New German dramatic art - Plays

Prinzessin Nicoletta ("Princess Nicoletta")

"A young Princess and an old King, a Prince seeking a bride and a jealous Aunt: Rebekka Kricheldorf has kitted out these archetypes with biographies and with relish ironically entangled them and their servants, equipped with diverse citations ("Leone and Lena" make their bow), in a bloodcurdling fairytale for adults.
King Phillip wants to rejuvenate the ailing royal household by marrying his daughter Nicoletta to Crown-Prince Omo from the powerful neighbouring kingdom. His lecherous sister Leonore, who murdered the Queen, scents fresh possibilities. But Nicoletta is not ready to play along. Bewitched by a baked apple, she has fallen for Moritz who cooks for the servants. But he prefers plump peasant girls. Änne, a frustrated governess who conspires to bring about a palace revolt, can't make it with the cook either. Then Omo, schooled in vain by his father's Grand Vizier, is incapable of seeing that this marriage is primarily a political act. Such grave infringements of social conventions must come to a bad end. And if the characters haven't died, they carry on murdering to this very day ..."
(Gustav Kiepenheuer, Bühnenvertrieb GmbH)

Responses to the Play

"... The text contains an entire series of theatrically effective elements. It takes up the motif of boredom in such celebrated precursors as "Leonce und Lena" and of eating an apple in fairytales, and evokes links between Änne and "Miss Julie", the King and Alfred Jary's "Roi Ubu", or the Grand Vizier and "A Thousand and One Nights". The genre of "Fairytales for adults" makes possible all conceivable variations of well-known elements. As a "fairy story" the piece forces itself into a framework of relationships between characters and narrative patterns which time and again plays with spectators' déjà-vu experiences. As a work for adults, the text can be read as a parable and associatively related to events and personalities in contemporary history".
(Herbert Fuchs, Marburger Forum, 2003)

"'Princess Nicoletta' was ... a triumph. You really did succeed in deploying all the worthy classical means of building up tension and presentation of characters, of exposition ..., plot, subject, etc, with amazing mastery, and at the same time exaggerated to such an extent that this became post-dramatic, using classical dramaturgy to switch without a break into the current rejection of screwing-up tension and identification with characters ... That provided on the one hand splendid nourishment for the theatre, as witty, opulent, and rich in stories as a travelling circus, and yet also a subtle, clever text about a woman's self-assertion".
(Oliver Bukowski, Eulogy for Rebekka Kricheldorf during presentation of the Kleist Prize 2003. Printed in: "dramaturg", 2/03)

Technical Details

Premiere 8.3.2003, Gießen Stadttheater
Director Peter Hailer
Swiss premiere Theater am Neumarkt, Zürich, May 2003
Director Gil Mehmert
Cast 3 women, 4 men. Changing set
Rights Gustav Kiepenheuer Bühnenvertriebs-GmbH
Schweinfurthstr. 60
14195 Berlin
Tel: 030-8231066, Fax: 030-8233911
kiepenheuer-medien@t-online.de
Translations Theatre Library