Der Schiffbruch der Fregatte Medusa

Sat 14 May
von Alexander Eisenach nach dem historischen Bericht von Jean Baptiste Henri Savigny und Alexandre Corréard
Premiere 14. May 2022
Altersempfehlung: ab 16 Jahren

In June 1816 the «Medusa», the fastest frigate of its time, sets to sea. Its destination is Saint-Louis in Senegal. There are two hundred and forty people on board – besides the sailors, most of them are soldiers, but they also include the colony’s Governor and his family together with priests, teachers, doctors and engineers. Two days’ journey from their destination the ship runs aground on a sandbank and splits. As there is not enough room for everyone in the lifeboats, a raft is cobbled together for the lifeboats to tow on shore.  But as soon as they set off, the rudderless and heavily overloaded raft is left behind by the boats on which the dignitaries are rescuing themselves. Of one hundred and seventeen men only fifteen will survive. Many of them will fall victim to their own comrades because the few goods they were able to save – barrels of wine, sodden biscuits, a few weapons and valuables – are as heavily fought over as the power the make decisions about possible rescue measures.

Based on the description of the surgeon Savigny and the engineer Corréard, survivors of the disaster, the then unknown painter Théodore Géricault created «The Raft of the Medusa» in 1819: now one of the most famous paintings in the Louvre. The playwright and director Alexander Eisenach, who introduced himself at the Residenztheater last season with «One Against All» after Oskar Maria Graf, now presents a stage adaptation of the battle for resources among those who were shipwrecked that raises highly topical issues around solidarity and justice.    

«Links with the structures of imperialism and colonialism of the 19th century lead directly to the present day. The tension between an unscrupulous exploitative economy in the margins of our perception and an image of humanity of progressive and egalitarian set in the context of The Enlightenment and our focus on a knowledge-based society describes both the historical moment and the present day.»

Alexander Eisenach

Artistic Direction

Direction Alexander Eisenach
Stage Design Daniel Wollenzin
Costume Design Claudia Irro
Music Benedikt Brachtel, Sven Michelson
Video Oliver Rossol