New German dramatic art - Plays

Liebesruh (i.e., "Love's Repose")

“Regine and Karl have grown old together. Their holiday by the sea is just as lovely as all their trips in previous years. They go for strolls and dance every evening; even if Karl is a little tired from time to time. One fine morning, however, Regine does not wake up.
She has suffered a stroke. Back in Germany again, Karl learns that she will always be paralysed. All she can do now is move her eyes, her only way of communicating with him. Life goes on as usual. Karl’s colleagues talk about women, food and their holidays, Karl’s brother has another new girlfriend and the woman next door spouts monologues on the landing – it all seems alien to Karl now. Because he cannot help his wife and because, without her, he has no idea how to carry on living. He feels pointless and lost, and rejects all offers of assistance. When his loneliness gets too much for him, he takes the only step he believes will represent a kind of liberation – he kills Regine.”

(Thalia Theater)

Responses to the Play:

“From one day to the next, Karl finds himself having to live with the fact that, as a result of her stroke, his wife, Regine, requires constant nursing care. Hope and compassion engender conflicting feelings in him about how to deal with this turn of fate. Those around him – his friends and acquaintances – fail to evince much interest. Thrown back on his own resources, Karl decides that, as a last act of love, he will give his wife the gift of death. He carries out a mercy killing. But, after this, the meaning of his own life is also extinguished.

This play raises the question of whether euthanasia can be justified in a socially impoverished world. In this case, it is committed out of love and pity, but it will still remain a contentious social issue for a long time to come.”

(Die Zeit, Kulturkurier, 10 December 2006)

“The author finds the right words, as well as situations that neither congeal in their hyperrealism nor drift off into artificiality. He is not primarily interested in the question of euthanasia as such, but shows how completely normal people deal with an everyday catastrophe.” (taz, 15 October 2005)

Technical Data:


Thalia Theater, 12.10.2005

Director Isabel Osthues
Cast 2 D, 6 H
Rights Gustav Kiepenheuer Bühnenvertriebs-GmbH
Schweinfurthstr. 60
14195 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 8231066
Fax: +49 30 8233911
Translations Theatre Library