based on the novel by KLAUS MANN


Theatre version & direction: THOMAS JONIGK
Stage & Costumes: RIC SCHACHTEBECK

Premiere: 24.01.2020 at 19:30 hrs / Staatstheater Kassel/ Big House / Friedrichsplatz 15 / 34117 Kassel /

with: Bernd Hölscher, Sandro Šutalo, Rahel Weiss, Stephan Schäfer, Alexandra Lukas, Artur Spannagel, Marius Bistritzky

Playing dates and tickets:

The fascination of doom denied even to the sighted eye. The eroticism of evil, sex appeal of destruction. Babylon Berlin, the Pompeii between the world wars. Russian gangs, German fascists, international careerists, party people between Moka Efti and Berghain, conspiracies, party cries, the latent excitement: it can blow up in our faces … Klaus Mann outlined in his novel the timeless dancing on the volcano and the fall of the glamorous. A panorama of his contemporaries, the artists and intellectuals, children of the gods of the Golden Twenties, who did not want to give up their ecstasy even when swastikas were already flying over Babylon. But above all, the text is a portrait of a famous actor: Gustaf Gründgens. As Henrik Höfgen in the novel, he is too addicted to life on stage to notice that death has long since been sitting in the audience. Who plays his greatest role so perfectly that he falls for his theater mirror image: Mephisto. Goethe’s ingenious devil, who ends up in real life as the monkey of true hell. Who merely wants to be loved, but without responsibility. And who in the end suspects that the hype of the one is paid for with the suffering of the many. “I’m just an actor,” he exclaims, representing all of us, children of wealth, narcissists, the slightly insulted and those who want to be loved. Yes, just an actor. As long as headlights glow and masks shine. As long as the curtain doesn’t fall.

Translated with (free version)