by Lars Norén
Directior: Thomas Ostermeier
German translation by Angelika Gundlach

Frank comes home. He trips over his wife’s shoes, surprised and annoyed by the general untidiness of the flat and cigarette ashes lying around in the most unexpected places. The normal chaos of a normal relationship. He searches for a place for his plasticbag. He hasn’t brought home the shopping though; it’s the ashes of his dead mother. Frank and Katarina are childless, in their late 30s and a couple for nine years. They live in a chic but messy apartment and are waiting for Frank’s brother to come for the funeral. He postpones his arrival so now they’re threatened by the prospect of a free evening. Jenna and Thomas live in the flat underneath them; they are the same age but have been blessed with three children and the never-ending little misfortunes that befall a normal small family. The rice that Jenna wants to borrow is the starting point for an invitation. The young parents, happy and exhausted by their children, walk into Frank and Katarina’s relationship hell. The evening begins as a sort of friendly meeting of two couples and tips into an evening of unplanned faux pas. The four entangle themselves in a chain of humiliations, sexual provocations, unintended confessions and exhibitionistic attacks. The aggressive loneliness of the childless couple shatters the supposed idyll of the others. This sexual greed for the other, which, through hundreds of meetings in the stairway, has been transformed into a continuous fantasy, cannot be expressed in a cathartic way. It breaks down into embarrassingly unfocused attempts at a wild and unfettered life. The fear of loneliness, the boredom of togetherness and the ruined hopes of an invigorating change build a prison in which the daemons of life hide away in an everyday life of petty meanness, clumsy malice, threatened separation and impotent sexuality.


By: Lars Norén
Director: Thomas Ostermeier
Stage and Costume Designer: Nina Wetzel
Composer: Nils Ostendorf
Video: Sébastien Dupouey
Dramaturg: Bernd Stegemann
Light designer: Erich Schneider

Katarina: Cathlen Gawlich
Frank: Lars Eidinger
Jenna: Eva Meckbach
Tomas: Tilman Strauß

Duration: ca. 135 minutes

(without interval)

Premiered on 2 March 2010

Tour Dates

Madrid (October/November 2010)
Paris (December 2010)
Lyon (April 2011)
Lausanne (January 2012)
Stockholm (May 2012)
Geneva (September 2015)