Friday, 13 April 2018

Theater Basel | Kaspar Hauser und Söhne (Kaspar Hauser and Sons)

Kaspar Hauser and Sons, a play by Olga Bach produced by Ersan Mondtag picks up the story of the famous and mysterious foundling Kaspar Hauser, who showed up one day in Nuremburg with barely any linguistic skills and announced that he had been kept in the dark for years with only water to drink and bread to eat. In Ersan Mondtags version there is not only one Kaspar Hauser but a lot of them, the grandfather, the father, the son and the story goes on with his son and so on that are all called Kaspar Hauser with the appropriate number.
Performing in grey / black and white fatsuits that Ersan Mondtag has already used in previous productions, the characters live in a very colourful house with low ceilings where they live and follow their daily routines in the families business that produces picture frames.
Previous to every act there is a short film sequence that tells us the story of the Kaspar Hauser foundling but in the play the story line is completely different.
Kaspar Hauser 2 gets admitted to a mental hospital by his son during the Nazi period which is a blot in the family history under which especially the grandson (Kaspar Hauser 4) suffers a lot. During the four generations 1940, 1960, 1990, 2018 we can watch all the Kaspar's suffer from the pressure and problems of their own era and how it affects them in their role in the family.
We found the play very impressive, we liked the strong contrasts that were used not only in the stage design but also in the way the different characters where talking to each other and the strong emotions we were confronted with during the play.
It felt like watching a family drama through the times but only within barely four hours, which connected us a lot to the different characters.
It was not only a thought provoking but also a very entertaining play with brilliant actors and an amazing production.

production and stage: Ersan Mondtag
sound and composition: Max Andrzejewski
costume: Ersan Mondtag, Annika Lu Hermann
video: Florian Seufert
light: Roland Edrich
dramatic composition: Constanze Kargl
co-worker stage: Anton von Bredow

Michael Gempart, Vincent Glander, Thiemo Strutzenberger, Urs Peter Halter, Cathrin Störmer, Elias Eilinghoff, Benny Claessens, Carina Braunschmidt

© picture: Birgit Hupfeld

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