Folk play by Franz Xaver Kroetz
Franz Xaver Kroetzʼs are always both scandalous and normal. They tell of the people and their depths – so they are about perfectly normal life. This is also true of the folk play «The Urge», which already caused a furore in its original version, the sex comedy «Dear Fritz» in 1975. Kroetz shows the lives of a couple of cemetery gardeners, Hilde and Otto, who are just as frustrated in bed as they are making wreaths for burials.
Into this sad idyll steps Fritz, Hilde’s brother. He has been imprisoned for exhibitionism and has sadistic tendencies that he now attempts to quell with medication. He finds work, a bed and understanding with the two of them. Otto, who cannot find what he needs with his wife, is aroused by how his brother-in-law is different and tries to provoke him into recidivism. Fritz also resists Mitzi, a lonely co-worker who harasses him. Rejected and horny, Mitzi and Otto find each other, «let it all out» and do things they would decry as perversion if Fritz were doing them. Otto’s wife Hilde is jealous of them and develops different desires: murderous ones.
«What you want to do, is instinct. And without any instinct, you’re lost.»
Is it the pleasure of what is forbidden, a curiosity about being different, or are they simply prejudices that fascinate people on one hand and raise their defences on the other? Hating and loving, being a victim or a perpetrator: is this general urge the (un-)holy ambivalence of the just?
«Sensational events that we don’t understand properly seem to have developed into a robust cultural reflex – made even more than back when Franz Xaver Kroetz wrote ‹The Urge›.» Lydia Steier
With Lydia Steier, born in Connecticut, USA, an internationally acclaimed director renowned mainly for her opera productions will stage this folk play firmly located in Bavaria.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR FRANZ XAVER KROETZ
Born in Munich in 1946. After dropping out of high school, he attended a private acting school in Munich and later the Max-Reinhardt-Seminar in Vienna, leaving both before the end of the course. After passing the Bühnengenossenschaft’s Diploma in Acting, he received his first job at the Büchner Theater in Munich. He also had contact with Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s «antiteater». During this period, he took casual jobs to keep his head above water. He directed at the Bauerntheater in Tegernsee and wrote several plays that he destroyed. His first surviving plays were written between 1968 and 1969, including «Deer Crossing» (world premiere 1971, Dortmund City Theatres) and «Homework» (world premiere 1971, Münchner Kammerspiele). With the help of a one-year playwriting grant from the Suhrkamp Verlag, Kroetz is able to devote himself to writing full time and achieve his breakthrough. In 1971 he writes «Farmyard» (world premiere 1972, Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg), «Request Concert» (world premiere 1973, Württembergisches Staatstheater Stuttgart), «Ghost Train» (world premiere 1975, Ateliertheater am Naschmarkt, Wien) and «Dear Fritz» (world premiere 1975, Staatstheater Darmstadt). Kroetz becomes the most-performed contemporary German playwright, also directing some of the plays himself. In 1972 he joins the German Communist Party. The same year Rainer Werner Fassbinder films «Deer Crossing», and this is followed by a number of his other plays being filmed for television. By 1976 he has written at least twenty plays, including «Upper Austria» (world premiere 1972, Städt. Bühnen Heidelberg) and «Maria Magdalena» (world premiere 1973, Städt. Bühnen Heidelberg). They win several awards and in 1976 «The Nest» receives the Mülheim Playwriting Prize. He also works regularly as an actor in theatre, film and television. He becomes known to a wider audience in 1986 through his role as the gossip columnist Baby Schimmerlos in the television series «Kir Royal». In 1994 «The Urge» receives its world premiere at the Münchner Kammerspiele. Kroetz’s most recent works at the Residenztheater were his adaptation of Ludwig Anzengruber‘s «The Worm of Conscience» (2007) and «You Wiggled. Requiem for a Dear Child» (world premiere 2012, director: Anne Lenk).