Thursday, 11 February 2016

Theater Basel | Die Wohlgesinnten (the kindly ones)

The kindly ones, based on the historical fiction novel written by Jonathan Littell, plays at the Theater Basel now in a version by Antonio Latella and Frederico Bellini.
The play is about Maximilian Aue, a homosexual SS officer of French and German ancestry, who was arrested because he was suspected of being homosexual. Thomas Hauser, also a member of the SS, offers him a way out that could solve his problems, if in return he agrees to serve during World War II and help to carry out the Holocaust.
Rather than Thomas Hauser who is very keen on making a military career and follows orders blindly, convinced that everything they do is right and for the greater good, Maximilian Aue only follows the orders as he was blackmailed and more than once he questions the mass murder and the ideology.
During the play there is a big projection on the back wall of Berlin's Tiergartenpark, the area around the Lions bridge, which was actually known for being a meeting point for homosexuals, so it always reminds the audience of what Maximilian Aue was arrested for.
Also we think the idyllic picture with people out on a walk passing through the image from time to time is a harsh contrast to the cruelty of war the story tells.
Without explicit scenes of violence and blood the actors (the directors) manage to captivate and shock the audience with words, facial expressions and gestures, music, light and the use of props as metaphores for death, guilt and responsibility.
Especially because of the fantastic acting, the more than 3 hours long play left us very thoughtful.

Thiemo Strutzenberger as MAXIMILIAN AUE
Steffen Höld as THOMAS HAUSER
Barbara Horvath as UNA

singer: Alexander Seidel

production: Antonio Latella
stage & costume: Ralf Hoedt
music: Franco Visioli
dramatic composition: Brigitte Auer, Frederico Bellini, Francesca Spinazzi

picture © Alexi Pelekanos

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