Coproduction with Schauspiel Stuttgart
‘I hold fault lines together!’
Two siblings have come to the town hall early in the morning. A bag containing their brother’s body lies between them. The two siblings, a sister and a brother, couldn’t be more different: one is the town’s mayor and the other a bohemian type who gets by with various odd jobs.
Until this moment, they had avoided each other as best they could. Now the mayor has sought out her brother’s help to discreetly carry their brother’s body to the town hall. She fears she will lose her position; after all, the dead brother had committed suicide, injuring others and dragging them to their deaths with him. Was it an accidental suicide? Was he depressed? Or was he, according to the rumours now circulating, an assassin?
The siblings hide the body bag in the town hall chest, in which many things have been disposed of during the course of its history. It’s said that even Luther was once forced to use it when hiding from his pursuers. There’s speculation that this very receptacle was meant to transport Hitler’s body out of his Berlin bunker, as well as the tawdry notion that it had been used to keep Stalin’s moustache secretly hidden.
The world outside quakes; nothing there ignites more easily than rumours. The mayor has impending elections to face. There is growing pressure from the streets. The memorial service for the victims, at which she has to give a speech, is about to take place in the town hall reception room. A group of people who are thoroughly entangled with one another congregate around her and struggle to keep the minute’s silence, which ultimately comes to a head and is no longer about the dead. Everyone is cooking up his or her own scheme and the dead merely serve as an object of projection for the panic, ideological obsessions and political survival of the living. The more they want to set themselves apart, the more their mutual dependence becomes grotesquely apparent.
Theresia Walser is one of Germany’s most successful contemporary dramatists. She has received numerous prizes and awards. For her play King Kongs Töchter (King Kong’s Daughters) she was voted best German-language writer in the annual poll of critics for the magazine Theater heute. She enjoys a close collaborative partnership with Burkhard C. Kosminski, who directed many more premieres apart from The Outraged.
Burkhard C. Kosminski studied acting and directing in New York. He has served as principal stage director and a member of the artistic management at the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus, director of drama at the National Theatre in Mannheim and general director of the Schauspiel Stuttgart since 2018. A special focus of his theatrical work lies in promoting contemporary writers.
Translation: Sebastian Smallshaw