Company/ Theatre: Thalia Theater Hamburg/ Salzburger Festspiele
Author: Peter Handke
Director: Dimiter Gotscheff
seen on the 20.06.12 in Wiesbaden at the "New Plays from Europe" festival
description: Home and heritage, tradition and personal deliverance, these are the driving topics of Handke’s monumental soliloquy with his ancestors. On an associative journey of thought to early 20th century Carinthia, Handke goes back to the apple orchards of his family, which he knew when he was a young man. A lyrical “I”, played by Jens Harzer, fabricates relationships and spins dialogues between himself and his relatives, in an attempt to approach the elusive notion of origin. The excellent acting company absorbs the audience into a highly poetic text.
what I liked: the actors where magnificent (but, you sort of expect that from the Thalia Theater, don´t you?!). Jens Harzer, who won "Best actor of the year" was brilliant in his very own and casual but mesmerising way of speaking. Was the first time ever I came across Austrian/Slowenian history so therefore worth the concentration.
what I didn´t like: It was long...and it was getting boring. The last monologue of half an hour was nearly unbearable to watch as I couldn´t sit, listen or concentrate anymore.
verdict: An interesting play with fantastic moments but all in all too lengthy.
PS: The performance started at 19.30...the one and only intermission started at 22.10...an elderly couple, type grammar school teachers, walked past me while he got a tin of Red Bull out of his bag. His comment "I have never drunk this before but now..." That´s what I call a dedicated theatre lover :-)