Franz Helm

Ein kleinbürgerliches Rührstück in 3 Akten
1 D, 2 H, 1 Dek
UA: 15.09.1994 · Modernes Theater, München · Directed by: Philipp Sonntag
“Marrying – the title promises peace, bliss, a happy end. But what Franz Helm, an author from Munich, describes in his play is a very normal relationship war. In the Modernes Theater, Phillip Sonntag stages the premiere production as a black comedy with excursions into the grotesque – 90 minutes of rapid entertainment between Strindberg and boulevard.

“I don’t need money. Theatre is art!”, unsuccessful province actor Kurt snarls. Orchestra musician Berta begs to differ. The daily frustration has damaged their shared life severely. While he takes care of their one-year-old daughter, she looks for distraction in her married colleague Bernhard. They don’t spare each other and feed their personal hell with accusations, fights, withdrawal and hatred. Until Kurt, who has been neglected, stages a bloody horror story with the aid of the baby monitor and South American horror stories. This forces Berta to her knees and back into their marriage.
Philipp Sonntag (director and designer) has staged the chaos between leather couch and diaper changing table, baby crying and parrot cawing in a beautifully mean manner, avoiding stuffy TV-realism by skilfully using slapstick and scurrilous accusations. Kurt, portrayed by Michael Sideris, evolves from the seemingly daft Jerry-Lewis-fidgeter to an evil avenger, who sometimes even reaches poetic imbalance. “Your heart stinks of duty free aftershave”, he shouts at cheating Berta: Eva Brunner portrays her as a full-blooded woman with a heavy Kärntner dialect and a slight tendency for emotionalism.” (Abendzeitung)