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Das Ding (The Thing)en

'With The Thing, Philipp Löhle furnishes incontrovertible proof that there is no such thing as chance any more. As a result of globe-spanning interdependencies – or what is known as globalisation – everything is connected with everything else. When the African Siwa is talked into using sustainable methods of cotton cultivation, it helps two young Chinese businesspeople to make a success of their first start-up. When their trade in soya beans begins to falter, this has an impact on Romanian pig-breeders, which in turn has direct consequences for the marriage of Katrin and Thomas. When Katrin dares to embark on exhibitionist escapades on the Internet, she sparks not only a very tangible crisis in their relationship, but also a surprisingly international showdown involving the Chinese entrepreneur and others. Meanwhile, the eponymous 'thing' – a cotton fibre – is travelling its way round the globe, and looks on amazed at the wheelings and dealings of humanity.

In a world in which everything is linked with everything else and all events are potentially explainable, the characters are driven all the more by their yearning for the inexplicable, the magic moment, the great love and maybe even the feeling of home – at the same time as they get tangled up hopelessly in the global network of causal interrelationships.
(Rowohlt Theaterverlag)


'Since his first success, Alias Gospodin, Philipp Löhle has pretty much been the economic expert among Germany's young dramatists. Now, with The Thing, he has written a charming, original, stunningly witty comedy. As if the spirit of Billy Wilder had entered him, though not without studying the performance aesthetics of the contemporary theatre. Casting every part traditionally with a single actor would be completely out of place in this play. It is not important whether someone can play a soya farmer, a Swiss arms dealer or Chinese start-up owner in a psychologically believable manner. What are important are the structures of our global order.'
(Stefan Keim in: Frankfurter Rundschau, 20.05.2011)


'In a highly comical, breakneck fashion, Philipp Löhle uses his current play to illuminate the mechanisms of our globalised, technologised, rapidly changing world. He applies the apparently endless global integration of world trade to humanity and his characters, heightening it into the grotesque. In consequence, without intending to do so, the characters in this play transform the world with their smallest actions, so spreading turbulence through their own and others' lives.'
(Deutsches Theater, Berlin)


Technical data:
Premiere: 14 May 2011, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg in cooperation with the Ruhr Festival Recklinghausen
Director: Jan Philipp Gloger
Cast: 1 F, 4 M
Rights: Rowohlt Theaterverlag
Translations: Theatre Library

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