Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.

Der zerbrochne Krug

A comedy. By Heinrich von Kleist

New production

The initial impetus for Heinrich von Kleist’s comedy was his desire not to be outdone by his friends and fellow poets Zschokke, Geßner and Wieland. In 1802, he was staying with them in Bern in the hope of being able to settle down and pursue a successful life. ‘Like Virgil’s herdsmen, we decided on a poetry contest,’ Heinrich Zschokke noted. The idea was that each of the three writers would compose a text inspired by an etching he had come across in his lodgings: La cruche cassée by Jean Jacques Le Veau: ‘Kleist’s zerbrochene Krug won.’

Kleist deepened the themes in the material, using Sophocles’ drama Oedipus the King as inspiration. Oedipus is determined to find out who murdered his father only to discover that he himself is the culprit. ‘We cannot know whether what we call truth, is truly truth, or whether it only seems so to us’, wrote Kleist in a letter, and this could stand as the moral of the play, exploring as it does the multifaceted nature of truth.

This comedy about the village judge Adam, who in his futile attempt to seduce the virginal Eve is ultimately forced to pass sentence on himself, is at the same time the story of a law destroyed. A production by director Andrea Breth in the Salzlager Kokerei Zollverein, Essen.

A Ruhrtriennale production.