Nachtland

by Marius von Mayenburg
Director: Marius von Mayenburg
World Premiere
Globe


Nicola’s and Philipp’s father died after a short but severe illness. Two weeks after his death, the siblings and their spouses meet to divide up his possessions and liquidate the rest of his estate. There is little of value in the flat; even the attic is just filled with dust and junk. However, on a closer look, there is also a picture: a sepia and brown watercolour in a plain black wooden frame. The picture shows a sturdy looking church with the sun shining from a pale cloudy sky above. The church’s shadow is cast on the cobblestones. On the wall by the church gate is a dark line that may represent a figure. Who could have painted the picture? Did their father take up painting as a hobby in his old age? Philipp likes it; Nicola likes the frame. Thus, Nicola’s husband Fabian removes the painting from the frame and, in doing so, promptly injures himself on a rusty nail. Philipp’s wife Judith takes a closer look at the picture. Now that it is freed from the frame, it is suddenly possible to see a signature at the bottom: A. Hiller. Or is there a line going through that first »l«? Is the »l« really a »t«? Does it actually say A. Hitler? Is Adolf Hitler the painter of the picture? How is this possible? The family has no Nazi past and, by their own admission, was always anti-Nazi, ostensibly »for aesthetic reasons«. So why did their father have a picture painted by Hitler? What does one do with such a picture? Burn it? Or should it be sold – a thought that Philipp’s wife, who comes from a Jewish family, finds unacceptable. Who would want a picture like this anyway? Can its value be increased by a suitable provenance that proves a con- nection with the Nazi celebrities around Adolf Hitler? And what should be done with the money secured from the sale – would it be okay to buy a new house with it, or should the proceeds go to charitable causes? While the quarrel in the family threatens to boil over, a constant stream of evaluators and potential buyers turns up and Fabian collapses with tetanus, a rift opens up between Philipp and Judith that grows deeper and deeper ...

Marius von Mayenburg’s new play is a vicious comedy about the difficult legacy of Germany’s past – and the associated disputes about inheritance.

Premieres on December 3, 2022

 

In the production, anti-Semitism is thematized in language and representation.