“Annihilation. Decay” in the German theater: In the Treasury of Terror – Culture

Franz Josef Moreau faces a very stressful journey. The cultural citizen, who fled to Rome from the provinces of Upper Austria, must return to Wolfsig, to his hometown, where the hateful “Pomeranzen” sisters are waiting for him. Murao received a telegram from them: both parents and brother died in an accident. The funeral must be organized. So was Thomas Bernard’s novel “Extinction. Ain Zerful “, his last prose work, published in 1986.

The scale of the agony that this journey means for Murau is already evident from the length of time for which he has to prepare: the first half of intense anger, extreme depression and at the same time the very funny inner monologue of “AusAuslöschung” passes before Murau strikes Wolfsig on launch.

A kind of family constellation arises in his eye: he remembers the sisters as children in dirndl dresses which he so hated, and he contemptuously remembers how he had bothered him while reading in the garden and evokes the small-mindedness of the financially strong rural family. , who considers any form of mental perversion as a mortal attack and punishes it with pathological exclusion from the household association.

In Karin Henkel’s Thomas Bernhard production, which was finally shown shortly before the end of the season after being postponed several times due to the pandemic, Bernd Moss as Murau already appeared in the second scene on the ramp of the stage, behind the iron curtain with a small door to Wolfsegg. It takes a few tries before he can turn the knob. (Back on June 26 and July 3)

For the audience’s amusement, he would repeatedly flick his hand and play a sublime disgust with the world and humanity, along with a good dose of theatrical comedy. The particular, frank pain—as well as the horrific depth of hate provoked by this homecoming—does not tend to appear in the two-and-a-half-hour stage version, for which Henkel and dramaturg Rita Thiel made up Bernard’s Stream of Consciousness.

When the Wolfsegg door is finally opened, a veritable cabinet of horror, artistically designed by theater designer Thilo Reuther, unfolds. The present wolf from funeral preparations blends with wolf wolf from nightmarish childhood memories to form a bleak psychedelic forest of “National Catholic Socialist spirit” with the diseased tree cluster.

To some extent it is a theatrical monument

Trunks have twisted branches with scattered foliage. Here comes horror sisters Cecilia and Amalia, played by Anja Schneider and Danielle Zelman, sometimes stepping around in their children’s pink and black outfits, sometimes in mourning looks with colorful socks (fashion: Theresa Virgo). Cecilia writes about the course of the accident in sensational gossip at the grave of her father, who has been placed in a greenhouse.

Of course, soon the father himself – darkly portrayed by Manfred Zapatka – is soon shown stepping out of the depths of the woods as a nightmare patriarch in Nazi costume. Profound readings are the disdain with which Almut Zilcher speaks of her husband in a wonderful monologue as Murau’s mother, who Bernard also portrays as a “hysterical National Socialist.”

Franz Josef Murau of Bernd Moss continues to meet himself in the Wolfsegg brown scrub of different ages. In addition to the role of Amalia, Daniel Zelman also plays young Franz, while child actors Bella Paul Lorenz Otlevsky and August Osermann take turns as schoolboy Franz and Lyn Rossi, a sensitive role constantly struggling with puberty. At an unforgettable dinner, the mother imagined a new National Socialist era with a spiritual gaze, the old Nazis come as funeral guests in an elevator from the depths to the theatre.

To some extent, it is a theater monument that Henkel erected here with Thomas Bernhard. In the end, Bernhard’s characters are as frozen in the woods and in greenhouses as they are in window displays. Contemporaries with audio guides come to the theater for their examination – as the museum was supposed to show yesterday.

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