New German dramatic art - Plays

Die Ballade vom Nadelbaumkiller (i.e. "The Ballad of the Conifer Killer")

Generational clash: Rebekka Kricheldorf sends representatives of 1968's Babyboomers into the ring with "thirty-somethings" (aka the "golf generation") and today's "network children". Jan Mao is the victim of anti-authoritarian upbringing and in search of limits. He stages himself as a modern Don Juan and squanders his father's money.
This father - Franz, a former hippie - has by now become the head of a flourishing advertising agency and wants his son to succeed him. But Jan doesn't want that; he is also incapable of that. He only gets through the day thanks to the services of Leporello Rudolf, the unemployed son of a fishmonger - despite being enormously overqualified for this menial role. Elvira, formerly Franz's comrade and now his best customer, is a sexually liberated businesswoman. She is suppposed to bring Jan onto the right path, but is stressed out by daughter Anna who plans her life purely in terms of success measured by cost-utility considerations. And then there is Tine who sells herself and mobile phone contracts for cash. Communication between the generations is not really possible so the characters encounter one another as strangers armoured in irony. The main influence here is the myth of Don Giovanni but not even the admonishing, serenading ghost of Franz (by now dead) can save his son and a flock of flamingos from a tragic end
(Gustav Kiepenheuer Bühnenvertrieb)

Responses to the Play:

With "The Ballad of a Conifer Killer" Rebekka Kricheldorf builds on "Princess Nicoletta" but surpasses her first success by setting this story in contemporary German reality rather than in fairyland. Papa Franz, once a leftist and now nouveau riche, chases after his prodigal son and doesn't understand that Jan Mao only wants to be a playtime prince and a beloved consumer with his father's wallet at his disposal. Kricheldorf overdraws her characters but also makes clear why the nineties seemed so knackered. The son is a sympathetic snob but no more. And that isn't even enough for a decent struggle with his father".
(Jürgen Berger in: Theater Heute, 7/2004)

"Rebekka Kricheldorf knowingly describes the sickness of today's youth: the absence of some clear-cut enemy in an age of virtuosi of the mobile phone and egocentric enterprises, the lack of a vision that others haven't already shown to be hollow. A cheerful skirmish between the generations with a showdown where the cards are once again reshuffled".
(Silvia Stammen, member of the selection committee for the 2005 Mülheim Theatre Days)

Technical Data:

Premiere: 18.05.2004 Staatstheater, Stuttgart
Director: Erich Sidler
Number of Performers: 3 females, 3 males
Rights: Gustav Kiepenheuer Bühnenvertriebs-GmbH
Schweinfurthstr. 60
14195 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 8231066
Fax: +49 30 8233911 e
Translations Theatre Library