The 10 Selected Productions


By Bertolt Brecht
Residenztheater, Munich

Premiere 15 January 2015

Baal. Hong Mei

© Thomas Aurin

  • Duration 4h 30, one interval

Past Dates

Public discussion on 17 May, following the performance
Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Bar

In German theatre, Brecht’s early fantasy about a ruthless libertine who ignores both norms and Norns is usually translated into a sweaty egotist who just wants to have an awesome time. This seemingly individual excess, however, becomes a structural and community-defining feature wherever violence is the rule rather than the exception. Therefore, transposing the story of Baal into the world of the Indochina Wars, as Frank Castorf does in this third part of his war trilogy of poets of violence (following Céline and Malaparte), seems like a brutally logical connection. In brothels and opium dens, while surfing during orgies of napalm and murdering to the sounds of the Stones, the achievements of civilisation dissolve their boundaries with all of Baal’s debauched fury. In Aleksandar Denić’s stacked Vietnam world, including a combat helicopter, pagodas, a waterboarding basement with accompanying propaganda pop and lots of dry ice, Castorf exhausts his company with four and a half hours of excessive reflection on the man-made apocalypse and the current topicality of mental colonialism – a libertinage of content and devices.

Directed by Frank Castorf
Stage design Aleksandar Denić
Costume design Adriana Braga Peretzki
Lighting design Gerrit Jurda
Live camera Marius Winterstein, Jaromir Zezula
Video Stefan Muhle
Dramaturgy Angela Obst

Baal Aurel Manthei
Ekart Franz Pätzold
Sophie Andrea Wenzl
The older sister Katharina Pichler
The younger sister Hong Mei
Gougou Jürgen Stössinger
Watzmann Götz Argus
Isabelle, the hell’s wife Bibiana Beglau