“The king dies” at the Schlosspark Theater: Even the stars do not obey – culture

Upcoming performances: through May 1st, en suite (daily except Monday)

Death is a heinous crime. Especially if you haven’t been informed prior. “The notion that kings are mortal catches me completely off guard,” the elderly regent grumbles. He did so by obliviously ignoring the approaching impacts. His formerly proud empire is crumbling, his frontiers are eroding, his military is inebriated, his ministers fall into the creek while bathing and float away – and the stars and tides have recently gone insane. The sun has lost 75% of its radiance. You coagulate in a milky way.

The monarch himself isn’t in the best of health. He can no longer turn off rain, lightning, or thunder because his limbs obey him as little as his subjects. He considers a centuries-long list of accomplishments and evidence of his virility. He constructed Rome, New York, and Moscow (as well as Gütersloh), invented the automobile, the television tower, and the airport (in his prime) – and now? When he’s on stage in his pyjamas and realizes that it’s his last hour, his personal physician tells him, “At the end of the play, you’re dead, Your Majesty.”

“The King Dies,” by Eugène Ionesco, is not simply an absurdist classic. But it’s also a play about theater. With welcomes to coworkers (Shakespeare’s “Richard II,” Beckett’s “Endspiel”), centering around the most childlike of all play instincts: being the ruler in a limitless domain of fantasy, where the laws of nature don’t apply and assertions become facts. Simply seen from the end, descending through the stages of physical decline and losing faith in one’s own creative abilities. “Immortality was provisional,” Queen Margarete once said.

Pure merriment

At the Schlosspark Theater, director Philip Tiedemann has premiered Ionesco’s drama about letting go, 60 years after its Paris premiere. On this evening, it appears to be refreshingly fresh. An ensemble has gathered on Alexander Martynov’s pompous stage, with wooden throne pedestals and a dusty old radiator without electricity (the energy crisis is already coming! ), that has a lot of emotion for the Romanian-French author’s position: the ludicrous is the true normal situation. Georgios Tsivanoglou plays a stern guard with a talking bag who declares the royal status quo. Christiane Zander plays Julchen, the ruler’s errant personal physician of the present, with a wonderful snotty cheekiness, while Mario Ramos provides apocalyptic certifications to the ruler.

[Interview with Dieter Hallervorden: “Gendern is a politically motivated intrusion into mature linguistic structures”]

The aristocratic cast is also enjoyable: Dagmar Biener shines as the spiteful first Queen Margarete, who has long been unloved and who unfazedly follows the regent into the afterlife. Annika Martens plays weeping, very love-believer second wife Maria, who doesn’t want anything to do with saying goodbye, with vigour. Last but not least, it’s the evening of the host Hallervorden in the role of King Dieter (instead of Behringer, as in the original). He follows in enormous footsteps (from Werner Hinz to Sir Alec Guinness, Horst Bollmann to Manfred Karge) in his pajamas and felt slippers – which seem to signify nothing to him. This is a good way.

Mr. Hallervorden is such a magnificent king in Tiedemann’s eyes because he doesn’t pull the alleged consecration of a great mime career behind him like a train. His appearance isn’t vain in the least. Instead, sheer merriment. In the first section, Hallervorden perfectly satisfies Ionesco’s two pitches: the clownesque, childish retrograde revelers. And then there was the more mild-mannered, disbelieving awe until all worldly chains were broken following the break. A standing ovation was well-deserved. Hallervorden cites a sentence Maria says to the king in the program. In the evening, who echoes: “You are present as long as death is absent. You are no longer present when he is. As a result, you don’t get to meet him.”

By Editor

Leave a Reply