New German dramatic art - Plays

Dunkel lockende Welt ("Dark Inviting World")

“Something monstrous may have happened – or maybe nothing at all. Corinna, the fashionable, slightly neurotic maxillary surgeon with a helper syndrome who dreams of “patching up hare lips” in the Peruvian jungle and conducting a choir of healed patients, and Mr Hufschmied, the shy, but filthy rich landlord who keeps his mother’s ashes among his porcelain and, like a spider in a web, lurks in wait for a victim to feed his bachelor machine, beguile each other to gently swinging bossa nova rhythms like mewing cats in a love duet.

The meeting at which Corinna is to hand back the keys of the cleaned flat she is vacating turns into a morbid ordeal for, despite all her enthusiastic cleaning, Corinna has overlooked something that appears to be a small human toe, severed neatly from its former owner, who was quite possibly Corinna’s boyfriend Marcel. He is supposed to have departed ahead of her for Peru. Corinna’s Finnish mother, Mechthild, a tomboyish biologist, most likes to indulge in a never-ending torrent of words about the secrets of photosynthesis, while studiously ignoring the cries for help from her daughter, who has sought refuge at home in the second act. As it turns out in the third act, when she was young the mother once had a liaison with Mr Hufschmied and, who knows, he may even be Corinna’s long-lost father.”

(Silvia Stammen, Neue Züricher Zeitung, 4 February 2006)

Responses to the play:

“The play is built up of three one-to-one encounters like a relay race: each character loves and is rejected – Joachim [Mr Hufschmied, ed.] by Corinna, Corinna by her mother, the mother by Joachim. Together, the three scenes form the winged altar on which a family reunion is sacrificed.

Such is the unspoken truth covered up by so many spoken untruths, and the detective story is just a vehicle to convey this truth, or rather: a hired car that pulls the play from the hard shoulder until the engine starts turning over. She knows that he knows, and he knows that she knows that he knows – not much more remains of the genre when there is no culprit and no crime, just a web of open snares, though laid out with such a light touch that we are happy to get caught in them.”

(Christopher Schmidt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 3 February 2006)

“The themes are death, parting, security and separation. Dark Inviting World, the third play by writer Händl Klaus, is a magnificent piece constantly teetering on the brink of disaster, a comedy about a precarious feeling, the ultimate unbearable feeling, the being and non-being that can never be separated. About the essence of absence: the person who is there is far away, the person who is far will come again. A comedy of commas, in which no one ever reaches a full stop, in which one thing leads to another, in which the characters say what other people want to hear, talking across each other, in which they elaborate on and interrupt each other’s words. A spinning top of language with seemingly unstoppable momentum. A droll existential farce for the educated classes. And a comedy detective story: Who is actually dead and who is not? ‘Ce sont toujours les Autres qui meurent,’ stands on the stage. It’s always other people who die. The quotation comes from Marcel Duchamp, who had it carved on his gravestone. Death is a matter of perspective.”

(Peter Michalzik, Frankfurter Rundschau, 6 February 2006)

Technical Data


1 February 2006, Munich Kammerspiele

Director Sebastian Nübling
Number of Performers 2 female, 1 male
Rights Rowohlt Theater Verlag
Hamburger Str. 17
21465 Reinbek
Tel. +49 40 7272270
Fax +49 40 7272276
Translations Theatre Library for Translations