The Cement Garden //
A production with the Mozarteum Salzburg Schauspielstudio · Play for children age 14 and older
The family is the strongest defence against the rest of the world. For the four siblings Jack, Tom, Julie and Sue, the family provides shielded isolation. When their father dies, they live in seclusion with their sick mother in a small house on the edge of town. They receive no visitors and have no contact with the outside world. But one morning, after finding their mother dead in bed, the siblings decide to stay together. They secretly cement their mother’s corpse in the cellar and expect that life can continue unchanged. However, the tight-knit children’s commune soon starts to crack. The house and the garden begin falling into disrepair, Jack and Julie vie for leadership in the family, Sue retreats to her imaginary world and writes letters to her dead mother in the cellar. And Tom suddenly begins to suck his thumb again and act like a baby. The father-mother-child game of pretend starts to fall apart. One day Julie brings her new boyfriend Derek home, and the family secret is in danger of being discovered.
Ian McEwan’s novel »The Cement Garden« offers a psychological study of young adults, who are suddenly left on their own and are forced to take charge of their own life. McEwan compassionately portrays the bizarre attempt to preserve the facade of normality – the search for expression and identity, the advent of sexuality and jealousy and the brutal role play of inexperienced youngsters.
This is director Nina Mattenklotz’s second piece at the DNT following her debut »Und dann« (And then). She has staged plays at theatres in Magdeburg, Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Vienna and Zurich.