A young woman, torn between her duty, her needs and the allure of the forbidden: Effi von Briest is married to Baron von Innstetten at a young age. He sees her as the token wife he needs for his career as a high-ranking public official. Effi is attractive and charming, and first and foremost she is from a good family.
She gets married full of curiosity about real life. But that is exactly what is hard to come by in her new home. The town of Kessin, where Innstetten lives, is parochial, and Innstetten himself is almost entirely occupied with his career. Effi is bored and gets lonely. Only her encounter with Major Crampas promises a bit of adventure and freedom. Soon, the connection between Effi and the childhood friend of her husband is more than amiable. Innstetten only becomes aware of the romantic relationship years later – and dutifully accepts the consequences.
Theodor Fontane’s novel Effi Briest portrays a society paralysed by its conventions. The need for change is palpable. Change of values, of life principles. But the path is still blocked. Effi Briest is probably Fontane’s most famous female character. Her story touches on basic questions of happiness and morals, freedom of decision and the weight of expectations. (Announcement Theater Lüneburg)