- 3h 20 (2 hours performance, one hour public discussion), one interval after the performance
Six Holocaust-survivors are seated on stage, in silence, behind a transparent curtain. Their only seemingly expressionless faces are projected on to the screen, while four younger actors read the stories of their lives and suffering. Photos from 1930s Vienna appear: masses of people cheering the Nazis, images from the camps, showing dead bodies and lost individuals; finally – scenes of the liberation. The men and women are between 80 and 100 years old. After their story has been told, they come to the front of the stage and deliver a very personal message. All this is staged with great delicacy, avoiding theatre effects and garnish; it is narrative in the best meaning of the word – and so avoids any dutiful contortions of memory combined with an automatic dismay. “The final witnesses” is a powerful yet fragile (theatre) document.
Staged by Matthias Hartmann
Stage design Volker Hintermeier
Costume design Lejla Ganic
Lighting design Peter Bandl
Video Moritz Grewenig, Anna Bertsch, Florian Gruber, Markus Lubej
Dramaturgy Andreas Erdmann