Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Der Sandmann

A gruesome tale based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s eponymous short story and Oskar Panizza’s “Menschenfabrik”. Text version: Thomas Martin.

"What you see is nothing but an image, it’s true - and more precisely an image of an image. But aren’t we all alike in this, aren’t we all replications from the outset?“ The finest prosthesis of man is his bad conscience; it is the reason behind repression and hence the foundation of civilisation.
Assembling pieces from "The Sandman“ and Panizza’s „Factory of Human Beings“, the production centres on the concept of Artificial Man, which was invented in literature and theatre plays long before the natural sciences have taken over. The authors of the literary works themselves were outsiders and avant-garde artists in their respective fields and times. E.T.A. Hoffmann was a musician, painter and jurist, who, like no other, represented the dark side of the Romantic period in German literature that reached its climax in Kafka’s fictional work. In the period between Hoffmann and Kafka, the “divisive element, the fission fungus, denigrator, blasphemer and public enemy“ Oskar Panizza (a writer, physician and psychologist) entered the literary stage catapulting the tradition of counter-cultural writings into the next century. Hoffmann’s human puppet Olimpia and Panizza’s satirical and utopian re-/creations of the new humjavascript:form();an being seem to represent both a figuration of the present and a projection of the future, considering the numerous generations of artificial fabrications of human beings in texts and in the life world that followed since their first emergence.
Sebastian Klink’s production depicts the project of artificial man on the verge of scientific cloning, which makes us cringe, and in revealing its concomitant complications it makes us laugh, laying bare the fundamentals of comedy. These literary attempts to come to terms with the artificiality of the human condition, which implies the increasing de-humanisation of art, are condensed by Thomas Martin into a veritable theatre of the absurd staging human beings as purely artificial products.
After last season’s “Christmas with the Addams Family”, „The Sandman“ is Klink’s second production for Volksbühne, and this time it is shown on the big stage.


With: Axel Wandtke (E.T.A./Vater), Maximilian Brauer (Nathanael), Inka Löwendorf (Clara), Mandy Rudski (Mutter), Kathrin Wehlisch (Menschenfabrikdirektor/Coppelius/Coppola), Franziska Junge (Olimpia), Frank Büttner (Spalanzani), Niklas Kohrt (Lothar), Alexander Ebeert (Siegmund) and Jürgen Kurz (Kurz der Organist)

Artist: Christopher von Nathusius

Director: Sebastian Klink
Stage Designer: Thomas Schuster
Music: Jürgen Kurz
Light Design: Johannes Zotz, Hans-Hermann Schulze
Video: Konstantin Hapke