New German dramatic art - Plays

Liebe ist nur eine Möglichkeit (Love is Just a Possibility)

Bernhard can neither read nor write. No one is allowed to learn of his problem because he does not want to lose his job. He is reliant on his successful elder brother, who bosses him around. His colleagues at work do not take him seriously.
He is exposed to the others' mockery more than ever when he dares the leap into independence and uses a dating agency to find a wife from the Philippines, the attractive Graziella. Secretly, they envy him. Graziella's arrival confuses the apparently so well ordered pattern of relationships around Bernhard. Suddenly, all the power relations between his family and friends are thrown into flux.

Writing in the tradition of the critical popular play, Christoph Nußbaumeder depicts a petty bourgeois lifestyle in which, as if incidentally, latent racism, chauvinist gender images and a reckless desire for riches come to light.

Responses to the Play:

"All the glowing coals and flickering flames of a very ordinary philistine hell, all the tortuous agonies an individual goes through for his little bit of self-determination against the pressure of the majority, against bigotry, prejudices, envy, racism and machismo: Nußbaumeder stuffs them all into this play packed full of life. […]
In the hands of lesser talents, pieces like this degenerate into cerebral essays on social psychology that more or less cleverly flesh out the skeletons of their politically correct characters, but Nußbaumeder manages it wittily and without embarrassment, creating scenes of heartfelt joy and sorrow. Lushly sentimental popular theatre indeed, but free of folksiness. Not some anaemic theatre of standard types, trash, soap opera or gaudy effects, but robust human theatre, comical even and founded on tragedy throughout."
(Reinhard Wengierek, Die Welt, 19 October 2006)

"Much in Love is Just a Possibility seems anachronistic in the best sense of the word, not least the genre of the critical popular play, which tells a story powerfully and straightforwardly without alienation effects and enigmas - unsampled, unhip. Here, every sentence drives the fable forward with perfectly engineered precision, and the inarticulacy of the characters takes on a certain eloquence."
(Christopher Schmidt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 20 October 2006)