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Penthesilea

by Heinrich von Kleist
Direction: Luk Perceval


The battle between the Greeks and Trojans is at full pitch as Penthesilea and her Amazon warriors appear on the battlefield. After initial confusion about which side the female warriors are fighting, it becomes clear that they have come instead to capture men to take home to Themiscyra for a wedding ceremony. Penthesilea and the Greek Achilles are hopelessly attracted to each other and try repeatedly to find each other in the middle of the fray. Both the Greeks and Amazonians try to reason with the couple, but Achilles is no longer interested in the battle against the Trojans, and Penthesilea ignores the Amazons’ dictate never to fall in love. As they meet the last time on the battlefield, Achilles plans to submit to her, yet she mistakes his intention. In the madness of her love she leaps on him and tears him apart with her teeth, killing him. Upon regaining her senses, she takes her own life out of desperation.

In Kleist’s tragedy on love and war, the human becomes an animal. The Amazons are widowed, raped and traumatized, and the Greeks are hardened and callous from their endless campaign. In a world in which war has become a normality, and in which a conflict lasts for generations, men and women are trapped in a battle of the sexes. No matter how badly you want it, if human relationships are determined by trauma, it is impossible to live a life of love. The only way out, and perhaps the only consolation, is a dual death.

Direction: Luk Perceval
Stage design: Anette Kurz
Costume design: Ursula Renzenbrink
Music: Jean-Paul Bourelly
Dramaturgy: Maja Zade
Light design: Jörg Hentschel

Penthesilea: Katharina Schüttler
Prothoe: Bettina Stucky
Oberpriesterin: Carola Regnier
Meroe: Christina Geiße
Achilles: Rafael Stachowiak
Odysseus: Heiko Raulin
Diomedes: Ulrich Hoppe
Antilochus: Michael Rastl
Hauptmann: Manuel Harder

Premiered on 21 February 2008

«  August  »

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