Waterfront Wasteland Medea Material Landscape with Argonauts | Mommsen’s Block (Verkommenes Ufer Medeametarial Landschaft mit Argonauten | Mommsens Block)

by Heiner Müller
Set & Costumes Mark Lammert
Sounddesign Martin Person
Dramaturgy Claus Caesar
Asisstance direction/dramaturgy Fabiane Kemmann
Premiere November 12, 2011
Margit Bendokat
Wolfram Koch
Almut Zilcher
Frankfurter Rundschau
Ulrich Seidler, 15.11.2011
Dimiter Gotscheff, the faithful Bulgarian [Heiner] Müller disciple, lends the writer posthumous breath and the actors offer up their bodies as instruments. And what instruments they are! Let us sing: Praise be to Wolfram Koch – a powerhouse of weighty thoughts, testosterone, and artful acting! Out of the darkness he gnaws on curses with rat’s teeth and lets his consciousness sink through every abyss before the word “God” occurs to him again. May it rain blessings on Almut Zilcher! Without much ado, this glorious theatre goddess, who’s fed up with life, corroborates every lust for blood and every broken heart. A hallelujah for Margit Bendokat! This venerable, concierge-like figure fires off even the most elevated prose with a proletarian Kalashnikov snicker. Amen, and until next time, dear Müller congregation. Dimiter Gotscheff, the faithful Bulgarian [Heiner] Müller disciple, lends the writer posthumous breath and the actors offer up their bodies as instruments. And what instruments they are! Let us sing: Praise be to Wolfram Koch – a powerhouse of weighty thoughts, testosterone, and artful acting! Out of the darkness he gnaws on curses with rat’s teeth and lets his consciousness sink through every abyss before the word “God” occurs to him again. May it rain blessings on Almut Zilcher! Without much ado, this glorious theatre goddess, who’s fed up with life, corroborates every lust for blood and every broken heart. A hallelujah for Margit Bendokat! This venerable, concierge-like figure fires off even the most elevated prose with a proletarian Kalashnikov snicker. Amen, and until next time, dear Müller congregation.
Tip Theater
Peter Laudenbach, 13.11.2011
No director, Heiner Müller included, can have staged as many Müller plays as Dimiter Gotscheff (known in the business as ‘Gott Chef’ or ‘God the Boss’). And he and his great actors – Margit Bendokat! Almut Zichler! Wolfram Koch! Samuel Finzi! – usually come up with surprisingly fresh, compellingly dramatic ways to breathe new life into Müller’s hermetic texts. No director, Heiner Müller included, can have staged as many Müller plays as Dimiter Gotscheff (known in the business as ‘Gott Chef’ or ‘God the Boss’). And he and his great actors – Margit Bendokat! Almut Zichler! Wolfram Koch! Samuel Finzi! – usually come up with surprisingly fresh, compellingly dramatic ways to breathe new life into Müller’s hermetic texts.
Mannheimer Morgen
Frank Dietschreit, 16.11.2011
Gotscheff has a concept that’s as simple as it is brave: absolute reduction, down to the individual word and total concentration on the actors. The stage is bare, black and empty,the stage floor torn up, exposing the trap room below and the torture chambers of history. Almut Zichler, Magrit Bendokat and Wolfram Koch – three of the very best German-language actors – appear on stage at once: they let every word, every syllable melt in their mouths and find the fitting gesture for every linguistic monstrosity or obscene remark. They strike the right balance – somewhere between dramatic sobriety and ironic distance – wear bright-coloured shoes and grin like evil clowns standing on the brink of an apocalypse, yet still have their fun. Almut Zilcher plays Medea as a crazed psychopath, Wolfram Koch’s Jason is filled with revulsion for the world around him, while Margit Bendokat is a nasty, plump kobold who denies historical realities. Her narration of Mommsen’s Block,delivered in brash Berlin dialect, is the rhetorical crowning jewel of this unfathomably comical and moving performance. Applause at the premiere was tumultuous. Gotscheff has a concept that’s as simple as it is brave: absolute reduction, down to the individual word and total concentration on the actors. The stage is bare, black and empty,the stage floor torn up, exposing the trap room below and the torture chambers of history. Almut Zichler, Magrit Bendokat and Wolfram Koch – three of the very best German-language actors – appear on stage at once: they let every word, every syllable melt in their mouths and find the fitting gesture for every linguistic monstrosity or obscene remark. They strike the right balance – somewhere between dramatic sobriety and ironic distance – wear bright-coloured shoes and grin like evil clowns standing on the brink of an apocalypse, yet still have their fun. Almut Zilcher plays Medea as a crazed psychopath, Wolfram Koch’s Jason is filled with revulsion for the world around him, while Margit Bendokat is a nasty, plump kobold who denies historical realities. Her narration of Mommsen’s Block,delivered in brash Berlin dialect, is the rhetorical crowning jewel of this unfathomably comical and moving performance. Applause at the premiere was tumultuous.
SWR 2 Journal am Abend
Ina Beyer, 14.11.2011
Dramaturge Helmut Schäfer says: “Heiner Müller’s plays write themselves on stage, through speech, through the actors.” And that’s precisely what happens when Dimiter Gotscheff stages Heiner Müller: you see Müller’s plays by hearing them. Their language unlocks spaces and images, awakens associations and interpretations – as it also does here. Words – little more and nothing less than words – dominate the performance. Müller liked to quote Jean Genet: “The only thing a work of art can do is to awaken the longing for another state of the world. And this longing is revolutionary.” Müller’s texts are absolutely that – this production only to a certain extent. Still, Gotscheff keeps asking the right questions and when Margit Bendokat gives voice to them you can’t help but feel that poignant longing. Dramaturge Helmut Schäfer says: “Heiner Müller’s plays write themselves on stage, through speech, through the actors.” And that’s precisely what happens when Dimiter Gotscheff stages Heiner Müller: you see Müller’s plays by hearing them. Their language unlocks spaces and images, awakens associations and interpretations – as it also does here. Words – little more and nothing less than words – dominate the performance. Müller liked to quote Jean Genet: “The only thing a work of art can do is to awaken the longing for another state of the world. And this longing is revolutionary.” Müller’s texts are absolutely that – this production only to a certain extent. Still, Gotscheff keeps asking the right questions and when Margit Bendokat gives voice to them you can’t help but feel that poignant longing.
Deutschlandradio Kultur
Michael Laages, 13.11.2011
Largely thanks to Margit Bendokat, the finale is a true gem; once again Müller’s script invites us to relish – even lose ourselves altogether -- in the words and sentences, in their interpretation and imagination. Here Bendokat and Gotscheff must squeeze all of the dramatist’s hate and all his hilarity, his insight and despair out of the extremely meandering script. [Almut] Zilcher and [Wolfram] Koch demonstratively wished their colleague [Margit Bendokat] luck, before taking their seats in the auditorium. Largely thanks to Margit Bendokat, the finale is a true gem; once again Müller’s script invites us to relish – even lose ourselves altogether -- in the words and sentences, in their interpretation and imagination. Here Bendokat and Gotscheff must squeeze all of the dramatist’s hate and all his hilarity, his insight and despair out of the extremely meandering script. [Almut] Zilcher and [Wolfram] Koch demonstratively wished their colleague [Margit Bendokat] luck, before taking their seats in the auditorium.

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With English surtitles
by Heinrich von Kleist
Director: Anne Lenk
Deutsches Theater
20.00 - 21.30