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Maria Stuart

Thalia Theater, Hamburg
By Friedrich Schiller

Directed by Stephan Kimmig
Stage design Katja Haß
Costume design Anja Rabes
Music Michael Verhovec
Video Helena Ratka
Lighting design Matthias Vogel
Dramaturgy Juliane Koepp

Paula Dombrowski Elisabeth
Susanne Wolff Maria Stuart
Werner Wölbern Leicester
Helmut Mooshammer Shrewsbury
Peter Jordan Burleigh
Asad Schwarz-Msesilamba / Christoph Rinke Davison, Aubespine
Christoph Bantzer Paulet
Daniel Hoevels Mortimer

Premiere 24 February 2007
Length app. 2h, no interval

Talk with the audience
Moderation Tobi Müller
Wed 14 May 22:00

When Stephan Kimmig heard the German minister of the interior state that torture may no longer be discounted as a weapon in the fight against terrorism, his angry reaction became the starting point for a production of Schiller’s “Maria Stuart” as an analytical study of state terrorism. Susanne Wolff plays the imprisoned Scottish queen, who is bound with cable ties to an electric chair in the back room of a well-lit bungalow – this is the centre of power of the English Queen Elisabeth (Paula Dombrowski), and it makes a claim to symbolise transparency, enlightenment and open dialogue with citizens. A number of glass walls and concrete blocks are interlinked, through which the audience can see at various junctures. They camouflage the structures of power, as state officials hide signed death penalties in inconspicuous files, and even the trees in the yard are no more than symbols of subjugated nature. Stephan Kimmig tells this history play as a political thriller, liberating it from all its heady idealism and enabling us to see the brute force behind structures of cynical power politics and the logic of state coercion. He also very clearly shows how men are made into murderers by atomising responsibility and thus making all crime anonymous. In its struggle against the terrorist Maria Stuart the state itself makes use of terrorist methods and in so doing endangers its own legitimation. Kimmig’s lucid and eminently political interpretation of Schiller’s tragedy is an unsettling and highly topical anatomy of murder in the name of the law.