The 10 Selected Productions

Ein Volksfeind (An Enemy of the People)

By Henrik Ibsen
In an adaptation by Dietmar Dath
Based on a translation by Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel

Schauspielhaus Zürich

Premiere Schauspielhaus Zürich: 10 September 2015

Ein Volksfeind (An Enemy of the People)

Ein Volksfeind (An Enemy of the People). f.l.: Tabea Bettin, Matthias Neukirch, Nicolas Rosat; on the projection: Markus Scheumann, Robert Hunger-Bühler

© Tanja Dorendorf / T+T Fotografie

  • Duration 2h, no interval
  • With English surtitles

Past Dates

Public discussion on 12 May, following the performance

Director Stefan Pucher avoids the risk of a half-hearted update of this piece by performing a radical adaptation. Dietmar Dath’s version is more than congenial; he precisely renders the newspeak of today’s media-democracy without betraying Ibsen or the underlying story. Dath transfers Spa doctor Dr Tomas Stockmann’s home to a small town with the “most progressive local authorities ever”. Initially, Tomas, played by Markus Scheumann, mistakes the shiny happy people around him for upright pillars of society. He is aware that his brother, the mayor, is a grey eminence, but other than that he prefers to believe in the good in people. Meanwhile, Robert Hunger-Bühler, aka Peter Stockmann, knows how to turn the tricks of open government to his advantage. He knows which information to whisper into whose smart phone and when it pays to intervene personally in the newsroom of a key medium: This master of local politics has the art of timing down to a T. Stockmann vs. Stockmann – that is what the final conflict boils down to, staged as a double-dealing talk-show spectacle which gives the audience a choice: They can either get on the bandwagon of Billing’s suggestive questions in the foyer, or keep faith with the indomitable Tomas Stockmann in the auditorium, who has yet to face the shitstorm which his town has in store for him.

Directed by Stefan Pucher
Stage design Barbara Ehnes
Costume design Annabelle Witt
Musical director Christopher Uhe
Video Ute Schall
Lighting design Frank Bittermann
Dramaturgy Andreas Karlaganis

Doctor Tomas Stockmann, medical officer Markus Scheumann
Katrine Stockmann, his wife Isabelle Menke
Petra, their daughter Sofia Elena Borsani
Eilif, their son Timur Blum
Morten, their son Sinan Blum
Peter Stockmann, Tomas’ older brother, mayor of the town, chief constable, chairman of the baths’ committee and others Robert Hunger-Bühler
Morten Kiil, Katrine Stockmann’s adoptive father, venture investor Siggi Schwientek
Hovstad, blogger of the democracy portal “DEMOnline” Tabea Bettin
Billing, assistant blogger and fact checker Nicolas Rosat
Software contractor Aslaksen Matthias Neukirch
Live music Becky Lee Walters
Live camera Ute Schall

Logo Pro Helvetia