“Steppenwolf” in the German theater: The animal in me – Culture

Who would have thought theater would dig Steppenwolf again? This discerning discriminated lover of Goethe in midlife crises, who suffers from a lack of spirit and weakness in his environment and finds himself second in the animal of the same name?

In his Berlin German theater program handbook, author Thomas Mill called for a rediscovery of Hermann Hesse’s 1927 novel about the tattered Harry Haller “after the great Hess wave of the 1960s and 1970s (…).” Milli justifies the motive for his theatrical adaptation of the book with parallels between the 1920s and 1920s: “On all fronts, tone and transaction intensify, envy and anger arise,” and “depression, cultural pessimism, and yearning for a different state” permeate the discourses and contexts of life then as now. .

But on the German stage in Berlin, “Steppenwolf” doesn’t necessarily look like it was about material “written for our time.” Director Lilja Rupprecht, who actually performed Melle “Ode” at DT, puts it in the enchanting setting of a scenic cabin that promises a less contemporary analysis of a dramatic, timeless escape: yes, it could sound like that, and today it’s a bit of a “magical theater” full of dust and fruit , making Hesse-Steppenwolf the central site for self-knowledge.

Stage and costume designer Christina Schmidt built an elaborate wooden structure on the revolving stage, with ramps, staircases, and several small scenarios, of which we first see a nest-like loft where Harry Haller complains of his own distaste for mediocrity: a moderate last day without the ups and downs

The hero, torn between Citizen and Steppenwolf, is presented in the first scene as a multiple character: all seven of the evening’s co-actors are at least part of Harry Haller at some point.

My educational darling Goethe winking at us

Most of all, it is Manuel Harder who succinctly characterizes his midlife crisis in his apparent exhaustion from excessive moodiness. Elias Arens, rather focused on the bourgeois (bourgeois) side, also has significant shares in Harry Haller.

The direction depends on the activity, there is always something going on on stage, whether it is a wolf-headed troupe parade here, a group dance there, dialogue in the car there, or as a regular stylistic instrument, (live) video presentation. For example, Steppenwolfsnest’s Natalie Selig says in a wonderfully bad mood: “Jimmy has a child, Jodi gets married, Klaus and Anja get married…” — amplified in the script — from his Italian trip to.

Giuliana Götsi and Jonas Seibel, guests from the Ramba Zampa theater in Berlin, with whom the director works regularly, appear in the role of Ernie and Bert, which they do brilliantly.

But the production could not hide the fact that taking refuge in Sesame Street is now one of the most traditional means of municipal theatre, nor the fact that Hesse’s promised new reading is unlikely to come true. To give a really deep insight into our present, the evening hangs so much between times, and thus between Hess and Millie.

In addition, Millie’s text, where when Harry Haller is more on the path of Dionysus, there is talk of “Technovamps in Tetrapak” and “Sweatshirt Tommy Hilfiger” touches “silver bra”, sometimes a slight inclination turns into the atmosphere of the school darling stage Old.

Thus one enjoys one or the other of the number of representations. When Harry Haller meets Hermine at a snack bar that has been furnished with great attention to detail, people love to look at him, because Catherine Wechmann and Manuel Harder play it simply brilliantly: make no mistake in avoiding kitsch and a subtle (game) always carries a joke. (Back on May 15 and 18)

Natalie Selig and Helmut Moschmer as Woman and Man present a funny overlapping show, which parodies the grandiose introversion around jazz in the crisis of a middle-aged (wolf-headed) couple. However, in between, two and a half hours without stopping can get long.

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