Mein junges idiotisches Herz (i.e., “My Young and Foolish Heart”)

A very normal day in a very normal block of flats. Miss Schlüter on the fourth floor has decided it is to be her last: “At three o’clock, sharp, I will be a tragic woman.” Yet she is not particularly poor, old or ugly – at most a little lonely and, above all, a perfectionist who plans everything down to the last detail.
Miroslaw, whose job is delivering fruit juice and with whom she has placed an order just before she rips the telephone from the wall, is supposed to find her as a beautiful corpse in a red dress. But life, as it turns out, tears up her meticulous arrangements with a chain reaction of improvised coincidences and catapults Miss Schlüter and the other residents of her block into a series of increasingly complicated situations. The caretaker, Mr Zarter, drops by to repair the leaking sink, the postman wants to deliver a package for Mr Sandmann on the third floor, who in turn discovers the baseball jacket of a woman who has been pursuing him in his dreams for weeks in Zarter’s flat…

Six people live out their lives, cross each other’s paths and get to know each other bit by bit. Each of them is by turns the observer and the observed, the narrator and the narrated so that the repetition of the same situations gradually builds up into something approaching a multi-perspective 3D puzzle. At the end, the postman lies dead in the laundry room but, despite her firm intentions, Miss Schlüter has not killed herself and Paula Lachmär, who has spoken her first word in 69 days, spontaneously invites Miroslaw to try some goulash. A kaleidoscope of catastrophes, in which the characters live cut off from each other in their little cells, becomes a colourful curiosity cabinet populated by wistful urban neurotics. Connections are established, monologues become discussions and an old song by Doris Day floats over the whole piece: “My young and foolish heart”. (Silvia Stammen, Stücke 05, Mülheim Theatertage)

Responses to the Play:

“The monologues and dialogues are linked seamlessly, describing the solitary life in the communications age from the characters’ points of view in a lightly swinging rhythm. A test of talent and really a radio play because, in essence, the action and the relationships are merely reflected. But Anja Hilling can write the way people speak. And she has something that is rare, a sense of humour.”

(Thomas Thieringer, “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, 22 November 2004)

“Surprisingly, however, none of these alarmingly skewed normal existences is even just a little bit exaggerated. After all, who says caretakers always have to talk like caretakers? And what do caretakers talk like anyway? Or postmen? Or rape victims? […] At first, the half dozen stories of unspectacularly messed-up lives and loves circle unobtrusively around each other, then they collide with the precision of a delicate mechanism like a handful of billiard balls that sometimes knock each other off their paths through life or miss a black hole by millimetres. Restrained by just enough wit to rule out pity.”

(Franz Wille, “Theater Heute”, 4/2005)

Technical Details

World premiere 3.03.2005, Theaterhaus Jena
Director Markus Heinzelmann
Cast 2 female, 4 male, changing set
Rights Felix Bloch Erben GmbH und Co. KG
Hardenbergstr. 6, D-10623 Berlin,
Tel.: 030-3139028, Fax:
Translations Theatre Library