porn habit. Things go from bad to worse with the arrival of Uncle Bob, who bursts in upon the bilious festivities. Waiting outside in the car is his wife Madeleine, the second daughter of the family, for whom Bob acts as messenger and mouthpiece. And what she has instructed him to say has all the charm of a neutron bomb.
The first part of Martin Crimp’s latest play is a highly charged family fiasco that relentlessly brings to light every lie and skeleton in the family closet. In the second act the genre changes to a discourse about “The Five Essential Freedoms of the Individual”. This includes above all the freedom to be able to “Write the Script of My Own Life”, and “The Freedom to Experience Horrid Trauma”. Uncle Bob – the submissive husband and emissary of Madeleine – experiences such a trauma in the third act. He is afraid that she will leave him and yearns for his place in the Republic of Personal Happiness, which in its coerciveness turns out to be a regime of terror.
German-language premiere November 28, 2013
Peter MoltzenUncle Bob