Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Die Patriotin

The Patriot – by Thomas Martin (based on a novella by Yukio Mishima)

It begins in the final minutes of her life. Yoko must find the right words of farewell to her parents; she relives childhood memories, the first encounter with her husband Shinji and the first delicate stirrings of love. Lieutenant Takeyama has committed seppuku. Yoko is supposed to follow him in death. That’s how it had been agreed between them. But her determination wanes and in her last hour she is restlessly driven by doubts. The deed would include the death of others, too. Never let down or betray your comrades! This rule was paramount in her husband’s life. The men had tried to launch a coup but ultimately failed. Now Shinji, who did not participate in the putsch, was to execute his comrades. To save his honour, he chose to commit suicide. Yoko’s recollections and fantasies bring him back to her – an undead visitor in her home. Apparitions and visions are taking shape, turning into ghostly figures that encourage and urge her, pacify and provoke. In a prodigious dream sequence the dead and the living come together. Suddenly the decision to follow her husband manifests itself as a declaration of independence: „Who but the dead buried in this soil will ever know the reason for your death? It is for me to tell the world. My deed shall speak the truth.“ After she has pondered and relived her life, she is finally certain: For her, there can only be life in another world. Her suicide transcends the personal dimension and turns into a fierce accusation, an unforgiving pledge to shed light on the truth: The unborn child growing in her womb will never become a lieutenant and not a widow either. Is there any hope shining through the saddest story ever told? In Mishima’s novella the wife submits to the idea of patriotism and acquiesces silently. The belief in an undying love stands above everything else. In Thomas Martin’s adaptation the woman overcomes immaturity and turns into a warrior determined to die for a cause.


With: Kathrin Wehlisch (Yoko), Bernd Grawert (Leutnant), Patrick Bartsch (Chor), Margarita Breitkreiz (Chor), Lorenz Claussen (Chor), Nico Ehrenteit (Chor), Claudia Geisler (Chor), Anna Gesewsky (Chor), Mario Klischies (Chor), Runa Schaefer (Chor), Friedrich Fuchs (Kind) and Gerda Martin (Kind)

Director: Gero Troike
Costumes: Dorothee Curio
Music: Uwe Hilprecht
Dramaturgy: Sabine Zielke
Light Design: Hans-Hermann Schulze

presented by zitty BERLIN