Martin Heckmanns

Wörter und Körper ("Words and Bodies")

"The play is set on the square in front of a railway station. People bustle around and stories intersect. A woman wants to bring clarity into her life and end her affair with her married lover. A tramp believes he is being persecuted by the secret service. A mother has left her violent husband, taking her child with her, and does not know where to go.
The characters are commuters. They travel back and forth between curiosity and defensiveness, between showing affection and talking to themselves. There is lots of coming and going. Words and Bodies is a play about farewells and new beginnings. It tells of in-between times and moments of decision. It tells of people in crisis and on the move. The melody of a city can be heard in its short scenes. Unnoticed by anyone, a woman holds her farewell speech to the world. Then time makes its presence felt and stands still for a moment. Words and Bodies is a play about the question of connections and the possibilities of coexistence. What are we hoping for when we enter into conversation? Is our interlocutor a threat or possibly the person who will redeem us? And not least: how can we say 'Yes' to the things that confuse and overwhelm us?"
(Martin Heckmanns)

Responses to the Play:

"Words and bodies: these are the main ingredients of theatre. At the same time, it is always interesting when discrepancies become apparent between the words and the bodies. Martin Heckmanns's Words and Bodies is a series of such small-scale, off-beat situations. […] The author succeeds confidently in finding the balance between poetic profundity and ironic lightness, the dialogues are quick-fire, there is considerable situational comedy.
Words and Bodies is a drama about the stations in our lives that is reminiscent of Botho Strauß's 1970s classic Groß und Klein (Big and Little), and not just in formal terms. Heckmanns too creates a panorama of society with a rather odd woman standing at its centre. In this case, it is the 38-year-old Lina Sommer, who has gone off the rails a little for some reason."
(Wolfgang Kralicek, Mülheim Theatertage 2007)

"Lina, a young woman without friends, goals or close relatives, walks through everyday life, sowing unrest. She is an absent-minded saint of the kind we know from Botho Strauß (Big and Little) or a film by Krisztof Kieslowski. She disturbs people and rouses them; she breaks up marriages and revitalises them. She is a creator of connections. Those whom she leaves suddenly feel something is missing. Complete strangers establish momentary alliances, but there are no deeper connections."
(Peter Kümmel, DIE ZEIT, 15 February 2007)

Technical Data

Premiere 10 February 2007, Schauspiel Staatstheater Stuttgart
Director Hasko Weber
Cast 4 female, 7 male
Rights Suhrkamp Verlag
Lindenstr. 29-35
60325 Frankfurt/Main
Postfach 101945
60019 Frankfurt/Main
Tel:+49 69 75601701
Fax:+49 69 75601711
Navigationssymboltheater@suhrkamp.de
Translations Theatre Library