Teile (hartes Brot) - Parts (Dry bread)
By Anja Hilling after «Dry Bread» by Paul Claudel
From 1909 to 1916 the French dramatist Paul Claudel worked on an historical trilogy whose central piece is «Dry Bread». Through its characters he makes visible the social, political and spiritual changes of the 1840s that had begun with the French Revolution. Those who had previously driven the Enlightenment were now the exploiters of the restoration. Once lofty ideals had been corrupted, egotism and greed had triumphed. A fight breaks out between Turelure, a representative of the old order, his beloved Sichel, his son Louis and Louis’s fiancé Lûmir over the essentials: money, revenue, power. With great violence and a keen business sense they are each determined to achieve their own vision of the future. Above all the women, who have not been permitted to conduct business until now, strive to inscribe their own names on this phase of radical change. The dramatist Anja Hilling, who has already overwritten Claudel’s work on several occasions, transposes his historical drama into our own time.
«A certain lawlessness increases satisfaction.»
«Claudel interests me because he does not respect any boundaries. I read ‹Dry Bread› from the perspective of the present, this Europe and of myself, my personal boundaries, that I find in my body and thinking, and overwriting brings me to a place I cannot locate in any period. It’s a kind of ancient future. And it is the women in whose hands Claudel places the task of breaking apart the dark existence that is only brightened by possessions. The strength of their desire is what drives their actions and their means of changing the situation.» Anja Hilling
Resident Director Julia Hölscher directs a world premiere of Anja Hilling’s powerfully eloquent work for the second time after «Break of Noon. The Hour of Disappearance».
Anja Hilling, born in 1975, graduated in German Literature and Theatre Studies at FU Berlin and Creative Writing for the Stage at the University of the Arts Berlin. Her first stage play «Stars» (world premiere 2006, Stadttheater Bielefeld) was invited to the Stückemarkt at the Berlin Theatertreffen in 2003 where it won the Dresdner Bank Prize for new playwriting. The tragi-comedy «My Young Idiotic Heart» (world premiere 2005, Münchner Kammerspiele) was invited to the Mülheimer Theatertage in 2005. The magazine «Theater heute» declared the playwright «Young Writer of the Year» for 2005. In 2006 her play «Bulbus» received its world premiere at the Vienna Burgtheater. The drama of civilization «Black Beast Sadness» (UA 2007, Schauspiel Hannover) was produced at numerous major stages in German-speaking territories as well as throughout Europe, including at La Colline in Paris and the Dramaten in Stockholm. Her other plays include «Sense» (German language premiere 2007, Thalia Theater Hamburg), «Nostalgia 2175» (world premiere 2009, Thalia Theater Hamburg) and «Radio Rhapsody» (world premiere and invitation to the Autorentheatertage at the Thalia Theater Hamburg 2009). At the Vienna Schauspielhaus there were world premieres of «The Garden» (2011) and a reworking of the monumental work by Paul Claudel «The Satin Slipper or The Worst Doesn’t Always Happen» divided into four days (2012, «Day III: The Conquest of Loneliness») and «Symphony of a Sunny Day» (2014). Anja Hilling was then nominated for the German Youth Theatre Prize for «what goes on inside» (world premiere 2016, Theater praesent Innsbruck). At Theater Basel in 2017 «Break of Noon. The Hour of Disappearance», an over-write of Paul Claudel’s «The Break of Noon», received its world premiere. Further works followed at e.g. Nationaltheater Mannheim («how can I find you, make you move in and persuade you to stay», world premiere 2017) and Theater Bonn («Apeiron», world premiere 2020).