Eine Zierde für den Verein (A CREDIT TO THE CLUB)

ABOUT SMOKING, EXERCISING, LOVING AND SELLING after the novel by Marieluise Fleißer adapted for the stage by Elsa-Sophie Jach
Premiere
Marstall
Sat 16 Nov
EINE ZIERDE FÜR DEN VEREIN (A CREDIT TO THE CLUB)
ABOUT SMOKING, EXERCISING, LOVING AND SELLING after the novel by Marieluise Fleißer adapted for the stage by Elsa-Sophie Jach
Premiere 16. November 2024
Marstall

The tobacconist and local swimming champion Gustl Gillich falls in love with Frieda Geier, a travelling saleswoman who tours the provinces, making her a lone female warrior in a male preserve. However, when Gustl wants to turn their love can be a business model and Frieda into a source of cheap labour, she walks out, leaving him to find consolation in misogyny and male company. In her portrayal of this unequal couple, Marieluise Fleißer drew on autobiographical features of her own marriage.  

Fleißer, who was discovered by Feuchtwanger and Brecht and then rediscovered by Fassbinder and Kroetz, is seen by Jelinek as the «greatest female dramatist of the 20th century». In her only novel, the  «Fleißerin» used pithy language that condensed reality to tell of «smoking, exercising, loving and selling.» In an atmosphere of social and political unrest in the period of economic crisis and the Nazi party’s seizure of power, she illustrates how a social milieu and its politics are linked, as «everybody is weaving a pattern, that is being woven right now but has yet to be read. Only the future will reveal its true meaning.» With this in mind, at a time when anti-Semitic attacks have resurfaced, toxic masculinity is flourishing and women’s rights need to be defended once again, Fleißer’s prose fiction can be understood as call for vigilance. In her stage adaptation of Fleißer’s novel, resident director Elsa-Sophie Jach again focusses on a female narrative voice.

«Crawl swimmer Gustl ploughs his way through the water, the flour saleswoman Frieda does the same to Gustl’s hopes and a railway train hurtles towards a bomb. As if in slow motion, Marieluise Fleißer shows an exploding present that seems horrifyingly similar to our own. Her autobiographical novel tells of a youth dangerously radicalised by an unstable economic and social situation, of the art of high diving and a love that is falling apart.»

Elsa-Sophie Jach

Artistic Direction

Direction Elsa-Sophie Jach
Stage Design und Costume Design Aleksandra Pavlović
Composition Samuel Wootton
Dramaturgy Constanze Kargl