by Georg Büchner
Georg Büchner’s fragile fragment, one of the most important dramas in German literature, is based on the case of the soldier Woyzeck, who murdered his lover and was sentenced to death in 1824. Büchner was familiar with the facts of this historic criminal case which were detailed in legal, medical and psychological reports. He shows a murder of jealousy and the events that lead up to it: Woyzeck, «a good chap and a poor devil», forced onto the lowest level of society financially, humiliated by his superiors, experimented upon by science, is exposed to a radical lack of empathy from the world around him. As a result, he becomes guilty, once his fears, instincts and desires break out obscenely from inside him. However, «Woyzeck» goes far beyond this tragic individual case of a creature who has been mistreated. Büchner uses «the subject Woyzeck» to examine the question of our dependence on social conditions that «lie beyond us», on individual liberty and fatalistic determinism.
«Everyone is an abyss; it makes some people dizzy when they look down.»
«Woyzeck inhabits a social system that is shaped by brutality and that everyone is subject to without being aware of the fact. Those who subject Woyzeck to violence are themselves caught up in these overall circumstances. Büchner’s ability to present this brutalisation as one of language occupies the centre of the production. What Woyzeck remains, is blind power, both felt and exercised.» Ulrich Rasche
Ulrich Rasche, well known to Munich audiences since his productions of «The Robbers» and «Electra», is regarded as one of the most remarkable directors of his generation due to the strict formality of his choral projects and his imposing stage designs. With this production from Theater Basel he was invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen 2018.
Transfer of the production from Theater Basel, supported by the Theaterverein Basel