Gesine Danckwart

Täglich Brot ("Daily Bread")

Five singles, who "want to make something of themselves", are struggling with and for themselves so as not to go under in the competitive arena. That makes them likeable, quite independently of how they present themselves. This play lives from the way it holds up a mirror to us: an elegant career woman who tries to force her lonely existence into orderly ways; an unemployed man who doesn't bother to dress, first bewailing his fate, then stirring things, and finally promoting his fresh start; a girl student, always nice to others, who dreams away her day in search of happiness; an irritating agency man who is always nosy but at his computer despairs about protective screens; and an apathetic waitress in a KFC outfit who gets through her monotonous day by constantly complaining. As individuals or in groups, they talk themselves, phrase by phrase, into their own (our?) disturbed identities. And day after day, after they have been manoevred by the alarm clock, strident as a works siren, back nto the nightmare known as life: "That is the face with which I have to leave the house. Somehow things would be better if it were slightly different".
(Pamela Jahn in the Tagesspiegel)

Responses to the Play

Gesine Danckwart's ... text consists of monologues, which sometimes venture out from deep within, occasionally almost developing into dialogues, but at the decisive moment break off for fear of disappointing their source. Falling between two stools, between the islands of work in the rippling sea of time, there remains much space for associations, and also for provocative dynamics ranging between thoughtful silence, hectic activity, and hysterical outbursts. Sadness is concealed in the alternations of frustration and little victories, but it lurks in heads. Blocked spirit is worn down by banalities. This has long been something other than one's daily bread in the original sense. Five lonely everyday stories circle around the struggle for a sense of self-worth and success, and against seeing the absurdity of the services offered and one's own existence.
(Dresdener Neueste Nachrichten)

Gesine Danckwart has composed polyphony for five voices talking about jobs and careers, about the wages of fear and what they are spent on (for instance on "Ging myself a real treat of a face cream"), and about emptiness and loneliness whether employed or not. For the most part a self-preoccupied and autistic, but rarely restrained, dialogue, sometimes coldly distanced in the third person. If there were not so much easy musicality and verbal wit involved, there might arise a heart-rending picture of the horrors of souls enslaving themselves in capitalism of their own accord. (...) This text is the best that Gesine Danckwart has written to date. It has a powerfully maintained theme - people and work - where both speed and rhythm are skilfully maintained.
(Eva Behrendt in Theater heute 06/01)

Technical Details

Premiere Theaterhaus Jena, April 2001
Director Christiane Pohle
Cast 3 f, 2 m
Rights S. Fischer Verlag GmbH
Theater und Medien
Hedderichstr. 144
60596 Frankfurt am Main
Tel. 069/ 60 62 339, Fax 069/ 60 62 335
Translations Theatre Library