Plays

Alltag und Ekstase (i.e. Daily Life and Ecstasy)

Janne is a modern young man of forty. He is making something of himself – every day. He tinkers on his optimal “I”, questions his motives and palpitates his consumer decisions for possible insufficiently reflective residues. Katja, his ex, can’t cope with the education of their daughter River, seeks solace with various Prince Charmings and in the friendship with Janne’s mother, Sigrun, who for her part is fed up with hegemonic masculinity and has decided for a life quite devoid of men. Janne’s father, Günther, a widely-travelled ethnologist, unblinkeredly looks beyond Christo and Eurocentric religions and likes to celebrate this or that exotic ritual, much to the annoyance of his stuffy son. When Günther’s Japanese lover Takeshi turns up in Germany, several self-images begin to unravel. All the members of this patchwork family are searching for moments of ecstasy and being-outside-themselves – for we have rarely been so “with ourselves” as we are today. Rebekka Kricheldorf, an expert in maliciously comic social satire, devotes her play, commissioned by the Deutsche Theater, to the absurd paths that the longing for cult and ritual slashes through our enlightened and fast-paced society.
(Deutsches Theater, Berlin)

Comments on the play:

At first, they give the impression of four quite normal middle-class individualists searching for self-realization. The mother is building a country house. The father, Günther, celebrates the rituals of other cultures – ranging from Guinean tribal rites to the Japanese tea ceremony – so uncritically that it almost hurts. The daughter-in-law, Katja, riots away her days with different men while the son, Janne, rejects all conventions in principle.

Then a Japanese guest bursts into the midst of their feel-good hell – a visitor whose fondness for German customs, German beer and gay men’s clubs causes consternation. Thus it gradually transpires that working on your own uniqueness is not only futile but also harbours painful insights. What if each of us, precisely where he thinks himself most individual, is actually most conformist?

(…)Kricheldorf has a flair for the absurdities of existence. She confronts the search for a place in the world with contemporary motifs: not only green-mindedness but also a consensus society that analyzes everything and offers a therapy and cure for every problem.

(Simone Kaempf in taz, 20.011.2014)


In her trenchant work, commissioned by the Deutsche Theater in Berlin […], Rebekka Kricheldorf links the uniformity of our self-realization and dreams of optimization to the ubiquitous coercion to talk […]: with immense wit, she […] carries a society to comic absurdity … everyone psychologizes and discusses things until nothing remains except a debate about the correct techniques for carrying on a conversation.
(Christine Wahl, programme books of 2014 Mülheim Theatre Festival)

Technical Data:

Premiere 17. Januar 2014, Deutsches Theater, Berlin
Director Daniela Löffner
Cast 3 women, 4 men
Rights Gustav Kiepenheuer Bühnenvertriebs-GmbH
Schweinfurthstr. 60
14195 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 8231066
Fax: +49 30 8233911
Mail Symbolinfo@kiepenheuer-medien.de
Translations theatre library