Production | 10 remarkable productions



By Roland Schimmelpfennig

Deutsches SchauSpielHaus Hamburg

World premiere: 29 September 2023

Laios © Deutsches SchauSpielHaus Hamburg

What guilt do the ancestors pass down to their descendants? Karin Beier and Roland Schimmelpfennig place Oedipus’ father Laios at the centre of their astute re-writing of ancient myths, superbly performed by Lina Beckmann.

Audience Talk
Wednesday, 15.5.2024 after the performance
Impulse: Joseph Vogl (Philosopher)
Jury member: Katrin Ullmann
Moderated by Florian Malzacher

Watch the full-length performance on television
Saturday, 4.5.2024 at 20:15 on 3sat

Watch the full-length performance online
in the 3sat-Mediathek and in the BerlinerFestspiele Media Library from Thursday, 2.5. to Friday, 30.8.2024

Thebes is a city of violent excesses when Laios, brought back from exile, ascends to the throne. The citizens’ expectations are immense. But why do the new King and his wife Jocasta remain childless? Is young Chrysippos involved, who accompanied Laios to Thebes, or is an oracle by the seer Pythia the reason? And then the Sphynx appears, a mysterious animal-like creature that spreads terror and chaos. 
King Laios, father of Oedipus, is only a side note in Greek mythology. In the second instalment of their five-part series “ANTHROPOLIS”, author Roland Schimmelpfennig and director Karin Beier place him centre stage with a fictitious monologue supported by ancient sources. This polyphonous text gives a voice to everyone from Laios via the political council of Thebes to Pythia, and is narrated, embodied, performed and interpreted by the brilliant Lina Beckmann, who plays all parts and is fully convincing in every single one.

Statement of the Jury

Following Pentheus – and preceding Oedipus – Laios is the rightful heir to the Theban throne. In the second part of the five-part series “ANTHROPOLIS” Roland Schimmelpfennig has invented a personal biography for this supporting character from the ancient world. He allows space for myths and possibilities as well as for kebab shops and rattling motor scooters. After all, those handed down stories of the ancient Greeks, this “sick shit”, is nothing but conjecture. Gods are at play here, as well as flying cats and banished princes, some of them with pierced feet. Karin Beier needs only few devices to stage this monologue of multiple perspectives with all its versions, variations and maybes. And at the centre of it all, she firmly places the phenomenal Lina Beckmann who fills the black worlds of the stage with roaming assurance. With superb presence of mind, physical suppleness and an overwhelming joy of acting, she invokes a grand, far-away world while always staying in touch with the audience. From the light-heartedness of a teenager via the human abysses of a Butoh-dancer and a politician’s calculations to the calamitous cough of a seer, Beckmann fascinates in alternating characters. But her principal role is that of a highly concentrated, captivating narrator.

Tojuror Katrin Ullmann’s video statement in the Berliner Festspiele Media Library (in German)

ProgrammeBooklet (pdf, 1.8 MB)

Artistic Team

Karin Beier – Director
Johannes Schütz – Stage Design
Wicke Naujoks – Costume Design
Jörg Gollasch – Music
Annette ter Meulen – Lighting Design
Voxi Bärenklau – Video
Sybille Meier – Dramaturgy
Anna Wörl – Associate Stage Design
Teresa Heiß – Associate Costume Design


Lina Beckmann

In the film
Lina Beckmann – Laios
Goya Brunnert – Chrysippos
Josefine Israel – Eurydice
Ernst Stötzner – Kreon
Julia Wieninger – Iocaste
Michael Wittenborn – Teiresias