In this episodic theatrical peregrination, Neumann tells a modern fairy tale, in which – between opportunity and obligation, temptation and deception – ‘freedom’ proves to be a modern fetish.
‘In Frey!, Neumann revives the picaresque novel – his texts are episodic and prosaic in any case, with tremendous amounts of action narrated at breakneck pace. Here, he sends his clowning, Chaplinesque protagonist, “Friedemann Frey, clerical officer with a prestigious German insurance company”, on his travels as if he were Simplicissimus, the eponymous hero of Grimmelshausen’s great novel of the Thirty Years War: Caught in an existential trap between the insurance company office, his bog-standard family and the bowling alley, Frey is overcome one day by a panicky fear he is just about to miss out on something big.
He makes his escape and stumbles, aimless, passive and astonished, through the world like Alice in Wonderland. […]
Neumann makes use of an old theatrical trick to impose an ending on the overflowing abundance of his material: Frey wakes up sitting at his computer, and “statistics and tables glow in front of him.” It was all a dream, he never lived through any of it. The circle closes. His search for meaning can begin again from square one.’
|Premiere||17 December 2011, Staatstheater Stuttgart|
|Cast||2 female, 3 male|
|Rights||Gustav Kiepenheuer Bühnenvertrieb|
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