Production | 10 remarkable productions

Das Vermächtnis (The Inheritance)

By Matthew Lopez
Based on the novel “Howards End” by E. M. Forster
German translation by Hannes Becker

Residenztheater / Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel, Munich

German-language premiere 30 January 2022

Two men kiss passionately next to a tree while a third man looks on in irritation.

Trailer © Residenztheater (Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel)

Over the course of almost seven hours, Philipp Stölzl and his cast outline a fast-paced and multi-layered panorama of society and relationships which portrays New York’s gay community and raises questions about responsibility and respect.

Opening Party
Friday, 12 May after the performance

Audience Discussion
Saturday, 13 May after the performance
Moderation: Shirin Sojitrawalla, attending jury member: Sascha Westphal

Two men in their thirties in New York, shortly before Donald Trump is elected to become the 45th president of the United States: Writer Toby Darling is preparing for the premiere of his first novel’s stage adaptation. Meanwhile, his partner Eric Glass befriends Walter, who is 20 years older than him. Walter’s stories give him access to a time that he only knew from hearsay so far: the devastating HIV-epidemic of the early 1980s, which brought a deluge of grief, sorrow and discrimination over the LGBTIQ+ community and claimed countless victims. How to deal with this heritage of loss that is also a story of community and hard-won freedom? And what to do when these achievements are suddenly under scrutiny?
Matthew Lopez’ multiple award-winning stage epic “The Inheritance” was inspired by motifs from E. M. Forster’s 1910 novel “Howards End”. With its countless characters, locations, cliff-hangers and narrative arcs spanning several years, the play is constructed like a modern Netflix-series. Director Philipp Stölzl and his outstanding cast bring it to life with great virtuosity and precision – compelling and immensely truthful.

Statement of the Jury
In a way, Matthew Lopez’ two-part stage epos “Das Vermächtnis (The Inheritance)” is a successor of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America”: While Kushner’s AIDS-drama dissected the US of the Reagan-era, Lopez extends the narrative arc to the presidency of Donald Trump by jumping backwards and forwards in time. “The Inheritance” describes encounters between characters from different milieus and generations. A multi-faceted social panorama and relationship drama unfolds in pointed scenes, portraying New York’s gay community and highlighting social fracture lines. Director Philipp Stölzl entirely trusts the narrative and the first-class company of the Residenztheater. And not least, this seven-hour stage marathon proves that theatre is still by far better than Netflix.

Tojuror Petra Paterno’s video statement in the Berliner Festspiele Media Library (in German)

Programmebooklet (pdf, 1.6 MB)

Artistic Team

Philipp Stölzl – Direction and Stage Design
Franziska HarmsAssociate Stage Design
Kathi MaurerCostume Design
Ingo Ludwig FrenzelComposition
Gerrit JurdaLighting
Ewald PalmetshoferDramaturgy

Vincent zur LindenA young man / Adam / Leo
Florian JahrA young man / Jason 1 / Charles Wilcox / Toby’s agent / Doorman 1
Vincent GlanderA young man / Young Henry / Man / Dealer / Doorman 2
Noah SaavedraA young man / Young Walter / Tucker / Henry’s assistant
Patrick BimazubuteA young man / Tristan / Agent’s assistant
Simon ZagermannA young man / Jasper / Paul Wilcox / Other agent
Nicola MastroberardinoA young man / Jason 2 / Hospital employee
Thiemo StrutzenbergerA young man / Eric Glass
Moritz TreuenfelsA young man / Toby Darling
Michael GoldbergMorgan / Walter Poole
Oliver StokowskiHenry Wilcox
Nicole HeestersMargaret

Performing rights: S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main