New German dramatic art - Plays

Das fliegende Kind (The Flying Child)

November. St. Martin’s Day. A children’s service in church. Parents listen emotionally to the singing of their offspring in the choir, while in secret they are busy planning and undertaking erotic adventures. From the very beginning, the lantern parade is overshadowed by evil omens. A black car drives through town. The father feels just a slight amount of resistance under the wheels. Hardly perceptible. Was there something there? A flying child? Schimmelpfennig’s latest play is a poetic requiem in which, with its souped-up vehicles, television towers and neon advertising signs, the city appears as a dark Moloch. Even children’s songs and lantern processions have something eerie about them in this world. The bitter final punch line is like a death knell that carries on reverberating long after the action has ended.
(Deutsches Theater Berlin)

Responses to the play:

‘There are genuine fairy-tale elements in this darkly muttering piece with its night-black poetry, a play that tells its audience about the misfortune right at the very beginning […], but it is not a fairy tale. It is a tragedy of the kind that could be found in a newspaper report at any time. A calamity born – and puzzled together by the author with tremendous intricacy – from the banality of life. But how monstrous and life-destroying for those involved!
[…] The Flying Child is a concentrated attempt to describe a black hole, torn from death. Time is brought to a halt in this play, which both relates the course of the accident and could never unfold without it – the past and the future: swallowed up in this one tragic moment, the echoes and impacts of which will reverberate for ever. It is a polyphonic requiem recited chorally by six characters from three generations (or time zones) and, with its insidious Halloween atmosphere, a spine-chiller as well. A deadly bitterly comic piece of bravura horror and verbal artistry, noted down in compressed, highly virtuosic phrases, rigorously composed out of recitatives, cadenzas and refrains.’
(Christine Dössel, 2012 Mülheim Theatertage programme)

Technical Data

Premiere 4 February 2012, Akademietheater, Vienna
Director Roland Schimmelpfennig
Cast 3 female, 3 male
Rights Fischer Verlag, Theater und Medien
Theater & Medien
Hedderichstr. 114
60596 Frankfurt am Main
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Translations Theatre Library