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back12, 13/09/2009

Location: Powszechny Theater, 21 Legionów Str.

Elfriede Jelinek Rechnitz (The Exterminating Angel), director: Jossi Wieler

at 8:30 p.m.
[entry: 40 zł]

Elfriede Jelinek
Rechnitz (The Exterminating Angel)
director: Jossi Wieler
set design and costumes: Anja Rabes
music: Wolfgang Siuda
lighting director: Max Keller
dramaturgy: Julia Lochte
featuring: Katja Bürkle, André Jung, Hans Kremer, Steven Scharf, Hildegard Schmahl
premiere: 28 November 2008, Münchner Kammerspiele
On the night of March 25th 1945 in a castle in Rechnitz, on the border of Austria and Hungary, some Gestapo leaders and their local supporters celebrated the Gefolgschaftsfest (retinue holiday) by dancing, drinking and brutally murdering almost two hundred Jewish forced laborers. The post-war trial shows that the hosts of the celebration were the owners of the castle confiscated by the SS, Count and Countess Batthyány. They were never made responsible for the crime. Nor was the mass grave of the victims ever located, as witnesses were murdered during the investigation. Rechnitz retains its atmosphere of fear to this very day: ‘Jews have their wailing wall, we have a wall of silence,’ says one of the inhabitants. Jelinek makes no attempt to reconstruct the event: her look into the past is more of an archeology of language, an attempt to reveal the touched-up details of the crime, but also an attempt to speak of contemporary life.

Jossi Wieler – (b. 1951) opera and theater director. From 1972-1980 he lived in Tel Aviv, where he studied direction. He staged his first plays at Habima Theater. In 1982 he returned to Germany. He first worked as a director in Düsseldorf, and later as a full-time director in Heidelberg and later as director in Düsseldorf, Basel, Stuttgart, at Hamburger Schauspielhaus, Münchner Kammerspiele, Schaubühne Berlin and at Salzburg Festival. Since 1994 Wieler has also produced operas. He has done much-admired adaptations of Elfriede Jelinek’s work: Wolken. Heim (named play of the year in 1994), er nicht als er, Macht nichts, and Ulrike Maria Stuart.