Production | The 10 Selected Productions

Das neue Leben

where do we go from here

Freely adapted from Dante Alighieri, Meat Loaf and Britney Spears
Based on a translation by Thomas Vormbaum

A production of Schauspielhaus Bochum, as part of Transfer Bochum/Zürich

World premiere 10 September 2021 (Schauspielhaus Bochum)

Video trailer © Schauspielhaus Bochum

Love, failure, moments that cannot be brought back and new beginnings are at the centre of Christopher Rüping’s production at Schauspielhaus Bochum. Love poems from the late Middle Ages are the show’s starting point and they come up against today’s pop songs.

Public discussion
Saturday, 7 May 2022 after the performance

What if you love someone with all of your heart but your love remains unrequited? In his collection of poems and sonnets “Vita Nova (The New Life)”, the poet Dante tells us about his feelings for Beatrice. He never confessed his love to her; her early death has left a painful void in him. How do we deal with the things we did not do? This question is the point of departure from which director Christopher Rüping and his wonderful cast approach these more than 700-year-old texts, continue them and live through them together. The result is a venue for encounters of delicate beauty and great force.

Statement of the jury
Christopher Rüping hands Dante’s early work “Vita Nova” from 1293 over to a deeply laid-back cast who examine it like a precious but robust toy, trying to reveal its fundamentals. The topics are true love, death and missed moments. And how they can sometimes generate art. Between Dante’s unanswered sonnets to Beatrice and today’s pop songs, in a tender clinch with each other and with the auto-piano, the actors venture to explore the very limits of sentimentality without a safety net. When we traverse the “Divine Comedy’s” inferno and purgatory in the second part, however, the poor and approachable theatre of the beginning yields to an overwhelming, almost megalomaniac Gesamtkunstwerk of lighting, sound, set, costumes – and time. A courageous, surprising evening of virtuoso acting and music that grabs us by our (post)pandemic yearning for encounter and new beginnings, that aims for and touches our hearts.

Tojuror Mathias Balzer’s video statement in the Berliner Festspiele Media Library (in German)

Artistic Team

Christopher Rüping – Director
Peter BaurSet design
Lene Schwind – ​​​​​​​Costume Design
Jonas Holle – ​​​​​​​Music 
Paul Hankinson – ​​​​​​​Piano arrangements
Bernd Felder – ​​​​​​​Lighting design 
Vasco Boenisch – ​​​​​​​Dramaturgy

William Cooper, Viviane De Muynck, Anna Drexler, Damian Rebgetz, Anne Rietmeijer

Performance rights: © 2016 Philipp Reclam jun. Verlag GmbH, Ditzingen