Theatre | The 10 Selected Productions

Die Ratten

By Gerhart Hauptmann

Schauspiel Köln

Premiere 20 October 2012

Die Ratten, © Klaus Lefebvre

Die Ratten. Lina Beckmann © Klaus Lefebvre

Public discussion 17 May 2013, following the performance
Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Bornemann Bar / Kubus
with the ensemble and Vasco Boenisch (jury)
Moderation Barbara Burckhardt

From a circuslike bizarre Felliniesque attic-store, a play emerges: The theatre’s devices take us to the depths of human misery and back. Mrs John has bought a child and claims that it is her own. Ever more stubborn, she follows her track of lies, with devastating consequences for all lives involved. Over-the-hill Director Hassenreuter wants to own a theatre again, one that will bring an audience and some cash, so he cheerfully bends towards all sides, with adverse implications for the theatre.

With this intelligent interleaving and thematization of comedy and drama, already combined by Gerhart Hauptmann, director Karin Henkel demonstrates how a naturalistic tragedy can unfold on today’s stage void of illusions. Lina Beckmann as Mrs John develops poignant tragedy with her both delicate and straightforward acting, Kate Strong presents wonderfully overwrought, stylized circus figures in various parts, Lena Schwarz delivers vociferous expressionist drama and Bernd Grawert steers his Paul John from a harmlessly affectionate father to the desperation of a Woyzeck, from day-to-day life into the abyss. Truly grand theatre.

Directed by Karin Henkel
Stage design Jens Kilian
Costume design Klaus Bruns
Music Mark Badur
Lighting design Hartmut Litzinger
Dramaturgy Sybille Meier

Harro Hassenreuter Yorck Dippe
Mrs. John Lina Beckmann
Paul John Bernd Grawert
Pauline Piperkarcka / Walburga Hassenreuter Lena Schwarz
Alice Rütterbusch / Sidonie Knobbe / Mrs. Hassenreuter Kate Strong
Selma Knobbe / Mrs. Kielbacke / Prince / Dog Jennifer Frank
Erich Spitta / Bruno Mechelke Jan-Peter Kampwirth
House-steward Quaquaro / Policeman Schierke Michael Weber