Volksbühne Berlin am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz


OCEAN based on text by Friedrich von Gagern

1848/49. The bourgeois revolution in Germany has been defeated. The tween deck of a sailing ship is crowded with dropouts and poor people, barricade fighters and revolutionary theorists, Silesian sewers and prostitutes, clergymen and scientists. A conglomeration of the most diverse fortunes, broken promises and calamities –each one speaking its own dialect. Their common destination: America, the distant dream of a different life. None of them knows that the captain has saved in supplies, preferring to use storage room to smuggle munitions and alcohol. With no shore in sight, hunger spreads on board, bringing people to the existential limits of collective and individual action. The best way out seems to be to mutiny, together with the sailors, against the discredited captain. However, who will be in charge afterwards? In “Ocean”, the only play written by Friedrich von Gagern, nobody agrees, nobody compromises. It does not last long until raw human instincts rule on board, the fight for survival substitutes solidarity, revolution brothers become rivals. Amidst excessive alcohol consumption and weakening sexual inhibitions, order finally collapses on the ship and capsizing is almost a logical consequence. The revolution, which in Germany –according to Karl Marx- had repeated itself as a farce, threatens to sink deep in the ocean together with all its protagonists.

The premiere of “Ocean” is Frank Castorf’s second staging of a text by Friedrich von Gagern (after Der Marterpfahl, The Stake) and marks the reopening in November 2009 of the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz after comprehensive renovation works.

Premiere on November 12th, 2009. Volksbühne’s Großes Haus.


With: Max Hopp (Dr. Bruno Wiegand), Michael Schweighöfer (Emerich Herczy), Hermann Beyer (Prof. Dr. Johannes Hylander), Axel Wandtke (Moritz Tausig), Volker Spengler (Ein Unbekannter), Dieter Montag (Der Kapitän des Schiffes / Pater Cornelius Janssen), Kurt Naumann Skubowius (Pater Friedrich Heinrath), Silvia Rieger (Die rote Henning), Jean Chaize (Peter Vierling), Harald Warmbrunn (Der alte Geist), Mex Schlüpfer (Ludwig Striez), Samir Osman (Schmink-Otto), Marko Dyrlich (Schlächter-Willem), Maria Kwiatkowsky (Thekla), Bärbel Bolle (Karoline Kumpf), Anne Ratte-Polle (Renate), Laura Lo Zito (Paula), Frank Büttner (Clas), Mario Fechner (Pieter) and Henry Krohmer (Jörn)

Director: Frank Castorf
Stage and Costumes Supplier: Bert Neumann
Dramaturgy: Sebastian Kaiser

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