Plays

Kränk (i.e."Sack")

"A father and his rebellious son. A mother and her stubborn daughter. The generations have little to say to one another. They are at home in different linguistic games. These parents meet at work and are thinking of having an affair; the children think of a love which should be unconditional, grand and symbiotic, in another, better world.
The way there requires a new language which they seek to create".
(Suhrkamp Theater und Medien)

Responses to the Play:

"Father, mother, child (a son) - and another mother plus her daughter (...). So a family play of which there are many. A nucleus of life and of the theatre (...) And now this fundamental pattern also exists as a postmodern grotesque tale. As a verbal performance by characters whose history, psyche, even 'business', is limited to, no longer involves more than, verbal interaction between vehicles of functions. Against the father and his dominance, his order, the son rebels, this lad who calls himself Ernk rather than Christoph, and deploys displacement of sounds as a tool in the conflict between generations. He says 'sack' rather than 'sick', 'ither' rather than 'other'. (...) Martin Heckmanns (...) has sublimated this ancient subject as a structural linguistic model (...). This is a leap forward in the author's development (...), a playwright who just a year ago came to Mülheim with a textual collage on human self-alienation in the age of globalisation ('Shoot, Store!' ??????).
Now the analysis goes deeper, in particular looking into abysses of creative linguistic interpretation of the world and failure to change the world. After all what eems so petty and foolish, so banal, with popular theatre making its presence felt, is in fact nothing less than sons' struggle against their fathers, and also the battle of the sexes and of youth against age and what is traditional (...), and of change against the established, which viewed overall is called history on both a large and a small scale. (...) The subtlety of this text is extraordinary".
(Dietmar N. Schmidt in the programme for the 2004 Mülheim Theatre Days)

"Heckmanns' new play is (...) a concisely carved dialogue which superficially seems to merely sail on the lukewarm waters of contemporary attitudes. But his brevity is accompanied by wit as he lays bare distorted family structures with laconic precision. Yet Heckmanns is a furious linguistic gymnast rather than a producer of educational theatre (...)".
(Jürgen Berger in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15.03.2004)

Technical Data

Premiere 11.03.2004, Schauspiel Frankfurt
Director Simone Blattner
Number of Performers 2 females, 2 males
Rights Suhrkamp Verlag
Lindenstr. 29-35
60325 Frankfurt/Main
Postfach 101945 60019 Frankfurt/Main
Tel: 069-75601701
Fax: 069-75601711
theater@suhrkamp.de
Translations None