JUDITH. Director Frank Castorf

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Сountries: Germany
City: Berlin
Place: Volksbuhne (Theatre of the People) on Rosa-Luxemburg Platz
Address: Linienstraße, 227
Date of premiere January 20th 2016

Judith, the apocryphal biblical character, in the tragedy by Hebbel wants to be loved and cherished, but the chaste land of Betul has no man who would be worthy of her. Only villains and dweebs live there. Holofernes, a pagan and all-mighty usurper of her people is a completely different figure. She feels irresistibly attracted to him. The enemy becomes the object of passion. She goes to him with the intention to love him and then kill him to free her people, which she despises. A controversial, deadly plan. It takes great love and great hatred to follow this scheme. She spends the night with the enemy, and then cuts his head off, "not to fall under his power." Her personal motive does not change anything in her objective heroism. She gave her enslaved people freedom from the pagan invaders. And for this she must be respected. Today, too, there are fighters of this kind, which for similar reasons, want  to “knock off” the infidels, that is the Western world. These fighters admire achievements of the West, their ideologues like Gucci and Versace; they arrogate to themselves the Western technology, especially the media. Like Judith, they want to be loved and cherished. Therefore, as it has been recently said by the philosopher Boris Groys at Volksbühne, it is so important to view their actions, their perception in society. "In their dependence on western media lies their future ruin, - says Groys. - They do not offer any economic or ethical and political alternatives. They need only one thing - to be perceived in the world”. The neo-liberal fundamentalism and neo-Islamists can be compared in their dogmatism and ignorance in relation to history, but above all they are comparable in terms of their obsession with scandals and media. Therefore, there is some truth even in Michel Houellebecq’s controversial words about the recent terrorist acts in Paris, that habit and ignorance are the strongest forms of resistance. “ The attack on "Charlie Hebdo ", - says Houellebecq – left me glued to the TV screen for two days. After the attacks of November 13, I didn’t turn the TV on at all. I just phoned my friends and acquaintances. So we are getting used to all these attacks and explosions”. In the end, our history or literature gives us examples of almost everything that is happening today. “Judith” by Hebbel – is one of the recent examples: good Christians living here in Berlin see not much of a problem in cutting off an infidel’s head. Judith assumes that she has “hurt the world  to the very heart” when she cut Holofernes’s head off. But she has only compensated her own narcissistic disease with this act resembling “her” people’s liberation. The people perhaps did not want this kind of freedom, and she felt no real sympathy for them.

Carl Hegemann

Participating actors:  Birgit Minichmayr (Judith), Martin Wuttke (Holofernes), Jasna Fritzi Bauer (Mirza), Mex Schlüpfer (Captain) and Stefan Kolosko (Achior)

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Photo: Thomas Aurin
Performance dates
21 December 19:00 JUDITH. Director Frank Castorf
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