I was supposed to see this play six years ago. Let’s say better late than never. Seen Wednesday, March 20th at the Maxim Gorki Theater.
It starts off very chaotically with everybody shouting. It is very hard to understand what anybody says. This gets better later on but I still had to peek at the surtitles regularly. I guess I’ve been spoiled by Dutch theaters where they strap microphones to their actors.
The premise is clever and the scene surprisingly light-weight. What follows is a bit too drawn out. The physical acting does not impress and you can only threaten to shoot somebody so many times before you actually have to shoot them. If you don’t, things get a bit dull.
The play itself is badly dated and the various debates have far moved on mostly to become irrelevant. The bits of Schiller that they play have held up much better over the past two centuries than Verrücktes Blut has over the past decade. Schiller also lets the actors in this play show their skills.
There is some Islam-criticism that is supposed to be edgy but misses the point. Additionally, we hit the obligatory ethno-clichés, many of which made me laugh during the wrong moments. Neither manages to be actually cutting. The social engagement on display is there for entertainment only.
The troubles with the kids in the play have only worsened and a new generation is now forced to make their rounds through Germany’s broken school system. Nothing about the systemic reasons behind the problems the kids are facing is even mentioned in the play. The situation is unfixable and there is nothing to be done other than ‘acting dumb’.
The actors can’t help the fact that this theater will have to play their break-out hit until the end of days. Especially if it keeps on filling the house. But at some point, it might be good to call the curtains.