Florian Fiedler

© Katrin Ribbe
Florian Fiedler was born in 1977 and grew up in Hamburg. He broke off an attempt to study German literature after just two days, then worked as an assistant director under Stefan Bachmann, Lars-Ole Walburg, Kathrina Thalbach and Nicolas Stemann in Basel. His first productions were “Who Loves You Baby? The Nearly Elvis Show”, “Planet Porno” and “Norway Today” in Hamburg and Basel. Since then, Fiedler has directed regularly at the Theater Basel, the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, the Munich Volkstheater and the schauspiel frankfurt. In 2003 he was choosen by the magazine Theater Heute as newcoming director of the year and he also received the Gertrud Eysolt ring for his production "Lower Bavaria". Fiedler has been appointed the director of the Schmidtstraße, the schauspiel frankfurt’s studio theatre, until 2009.
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Portrait

No director of the generation that has just established itself at the major German theatres appears to have such direct access to the essence of drama as Florian Fiedler. His productions touch on the roots of the art. At beautiful moments, they seem to have been created out of pure pleasure in performance and transformation. This makes his stagings refreshingly stimulating, direct and clear. Fiedler also tackles the big subjects quite directly, as if they were not encumbered by earlier interpretations. He does not work through layers of tradition in order to get at a work and its deeper meaning – although he has nothing against close textual analysis. Instead, when he is working on old texts, he goes straight for the emotions that are preserved in the work.

In Frankfurt, for example, Fiedler directed Goethe’s rococo novel “The Sufferings of Young Werther” with the three protagonists, Lotte, Werther and Albert, played as a wannabe rock band wildly thrashing their air guitars, uninhibitedly intoxicated by emotion and unselfconsciously taking pleasure in life. It was a reinvention of Storm and Stress inspired by the spirit of pop. All the characters wallowed in the flood of emotion, including Lotte, but she found her way out of the morass of love again, while Werther remained imprisoned in his ecstasy and tried to use stage diving as a way of forcing himself to be happy: flying headfirst through a wall of cardboard boxes.

Until now, Fiedler’s main subject has been youth and the precarious feelings we go through on the threshold of adulthood. He has been interested in the difficulties involved in delimiting oneself from the adult world and explored the contradictions inherent in having to be a part of that adult world but not giving up one’s individuality. His productions were self-assertions, they contained the knowledge that adults often want far more from children than children want from adults. “Growing up is made much more difficult by adults’ lack of detachment,” Fiedler says today about the big theme of his first few years in the theatre. But his early preoccupation with the issue is now a thing of the past: The conclusion of this phase came with his production of Marius von Mayenburg’s play “Fire Face” in Düsseldorf.

Since then, Florian Fiedler has been searching. This does not mean he translates something he has already discovered onto the stage, it means he uses the stage for his search. For example, he would very much like to direct political theatre, he wants to reach and influence the audience’s consciousness, but he does not yet know how he would like to do this. So he is prepared to wait for the time being. Instead, he has been directing plays like Aki Kaurismäki’s “I Hired a Contract Killer”, another piece staged at the schmidtstraße in Frankfurt. It was extremely slow, blue and melancholic, not at all what one would have expected from Fiedler. Indeed, the most important thing for him in this production was coping with the long moments when nothing happens on stage.

Florian Fiedler discovered the theatre when he was working as a prompter. In those days, he used to be surprised, above all, that directors did not realise what beautiful things had been created on the stage. This is one of Fiedler’s qualities: He takes what comes with amiable attentiveness, and he seems to love actors – as he loves people in general. Florian Fiedler, one of the youngest of the young German directors, born in 1977, is making his way in the theatrical world. He is open-minded. He will surprise himself and us. And from now until 2009, he will be in charge of the schmidtstraße venue in Frankfurt, the schauspiel frankfurt’s studio theatre, where there are plans for him to direct “Fahrenheit 451” and “Death of a Salesman”.

Peter Michalzik

Translated by Martin Pearce

Productions - A Selection

  • After Thomas Ahrens "Durst" (i.e. "Thirst")
    2013, Grips Theater, Berlin
  • Soeren Voima "Melodien für Milliarden" (i.e. "Melodies for Billions")
    2012, Staatsschauspiel Hannover
  • Friedrich Hebbel "The Nibelungs"
    2011, Staatsschauspiel Hannover
  • Johann Wolfgang Goethe "Clavigo"
    2011, Staatsschauspiel Hannover
  • After Erich Kästner "The Double Lottie"
    2010, Staatsschauspiel Hannover
  • The Beatles "The white Album" (Translation into German by Roland Schimmelpfennig)
    2010, Schauspiel Frankfurt
  • Thomas Vinterberg/Mogens Rukov "The Celebration"
    2009, Staatsschauspiel Hannover
  • Fritz Kater "zeit zu lieben zeit zu sterben" (i.e. "time to live and time to die")
    2009, Schauspiel Frankfurt (Schmidtstraße)
  • Heinrich von Kleist after Molière "Amhitryon"
    2008, Schauspiel Frankfurt (Schmidtstraße)
  • Christoph Nussbaumeder "Mörder-Variationen" (i.e. "Variations about Murderers")
    2008, Schauspiel Köln
  • Henrik Ibsen "A Public Enemy"
    2007, Schauspiel Frankfurt
  • Arthur Miller "Death of a Salesman"
    2006, Schauspiel Frankfurt (Kleines Haus)
  • Ray Bradbury "Fahrenheit 451"
    2006, Schauspiel Frankfurt (Schmidtstraße)
  • Henrik Ibsen “Peer Gynt”
    2006, Theater Basel
  • After Aki Kaurismäki “I Hired a Contract Killer”
    2005, schauspiel frankfurt (Schmidtstraße)
  • Marius von Mayenburg “Fire Face”
    2005, Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus
  • After Johann Wolfgang Goethe “The Sufferings of Young Werther”
    2005, schauspiel frankfurt (Schmidtstraße)
  • After Michael Ende “Jim Button”
    2004, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg
  • Ödön von Horváth “Casimir and Caroline”
    2004, Munich Volkstheater)
  • Peter Stamm "Der Kuss des Kokahu (i.e.,“The Kiss of the Kohaku”)
    Premiere 2004, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Malersaal
  • After Vladimir Nabokov “Lolita”
    2003, schauspiel frankfurt (Schmidtstraße)
  • After Martin Sperr “Lower Bavaria”
    2003, Munich Volkstheater
  • Henrik Ibsen “Little Eyolf”
    2003, Munich Volkstheater
  • Vasily Sigarev "Plastilin" (i.e.,“Plasticine”)
    2002, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg
  • Igor Bauersima “Norway.Today”
    2002, Theater Basel
  • “Planet Porno”
    2001, Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Cinema
  • “Who Loves You Baby? The Nearly Elvis Show”(Directed with Vincent Crowley)
    2000, Theater Basel
  • “All the Things Men Like”(Directed with Lars-Ole Walburg)
    1999, Theater Basel