by Elfriede Jelinek
Director: Nicolas Stemann
Jelinek has used the fatal attacks in Paris as impetus for her new play “Wut” (Rage). Her work deals with those fatal assaults on eight members of the editorial team of the satirical magazine “Charlie Hebdo”, two police officers and four customers of a supermarket selling kosher food in the eastern part of the city. Her text unleashes the rage which may have generated the attacks. That rage which in a grandiose, narcissistic self-empowerment sweeps away all doubts and any powerlessness with the cry “This is our moment now! You had your time, now our time has come! Look here and die!”
As usual Jelinek layers her levels of meaning. She refrains from getting bogged down in the blind rage of Islamist terrorists. Instead we experience a polyphonic choir of rage. It comprises the voices of enraged German citizens as well as those of other “upright”, “awakening” Europeans and even the fury of the antique hero Heracles who, dazzled by the goddess Hera, extinguishes his own family in his delusion. Also the author’s own rage intermingles. Her rage against those who are powerless in the presence of the terror of rage, the rage against the rage dealers, the populists and demagogues, the rage against those who are hungry for and addicted to rage, the rage against her own inability to grasp the indescribable in her writing, her inability to make it comprehensible. But, can rage only be understood as driver for destruction? How can it be shared, how can it unite those who have been excluded or left behind, without excluding others? What could emerge from the rage? “Wut” is the eighth production of the self-selected artistic cooperative of Elfriede Jelinek and Nicolas Stemann, in-house director at the Kammerspiele. This team looks back on a long history; in Munich, where they have yet to appear together, they will now continue their collaboration.
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