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Slevogt, Esther

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Nachtkritik - Germany | 21/05/2007

Peter Stein's version of "Wallenstein"

Friedrich Schiller's historical drama "Wallenstein", which director Peter Stein is staging in a ten-hour production in an old factory in Berlin's Neukölln district, has 7,500 verses. Esther Slevogt writes that Klaus-Maria Brandauer is wonderful in the leading role, but she was otherwise unimpressed. "Peter Stein wants to invent a new kind of realism and presents a finely chiselled naturalism that includes artificial snow draped over the scenery, through which children romp and military bands march. At the same time he interlocks multiple layers of representation in an almost structuralist composition: the Defenestration of Prague; Schiller's take on the Thirty Years' War, as well as his own; perceptions of Schiller and his relevance for our world, which is once again entering a new age. In this interpretation, which shows the personal dynamics behind all political acts and the private drama behind all historical acts, the woodcut-like bogeymen created by today's media collapse. But this attempt to update Schiller by taking him literally nonetheless fails owing to the conservatism of the aesthetic approach."

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