I had a ticket to see "Kleiner Mann was nun?", a theatre adaption of the 1932 Hans Fallada novel (English title "Little man what now?") done by the director Luk Perceval for the Muenchner Kammerspiele in 2009.
My motivation to see the play was that last year I had read Fallada's "Alone in Berlin" ("Jeder stirbt fuer sich alleine") and was truly impressed by it.
The in the end 4 1/2hrs just flew by! There was little action on the stage, maybe a bit too little for most tastes, only an orchestrion playing, looking more like an altar sometimes.
I sat on a cheap seat far away from stage so I had troubles seeing the actors faces. So for me the evening worked as something as an audio book which was surprisingly nice! I could easily listen to what was going on as the text was so close to the novel and therefore very descriptive.
And even though that sounds as if it should have been a very long and boring evening, it was not! The plot moved me, the acting convinced me...mostly (maybe the leading couple could have done with less hugging).
Will get the book in the library now...a theatre night to remember, very simple, very reduced and very thoughtprovoking.
And yes, for everyone interested in the plot (wikipedia):
The bookkeeper Johannes Pinneberg and the sales girl Emma „Lämmchen“ Mörschel had hardly found out that she was two months pregnant when Pinneberg is sacked and must find a new job in the middle of the economic crisis. Pinneberg’s despicable mother Mia, a nightclub hostess from Berlin, comes to the rescue by finding her son a job as a salesman in the Berlin department store Mandels. However, Pinneberg is stuff under pressure because the boss Spannfuss introduces a monthly quota for all salesmen to achieve, otherwise they are made redundant. This leads to fierce competition between the colleagues. As their son Horst, whom they affectionately call “Shrimp”, is born, money again becomes scarce because their health insurance payouts are delayed. After a year Pinneberg becomes less able to work at Mandels. After many warnings about lateness, he is very behind on his monthly quota. He begs the film actor Franz Schlüter, who wanders into the shop, to buy something from him. The actor refuses and complains to the manager about Pinneberg’s behavior, and Pinneberg is promptly fired. In November 1932, the small family illegally move into Pinneberg’s former colleague’s summer house 40 km east of Berlin. Although Pinneberg has been unemployed for 14 months, his wife forbids him to steal coal. Instead, she darns socks and does dressmaking for local families to earn a bit. One of Pinneberg’s journeys to Berlin ends in a fiasco, as Pinneberg, with his poor appearance, is chased away from Friedrichstrasse by the police. The couple realize that good old-fashioned love is all that matters. Fallada gives a detailed description of the living conditions of the white-collar workers of the time. He also shows the roles of trade unions, governmental institutions and sacking in the labor market. Businesses are shown to pitch people of the same class against each other and reveal everyone’s worst side.