Donnerstag, 3. April 2008

Frank Castorf

Born in 1951 in East Berlin. Studied theatre at the Humboldt University in East Berlin. Began as a dramaturg in Seftenburg, where he put on Brecht's one-act plays, later worked in Neubrandenburg, Anklam, Gera and then Karl-Marx-Stadt. Put on, among other things, Shakespeare's Othello, Ibsen's The Doll's House and Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba. In 1989 he worked in Köln, Basle, Munich, Hamburg...His production of Goethe's Torquato Tasso in the Munich Residenztheater was a cultural and political scandal. In 1990 Castorf became the managing director of Berlin's Deutsches Theater, and two years later moved to the Volksbühne. Among his most important productions have been an adaptation of Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, Shakespeare's King Lear and Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea. The Volksbühne was voted theatre of the year for the 1992-3 season in a critics' survey by the Theater Heute magazine. In the past seson attention has been drawn by Castorf's production of City of Women (an adaptation of Fellini's film La citta delle donne) and Sorokin's Honeymoon. 

„They offered me the play. It's about a specifically Russo-German Hassliebe, love in hate. Part of the play precisely captures a certain political truth. I find it fairly scandalous and feel some sort of pressing German hygiene when I hear a Russian saying, „What's the matter with in Germans? If in Russia someone runs about Red Square in an SS uniform, no one cares a hoot, and in Germany they all have breakdowns“. And then he adds: „First Russian schizophrenics - who really get on my nerves - and now German neurotics. It's like...oysters after borshch. Everything's seething with neurosis - politics, art, sport. It's everywhere, in the squares, in the universities, in the pubs...“ What I like about the play is its psycho-pathological description of two nations - in this respect I would say Sorokin is right. We are a priori ill - this supplanting of fascism, Stalinism, the creation of an ideal democracy, a people's democracy, it's simply sick. In this regard Sorokin's political and totalitarian experience speaks to me. We took two weeks to rehearse the play, I enjoyed doing it and I have a feeling of affinity. I consider it important to perform Honeymoon in West Germany, to tell them there in this cynical way what the Germans are like: I think Sorokin describes it very precisely. (From Castorf in an interview with Karel Král and Monika Loderová, which appeared under the title „Earn money, change the world, have fun“ in Svět a divadlo 5/1996)

Es gab eine Zeit, da kam keine Volksbühnen-Inszenierung ohne ihn aus. Steve Binetti stand mit seiner E-Gitarre lässig in der Dekoration der Castorf-Hysterie herum und bretterte, was das Zeug hielt Das trug ihm den Ruf eines Ostzonen-Hendrix ein. Dann tauchte der Musiker ab, in andere Gefilde, wo sein Spiel von kulturbeflissenen Theaterheinies missverstanden wurde. Ob das gut war? Ein Rock'n'Roller wie Binetti verändert sich nicht er wird nur immer eigener. 

Neben diesen Anti-Stars wird das Volksbühnen-Ensemble die Ohrwürmer aus Castorf- und Marthaler-Inszenierungen zum besten geben -- eine versponnene Hitparade als Rückblick auf zwei wilde Jahre. Volksbühnen-Hausmusiker Steve Binetti, die Antwort des Prenzlauer Bergs auf Jimi Hendrlx, malträtiert seine Gitarre, und die "Fritz"-Plaudertasche Dr. Kuttner wird als Conferencier durch den Abend führen.

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