Die Affäre Rue de Lourcine

by Eugène Labiche
Translated from the French by Elfriede Jelinek
Director: Jan Bosse

Stage A

03/03/2024, 20.00

Lenglumé wakes up to discover he is suffering from a total blackout. What he can remember: he drank copious amounts the previous evening at a school reunion. Now there is a strange man lying next to him in his bed who calls himself Mistingue. Who is this fellow and where has he come from? The two find one curious piece of evidence after another in their pockets. Reading the morning newspaper seems to confirm their worst fears: a female coal merchant has been murdered in the Rue de Lourcine. And everything points to Lenglumé and Mistingue as the perpetrators. But what exactly happened? Both begin to re­enact what they have done and what they might be capable of doing, and fall into an ever­growing despair. The most important thing is to cover up the alleged crime and clear away any possible witnesses. With a series of increasingly grotesque attempts to save himself, Lenglumé tries to avoid the worst. And, of course, his wife Norine cannot hear a word about any of it ...

Eugène Labiche (1815–1888) is recognised as the creator of the »vaudeville cauchemar« or nightmare farce, which he exemplified with »The Rue de Lourcine Affair«. First performed in Paris in 1857, the monstrous and malign nature of the bourgeois soul is presented here in comical mode. Trapped in an intricate web
of misunderstandings and lies, the characters are launched from one terrible situation to the next as the plot spirals into ever more absurd and existential dimensions. Is it possible to pinpoint the difference between appearance and reality? Are we aware of the darkness that lies dormant within us? And what do we do when our self­assurance lies shattered at our feet?

Jan Bosse was born in Stuttgart and lives and works in Berlin. He was resident director at Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg from 2000 to 2005, and from 2006 to 2013 at the Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin. He has also directed at the Schauspielhaus Zurich, Deutsches Theater Berlin, Thalia Theater in Hamburg, the Burgtheater in Vienna, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Münchner Kammerspiele and the National Theatre in Oslo. Three of his productions were invited to the Theatertreffen.

Stage Design: Stéphane Laimé
Costume Designer: Kathrin Plath
Music: Carolina Bigge, Arno Kraehahn
Video: Meika Dresenkamp
Dramaturgy: Bettina Ehrlich
Lighting Design: Erich Schneider

Premieres on 3 March 2024