Marquise of O
The Marquise of O by Heinrich von Kleist, adapted by Nora Khuon and Kevin Rittberger.
HE WOULD NOT HAVE APPEARED LIKE A DEVIL TO HER THEN IF HE HAD NOT, ON HIS FIRST APPERANCE, SEEMED TO BE AN ANGEL.
Heinrich von Kleist
War sweeps the country and overwhelms the estate of the family O. The Marquise is threatened, but Count F., a captain from the ranks of the enemy, saves her. Her attackers are executed. Weeks later, the Marquise is afflicted by discomfort and fainting. After numerous examinations there is no doubt: She is pregnant, without knowing how and from whom. The Marquise's supposed misconduct and her insistence on her own innocence expose the fragility of the family structure: The Marquise is cast out as a dishonourable liar. In her search to explain the incomprehensible state she finds herself in, she turns in a newspaper advertisement to the unknown father of her child and promises to marry him, whoever he may be. The Marquise apparently has no recollection of the moment of conception, for her it does not exist: And yet her "failure", her supposed misconduct, shows itself unmistakeably. Day by day it reveals itself more. The factual – in the form of the unborn child – meets the unfathomable. Just as the Marquise is labelled as dishonourable, Count F. is heroised – an angel, heroic and pure. But neither ascription holds true. Kleist's main characters are, whether they know it or not, shaped by the duality of right and wrong, torn between the poles of the either-or. Kleist's narrator underscores the range of possible explanations. Again and again, he follows new tracks in this crime thriller, presents new suspects and possible twists, and avoids any sort of unambiguity. The director Kevin Rittberger, born in 1977, produced this story of identity, guilt, honour and family. The incidental music is by Hauschka.
Director: Kevin Rittberger
Stage Design: Christoph Ebener
Costume Design: Janina Brinkmann
Dramaturgy: Nora Khuon
Cast: Andreas Uhse, Henrike Johanna Jörissen, Oliver Kraushaar, Franziska Junge, Thomas Huber, Katharina Bach