After their return from exile in 1949, Bertolt Brecht and Helene Weigel founded the Berliner Ensemble. Because the theatre on Schiffbauerdamm was temporarily unavailable, the ensemble was initially housed at the Deutsches Theater, and The Tutor premiered here on 15 April 1950 in the Kammerspiele. In his adaptation of Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz's drama, Brecht not only rediscovered the hitherto largely forgotten Romantic Sturm und Drang poet for his own generation. By exploring the story of an ingenious outsider, he also expressed his objection to what he regarded as the SED'S petit-bourgeois cultural policy.
'The Tutor,' wrote Heiner Müller, 'was the pinnacle of Brecht's work at the Berliner Ensemble.' At one of the performances back then, photos were taken in quick succession and then assembled into a film. This formed the centrepiece of an evening created by Tom Kühnel and Jürgen Kuttner at the Babylon cinema about two years ago. Using this show as a starting point, they are now revisiting – this time more comprehensively – this story of a tutor who castrates himself to become socially acceptable.
11 December 2021
Duration: 85 minutes, no intermission
Peter René Lüdicke