The 10 Selected Productions

Unendlicher Spaß (Infinite Jest)

By David Foster Wallace
German translation by Ulrich Blumenbach
Text version by Thorsten Lensing in cooperation with Thierry Mousset and Dirk Pilz
Directed by Thorsten Lensing

A Thorsten Lensing production
Co-production HELLERAU – Europäisches Zentrum der Künste, Schauspiel Stuttgart, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, Theater im Pumpenhaus Münster, Sophiensæle, Kampnagel Hamburg, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg

Premiere 22 February 2018

Thorsten Lensing and his virtuoso ensemble have taken on David Foster Wallace’s post-modern novel “Infinite Jest”, celebrating the power of the word and the art of acting on a nearly empty stage.

Unendlicher Spaß

Unendlicher Spaß. Devid Striesow, Ursina Lardi

© David Baltzer / Agentur Zenit

  • 3 h 50 min, one interval
  • In German with English surtitles

Past Dates

Public discussion on 5 May, following the performance

“I want to write about what it feels like to live today, instead of distracting you from it.” This is how David Foster Wallace described his attempt to talk about the world of our present times in over 1,500 pages. So he writes about births and death throes, about snow storms, about love and separation, exaggerated salivation, beautiful nurses and birds who suffer a heart attack mid-flight. Director Thorsten Lensing and his extraordinary cast approach these equally tragic and funny characters with great sincerity and enormous lightness.

Jury Statement

In 1996, David Foster Wallace published his post-modern, 1,500-pages-long novel “Infinite Jest”, which was released in a German version in 2009. Director Thorsten Lensing and his team abridged the material until it became a four-hour theatre event. Their stage version, which took several years to create, focusses on the protagonists and their relationships with each other. The outstanding company of actors develop their characters from their foibles and flaws and pay no attention to distinct gender assignments. Much rather, Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Sebastian Blomberg, André Jung, Ursina Lardi, Heiko Pinkowski and Devid Striesow play on a nearly empty stage with each other and with the simplest theatre devices. They tell stories about the misery of one’s own existence and the imponderability of life, and, quite incidentally, about the emotional state of a nation. It is alarmingly sad, but also exuberantly hilarious at times.


Directed by Thorsten Lensing
Associate Director Benjamin Eggers-Domsky
Stage Design Gordian Blumenthal, Ramun Capaul
Costume Design Anette Guther
Dramaturgy Thierry Mousset

Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Sebastian Blomberg, André Jung, Ursina Lardi, Heiko Pinkowski, Devid Striesow

Funded by means of the Capital Cultural Fund and the city of Münster.