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The Trial

Münchner Kammerspiele
By Franz Kafka

Directed by / stage design Andreas Kriegenburg
Costume design Andrea Schraad
Lighting design Björn Gerum
Dramaturgy Matthias Günther

With
Walter Hess
Sylvana Krappatsch
Lena Lauzemis
Oliver Mallison
Bernd Moss
Annette Paulmann
Katharina Schubert
Edmund Telgenkämper

The music used in the performance was composed by Laurent Simonetti (1959–2008).

Premiere 25 September 2008
Length 3h, one interval
with English surtitles

Audience discussion
Fri 8 May 23:00
Moderation Barbara Burckhardt

There’s a bit of Cirque du Soleil about the way in which director Andreas Kriegenburg gets the company of the Münchner Kammerspiele acting on a revolving disc which slowly and menacingly turns vertical without the actors losing their footing or their characters. Their contradiction of the laws of nature is apparently effortless, as if gravity were an old wives’ tale and the centrifuge their natural habitat. And the alert eye of the law, which this upright revolve symbolizes, constantly stares at us, like a giant cyclops. Kriegenburg turns Franz Kafka’s unfinished novel “The Trial” into a virtuoso panoramic silent movie with seven Josef K.s, a multiple personality driven by paranoia and sexual hunger, which loses itself in its own madness. With jerky movements and the mask-like caricatured expressivity of Buster Keaton, K. hurtles in a fever through the stages of his passion, without ever meeting anyone but his own alter ego. An accident-prone clown and demonic bureaucrat in a vicious circle of his own tricks and phobias, he stumbles from one slapstick number to the next. Like a magician Andreas Kriegenburg has condensed the novel into a haunting and beguiling series of surreal and accomplished choreographic numbers and chorus scenes. This evening is a crazy carnival ride, set off by a stunning illusionist and stage poet.