New German dramatic art - Playing time 2013/2014

Und dann (i.e. And then)

Wolfram Höll's memory trace Und dann takes place in the head of a perhaps six to eight-year-old child, who must have lived together with his siblings in some prefab housing estate in the mid-1990s, without a mother and with a swamped and probably unemployed single father. The audience must first laboriously piece together or infer such biographical details from the text, because Und dann unfolds from only one perspective: that of the boy, who seeks to explain his strange, new/old surroundings and the many individual impressions, which defy being fit into a properly meaningful form, by pasting one relentless "and then" to another. A wobbly, fragmentary world compounded of monotonous days, fading pre-turnaround memory residues, daily routines and the occasionally enigmatic behaviour of his father, is jerry-rigged together in the child's head.

There are some erratic blocks before the otherwise so square housing estate; the father, who disappears for days into his room and tinkers on an old radio or film projector; excursions to the nearby town with a large road along which tanks used to drive once a year and now drive the new cars, which are already old ones. In-between there are flashbacks of the mother, who is inexplicably no longer there, of having to go to bed and get up. Some phrases are repeated and split into different audio tracks of an inner monologue, into thrusts of narration and narrative blockades, into impatience, boredom, wonder and reflection.
(Franz Wille, programme booklet of the 2014 Mülheim Festival)

Comments on the play:

Höll's Und dann is a text about remembering – 'remembering' in the sense of a weak category, not as getting hold of the missing, a moral activity, concealment of loss or melancholy lingering, but in the sense of the trace of death in life: the 'You' has passed from being into being-remembered. The loved one is no more, and then, then the loved one is nothing more than a memory. Höll's text operates in this chasm, in this 'and then'. And it does this with impressive linguistic subtlety, with discretion and a marvellous will to form.
(Ewald Palmetshofer in the jury decision inviting Und dann to the Play Market of the 2012 Berlin Theatre Meeting)


The world that becomes perceptible in this play, through which the constant 'and then' treads its path, is vast and fallen into ruin; it is no longer causal-linear, but circulating and entangled. The recurrence of speech patterns, of individual motifs now in an almost refrain-like manner, now only as shimmering tonal associations – this recurrence creates a text in which the narrated does not simply proceed causally from the already narrated, but rather in which things stand isolated, on the one hand, and yet cross-linked with one another in the most multifarious ways on the other.
(Wolfram Lotz in his speech on receiving the 2014 Mülheim Dramatist Prize)

Technical Data:

Premiere 4.10.2013, Schauspiel Leipzig
Director Claudia Bauer
Cast variable
Rights Suhrkamp Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Suhrkamp Theater & Medien
Papellallee 78-79
10437 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 740744-395
Fax: +49 30 740744-399
Mail Symboltheater@suhrkamp.de
Translations theatre library