The 10 Selected Productions

Anatomie eines Suizids (Anatomy of a Suicide)

By Alice Birch
German version by Corinna Brocher

Deutsches SchauSpielHaus Hamburg

German premiere 17 October 2019

With clinical precision, Katie Mitchell stages Alice Birch’s play about deepest depression and the fear of living. These are passed on over three generations of women and appear impossible to escape.

Anatomie eines Suizids

Anatomie eines Suizids. Julia Wieninger, Josefine Israel, Sandra Gerling. In the background: Christoph Jöde, Paul Herwig, Tilman Strauß

© Stephen Cummiskey

  • 2 h, without interval

What can you do when depression rules your life? Clara, the mother, is the first who cannot escape desperation and takes her own life. Her daughter Anne first turns to drugs and then commits suicide, too. Will Anna’s daughter Bonnie manage to break through this familial destiny? Katie Mitchell has staged Alice Birch’s intricately constructed play as a sombre, precise parallel montage in which the three women’s journeys through life are artfully correlated. A show about failure and success.

Statement of the Jury

In her play “Anatomy of a Suicide”, dramatist Alice Birch introduces the audience to three women: Mother Clara, her daughter Anna and her granddaughter Bonnie. Clara suffers from severe depression, her daughter tries to compensate her unhappiness with drugs, both of them end up taking their lives. Bonnie, however, explores different avenues. Actors Julia Wieninger, Gala Othero Winter and Sandra Gerling portray the women at different points in their lives. Katie Mitchell stages this ingeniously composed play as a sensitive show about the pain of being alive and the attempt to get a grip on one’s existence. The stories of these three women are set in the past, present and future and are assembled in parallel, both in the text and on stage. A triptych of generations emerges. And a psychologically complex show that finds an exciting new way to ask what a successful life is.


Director Katie Mitchell
Assistance Direction Lily McLeish
Stage Design Alex Eales
Costume Design Clarissa Freiberg
Lighting Design James Farncombe
Composition Paul Clark, Melanie Wilson
Sound Design Donato Wharton, Melanie Wilson
Dramaturgy Sybille Meier

Clara Julia Wieninger
Anna Gala Othero Winter
Bonnie Sandra Gerling
Hans Paul Herwig
Jakob Tilman Strauß
Jo / Laura / Lola Josefine Israel
Dirk / Kay / Felix / Luke Christoph Jöde
Tim / Toby / Steve / Mark Michael Weber
Emma / Karen / Flora / Esther / May / Diana Ruth Marie Kröger
Anna (child) Tikki Thöne
Flora (child) / other children Sonja Weißer

Performing rights: Rowohlt Theater Verlag, Hamburg