Schiller Don Carlos in Kiel: A difficult theater experience – Culture

Status: 04/21/2022 3:08 PM

Schiller’s “Don Carlos” is a dramatic poem in five acts. In its original form, it would take about six hours to appear on stage. Now the classic is coming to Kieler Schauspielhaus as a new production.

by Lina Jang

For a moment, one might think that one had landed in the wrong hall: a modern loft with gray concrete columns and a bay window on which rain fell. On the stage there is no trace of a magnificent Spanish royal palace of the 16th century. Then the first sentence is pronounced and it is clear: This is Schiller Don Carlos. Director Malte Kreutzfeldt kept the language, but cut out the rest in red pencil: “We’ve deleted so much from the 200+ pages that it’s now actually a 75-page excerpt.”

But where do you start?! After all, there are many narrative threads, and they all lead to the death of Don Carlos, which in turn is being counted down. Don Carlos is the Spanish crown prince, and his father, King Philip, loves power much more than his son. It is closely associated with the Catholic Church.

The director focuses on one main topic

It’s the time of the Inquisition and then Carlos loves his stepmother, the Queen, of all people. A web of intrigue, betrayal, jealousy and despair unfolds from which Malte Kreuzfeldt removes some of the characters in his novel: “There is a whole court that can easily be omitted. But the story becomes very complex quickly and if … if I get it wrong, it breaks down very quickly.”

In addition, there is an unfamiliar language that you first have to listen to. Shortening the dialogues, omitting scenes, and shortening actions leads to another advantage: Focusing on one main theme: “This whole story – family history, love story, crime story – are all fascinating, exciting and important to watch – but the essence of Don Carlos is an invitation to democracy and an invitation to human thinking.”

Former Evangelical Provincial Bishop Ulrich in guest role

Because Don Carlos and his friend, the Marquis of Poza, both have their own ideals. Longing for freedom and self-determination, turning away from the state and the church. Both pay with their lives because of the cruelty of the king. Emmanuel Hamm embodies it so masterfully that the audience slides a little deeper into their seats when he starts screaming.

the left

In the last scene, shortly before Don Carlos’s death, he gets to his side the unscrupulous Catholic Grand Inquisitor, played by the former Protestant provincial bishop Gerhard Ulrich: “For me, the idea of ​​casting is indeed the alienation of a genius influence, by which the assertion is made On such an inhuman, angular character. I think it’s always been a huge challenge to step into a role that is the opposite of what has been important to me all my life.”

Implementation requires focus from the audience

A nearly three-hour production of Schiller’s Don Karlos, which did a good job of shortening and focusing. Anyway, you will not miss 140 deleted pages. A challenging theatrical experience that requires a little concentration. But if you get involved, it’s a dark crime thriller, a family drama and a heartbreaking love story.

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Schiller Don Carlos in Kiel: A difficult theatrical experience

Malte Kreutzfeldt staged Schiller’s classic Don Karlos at the Kieler Schauspielhaus. Thrill and love story in one.

He writes:
The theater

The theater in Kiel
Town Hall Square 4
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Culture NDR | The magazine | 04/22/2022 | 4:20 pm

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