New German dramatic art - Plays

Das letzte Feuer ("The Final Fire")

On the day when Rabe, the stranger, moves into the recently developed urban neighbourhood, an accident takes place in which a child dies. Rabe is the only witness. But there is something not quite right about him, and the more the people around him try to get close to him and track down his secret, the more fragmented and precarious their own circumstances seem to become.
(Thalia Theater, Hamburg)


“Rabe may be a soldier, but he has returned from an unnamed war not as a hero, but as a traumatised victim. Andreas Kriegenburg is directing Dea Loher’s new play ‘The Final Fire’, a text that piles up an almost incalculable quantity of unhappiness, pain, murder and death, with no redeemer in sight. Rabe has just arrived in a district strewn with broken glass when he witnesses the eight-year-old Edgar being run over, by Edna, who is involved in a wild car chase after Olaf, whom she believes to be a terrorist. However, he is just an unemployed man high on coke who has ‘borrowed’ the car he is driving – from Karoline, who is suffering from cancer and has had a mastectomy. She is the lover of Ludwig, Edgar’s father, then of the stranger Rabe. However, Ludwig also has a wife, Susanne, and a mother, Rosmarie, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and whom he drowns in the bathtub. Susanne falls in love with Rabe, experiencing brief happiness, then great misery.
This involved, painful scenario would merely be abstruse, if it were presented as realistic drama. Which is what is suggested by the everyday names that sound so familiar and the precise professional designations (woman police officer, employee, member of the armed forces, music teacher, unemployed former porter), an impression that Loher’s language immediately subverts. For long stretches, it plunges daringly into a rhythmic, metrical speech that is certainly free of pathos, a polyphonic poetic remembering that patches together a plot made up of many stories and only occasionally flows into little scenes of everyday dialogue.
Susanne, Ludwig and Rosmarie, Edna and Karoline, Olaf and Peter are Everyman and Everywoman, their sad stories a great song of lamentation from a world ruled by chance, a world without meaning, beauty or reason, a world whose only hope lies in the fact that its story can be narrated in a fragmentary fashion by the dissonant chorus of the many. For the time being. A collective that seeks, but fails to find, itself.”
(Barbara Burckhardt, “Theater heute”, 02/2008)


“What is unique about Loher’s play is how it probes around in the social, how it persistently, mercilessly, insatiably asks the same questions: What it is that creates a link between these – or any – people? What enables us to feel, empathise, trust? It is a long time since these questions were posed with such intensity. The play moves freely back and forth between reportage and acted scenes, which makes the fearful recede to an objective distance, makes it thinkable, feelable and sayable. Dea Loher has written a play made up of utterances through which insatiable pain filters. Some of these utterances are banal and normal, some are magnificent and overwhelming, reaching out to a language that shifts between song and stammering, tough and poetic at the same time.”
(Peter Michalzik, “Frankfurter Rundschau”)

Technical Data:
Premiere 26 January 2008, Thalia Theater Hamburg
Director Andreas Kriegenburg
Cast 4 F, 4 M
Rights Verlag der Autoren