In Times of Fading Light (In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts)

Costumes Anja Rabes
Dramaturgy Juliane Koepp
World Premiere February 28, 2013
Christian GrashofWilhelm Powileit
Gabriele HeinzCharlotte Powileit
Margit BendokatNadjéshda Iwánowna
Bernd StempelKurt Umnitzer
Judith HofmannIrina Umnitzer
Alexander KhuonAlexander Umnitzer
Lasse Stadelmann / Lenz LengersAlexander Umnitzer (Kurt's and Irina's son)
Elisabeth MüllerMelittta / Catrín
Markus GrafAdrian / Mexican
Wilhelm Powileit
Charlotte Powileit
Nadjéshda Iwánowna
Kurt Umnitzer
Irina Umnitzer
Alexander Umnitzer
Lasse Stadelmann / Lenz Lengers
Alexander Umnitzer (Kurt's and Irina's son)
Melittta / Catrín
Adrian / Mexican
Neues Deutschland
Hans-Dieter Schütt, 04.03.2013
Bernd Stempel plays Kurt, the son who survived the Siberian gulag. A historian with an alcoholic Russian wife (Judith Hofmann), Kurt is ambitious and doubting. And yet he’s so self-assured in calculating just how far he can go in the single-party state, while still being considered both critical and loyal. It’s the worst kind of self-mutilation: you convince yourself that it’s not happening. Stempel is magnificent in his revelation of how many soft spots there are in a person trying to keep self-denial and self-respect in equilibrium. Kurt’s mother is played by Gabriele Heinz. She delivers an impressive illustration of the euphoria felt in the heady first years of the GDR, provides a spirited portrayal of the liberating power of writing influential literary criticism, and performs the imperceptible shift to mere politico-cultural power tactics. And she ends up, shattered, with an icy calm borne of hatred, which is directed at her own husband, Wilhelm. Bernd Stempel plays Kurt, the son who survived the Siberian gulag. A historian with an alcoholic Russian wife (Judith Hofmann), Kurt is ambitious and doubting. And yet he’s so self-assured in calculating just how far he can go in the single-party state, while still being considered both critical and loyal. It’s the worst kind of self-mutilation: you convince yourself that it’s not happening. Stempel is magnificent in his revelation of how many soft spots there are in a person trying to keep self-denial and self-respect in equilibrium. Kurt’s mother is played by Gabriele Heinz. She delivers an impressive illustration of the euphoria felt in the heady first years of the GDR, provides a spirited portrayal of the liberating power of writing influential literary criticism, and performs the imperceptible shift to mere politico-cultural power tactics. And she ends up, shattered, with an icy calm borne of hatred, which is directed at her own husband, Wilhelm.
Die Welt
Reinhard Wengierek, 02.03.2013
Christian Grashof rages on the brink of caricature as Stalin’s last weapon. Gabriele Heinz as his wife Charlotte is energetically maternal. As their son Kurt, Bernd Stempel is magnificently tragicomic, privately clenching his fists in his pockets. Then there are Judith Hofmann as his wife Irina, an alcoholic wreck, and her mother, unforgettably played by Margit Bendokat as a worldly-wise, humming and singing babushka.
Finally there is Alexander Khuon as the prodigal son and grandson Sascha, who wanders through all the scenes, utterly speechless with amazement and horror at all the lies, suffering and misery. A strange, dishevelled figure - dressed like a washed-up Che Guevara – he’s disconsolate, hapless and mortally ill. For him, all the lights have gone out.
Christian Grashof rages on the brink of caricature as Stalin’s last weapon. Gabriele Heinz as his wife Charlotte is energetically maternal. As their son Kurt, Bernd Stempel is magnificently tragicomic, privately clenching his fists in his pockets. Then there are Judith Hofmann as his wife Irina, an alcoholic wreck, and her mother, unforgettably played by Margit Bendokat as a worldly-wise, humming and singing babushka.
Finally there is Alexander Khuon as the prodigal son and grandson Sascha, who wanders through all the scenes, utterly speechless with amazement and horror at all the lies, suffering and misery. A strange, dishevelled figure - dressed like a washed-up Che Guevara – he’s disconsolate, hapless and mortally ill. For him, all the lights have gone out.
Frankfurter Rundschau
Ulrich Seidler, 02.03.2013
Theatre is better than literature at depicting different levels of story-telling simultaneously, and [director Stephan] Kimmig takes full advantage of this. It’s astonishing what an audience can experience without losing track of the plot: like when a dialogue between characters turns into an internal monologue in mid-sentence, or when the scene jumps from Berlin to Mexico and a few decades into the past. (…)

Those jumps pose a great challenge in acting terms. For minutes on end, the actors have to stand about, both present and absent, occupied with not listening and not being noticed. Then suddenly there are hefty sprints of intensity. But we’re in the Deutsches Theater – and they can do this.
Theatre is better than literature at depicting different levels of story-telling simultaneously, and [director Stephan] Kimmig takes full advantage of this. It’s astonishing what an audience can experience without losing track of the plot: like when a dialogue between characters turns into an internal monologue in mid-sentence, or when the scene jumps from Berlin to Mexico and a few decades into the past. (…)

Those jumps pose a great challenge in acting terms. For minutes on end, the actors have to stand about, both present and absent, occupied with not listening and not being noticed. Then suddenly there are hefty sprints of intensity. But we’re in the Deutsches Theater – and they can do this.

What's on

Open air
by Anna Seghers
Director: Alexander Riemenschneider
Forecourt
20.00 - 21.40
sold out
perh. remaining tickets at evening box office