Reineke Fuchs //
“Pentecost, that lovely Feast, had come! Everything was in bud and blossom/field and forest, on hills and heights, in bushes and hedges/with renewed vigour the birds practiced a cheerful song.”
These lines, written in the handbook of German verse, commence the epic poem »Reineke Fuchs«, which Goethe was working on during the siege of Mainz in 1793. Goethe used the prose version by Gottsched who, in turn, had based his work on the chapbook.
In twelve hexameter chants, Goethe tells the tale of the foxy Reineke Fuchs, who would use any means – even brutal force – to pursue his selfish interests in the kingdom of Nobel the Lion.
Behind the animal masks lies the image of human society which is becoming ever more selfish, a society in which philanthropy and sympathy are disparaged as weakness and the winners of the game are the ones who are best at ruthlessly twisting the rules to their own advantage.
Despite every trap his adversaries Braun the Bear and Isegrimm the Wolf lay for him, be it a court case before King Nobel or a duel to the death, Reineke always slips out of their grasp practically unscathed. Even when the noose is tightened around his neck, he succeeds in outsmarting his accusers. And what’s more, speculating on the base motivations of his adversaries, he launches a cruel campaign of retaliation – and in the end, walks off the battlefield as the uncontested victor, gaining both the admiration of the king and social reputation.
»Reineke Fuchs« is a sinister, Machiavellian lesson in beastly relations, the sole premise of which is gaining personal advantage. And that is probably why so much in this epic poem, presented as a heroic tale, seems so modern and familiar to us today. What we have here is the so-called ›Homo economicus‹ in animal form, perfectly embodied in the main character. And it’s thanks to his cleverness, audacity and perspicacity that we are so seduced by him.
The DNT will ring in the summer with this »unholy secular bible« (J. W. Goethe). Starting this season, the theatre will leave the main building and look for new venues in Weimar to stage performances in the summertime. The spectacle will be directed by Christian Weise on the Theaterplatz.
After graduating from the »Ernst Busch« Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin, Christian Weise worked as an actor and puppeteer at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, the Schauspiel Frankfurt and the TAT Frankfurt. In 2001, he started directing productions at numerous theatres, including the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Schauspiel Köln, Neues Theater Halle, Schauspielhaus Zürich and Staatstheater Stuttgart.
Christian Weise (director)
Daniel Unger (stage design)
Oliver Helf (open air stage design)
Andy Besuch (costumes)
Jens Dohle (music)
Martin Miotk (stage and costumes decoration)
Beate Seidel (dramaturgy)
Fridolin Sadmeyer (Reineke Fuchs u.a.)
Cornelius Schwalm (Nobel der Löwe u.a.)
Uwe Fischer/ Krunoslav Sebrek (Isegrimm der Wolf u.a.)
Tobias Schormann (Gieremund die Wölfin u.a.)
Marcel Klein (Braun der Bär)
Christoph Heckel (Grimbart der Dachs u.a.)
Jens Dohle (Rhapsode)