Moritz Rinke

Die Optimisten (i.e. "The Optimists")

A colourfully diverse group of German holidaymakers in search of culture. At Lumbini in Nepal, the Buddha's birthplace, their bus breaks down and the crankshaft has to be replaced. Arguments, rivalries, and generational conflicts break out, but are soon overtaken by other problems.
The hotel staff suddenly vanish and with them all the food suppplies. Then an expert in business ethics, travelling with the party, is found dead in his room. The bus driver disappears and finally cases of weapons turn up. The travellers are confined to the hotel by unknown powers. Roughly catapulted out of their cossetted Western European existence, they find themselves confronted by raw social reality and political developments which strike back brutally, pitilessly showing them in this unfamiliar place how little they ultimately know about themselves.
(Rowohlt Theaterverlag)

Responses to the Play: "Moritz Rinke follows the path already laid down in 'Republik Vineta (i.e. ""Vineta Republic")'. He has written a play about the spirit of our times. And once again hidden behind that is a lovingly malicious settling of accounts with a particular social group, with petty sanctities banal ideologies. In the play's predecessor the author's critical interest was focused on German social democracy, the New Centre's working world, and the "End of Employment" - and that text has lost none of its topicality. Now it's the turn of people who vote Green, opponents of globalisation, and utopians: all those who in the eighties and nineties hoped that the world would be changed for the better - in other words optimists.
As in his previous text Rinke sends these people who want to set the world to rights on a path into hell, and once again what starts as an ironical light comedy becomes almost inconceivably harsh. (...) No-one is protected against him- or herself, no remnants of what is thought sacred are spared. The characters drive themselves and one another into dead-ends of thought and action without being able to find any way out again. That is entertaining for audiences up to the moment of self-recognition and encroachment on personal ideals".
(Peter Spuhler in the Theater Heute Yearbook 2003)

"In his witty farce about globalisation Moritz Rinke allows himself the freedom to exaggerate to the point of absurdity the phraseology and rituals of good Westerners and apparently compassionate tourists who know what they are up to. His means: joking, satire, irony - and deeper significance. (...) Rinke makes no secret of the emergency facing the world; he merely shows the problems we have with that, deploying satirical overstatement in sending up the clichés overheard in the everyday political babble of the Social Democratic New Centre".
(Christine Dössel in the Mülheim Theatre Days 2004 programme)

Technical Data

Premiere 22.11.2003, Schauspielhaus Bochum
Director Matthias Hartmann
Number of Performers 3 female, 4 male
Rights Rowohlt Theater Verlag
Hamburger Str.17
21465 Reinbek
Tel. 040/ 72 72 270, Fax 040/ 72 72 276
theater@rowohlt.de
Translations Theatre Library