by Yasmina Reza
read by Caroline Peters and Martin Wuttke
translated into German by Frank Heibert and Hinrich Schmidt-Henkel
arranged by Gerhard Ahrens
The novel Babylon by best-selling French author Yasmina Reza is set in a bourgeois apartment in Deuil-l’Alouette in Paris’s 17th arrondissement. Elisabeth and Pierre have invited a dozen guests, amongst them the Manoscrivis, a couple that is latently constantly at war with each other. All that keeps them together is a shared worry about their tomcat Eduardo’s kidney condition. The hosts and their guests drink and exchange witticisms, and a lively chat ensues until the conversation turns to the correct way to keep organic chickens. A fierce argument erupts between the Manoscrivis which, shortly after the party starts to break up, culminates in Lydie Manoscrivi’s death. Without any real premeditation, Jean-Lino strangles his wife – and what follows is the grandiose description of his attempts to hide her body during the course of which Reza shows how trivial and meaningless the death of your own wife can be in comparison to the relative importance of a much-loved tomcat’s kidney condition.
Like so often, Yasmina Reza explores the world of upper middle class Parisians. She unmasks her bourgeois characters in a ruthless and extremely funny way, although she also always shines a spotlight on their fundamental dishonesty and the abysmal darkness in their relationships. The bitter pettiness of human aberrations and misconduct that comes to light behind everyone’s facade when someone suddenly cannot abide all of this any longer and loses control, and events happen for which this facade does not provide appropriate behaviour patterns, is examined as if presented on a dissecting table.
In the form of a lively scene-by-scene reading, Caroline Peters and Martin Wuttke act out various desperate, grotesque versions of how the body might be disposed of that are all bound to fail, not least due to the characters’ total ignorance of crime.
€ 16 / concessions € 12
an Autostadt Wolfsburg Movimentos Festival Weeks production
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