A Theatrical Folly by Johann Wolfgang Goethe with texts by Karoline von Günderrode
«The Sorrows of Young Werther» became a literary sensation across the whole of Europe in 1774 and overnight turned its 25-year-old author Goethe into the star of the young Stürm und Dräng movement. Goethe had originally planned to write the story of Werther’s unrequited love for Lotte as a stage play, but ultimately decided on the form of the epistolary novel. In her adaptation, the director Elsa-Sophie Jach has seized on the idea Goethe abandoned and transfers Goethe’s love-sick alter ego to the stage. «WERTHER. A Theatrical Folly» supplements Goethe’s shimmering, astonishingly modern rush of emotion with texts by one of his contemporaries: Karoline von Günderrode. The radical, emancipatory spirit of her eccentric, melancholy and highly poetic verse, which brought her the soubriquet «the Romantic Sappho» meets the emotional ardour of Goethe’s tragic anti-hero.