Leonce und Lena (Leonce and Lena)
After Georg Büchner
The story, it seems, takes little time to tell: a prince and a princess from neighbouring kingdoms run away to escape from an arranged marriage, fall in love with each other incognito and try to use their cunning to be able to choose the path of their own lives for themselves – only to realise at the end that they have run straight into the fate that had already been arranged for them. So far, so clear.
This could be a Shakespearean romp, a parody of Goethe’s «Werther» and the system of monarchy, a study of youth and boredom. However, when you read the text more closely, you realise that strange breaks, fissures and holes are left gaping between the lines – and the characters themselves are full of ungrouted chasms that readers, actors and directors are constantly falling into, at the bottom of which the great human questions are sparkling: who? why? where now?
«How a voice has resounded through my deepest core and promptly swallowed all my memory.»
Georg Büchner’s «Leonce and Lena» appears to begin as a classic comedy of mistaken identity, but ends as a strange dream play about the meaning and meaninglessness of existence, doubting reality and yearning to turn into a machine. It is a launch pad into nothingness, full of sadness and ambiguity with crystal clear lines of innocent wisdom hidden in between the puns and wordplay.
Resident Director Thom Luz makes «Leonce and Lena» the starting point for a ramble through Büchner’s joyful and despairing world and finds his own way through the hall of mirrors between the throne and ball room and the madhouse.
In the course of the season, this royal comedy follows Büchner’s plays about the proletarian Woyzeck and the French revolutionaries in «Danton’s Death», continuing our exploration of his poetic examination of existence in a range of settings and directorial approaches.