Two royal children, each on the run from a forced marriage, meet and fall in love – unaware that it is they from whom they are fleeing. During their journey, illusion crumbles over illusion, convention over convention, patterns of thought over patterns of thought. Romantic ideals disintegrate into poor attempts by people to delude themselves that they can be who they want to be. When the marriage between Prince Leonce of Popo and Princess Lena of Pipi is solemnly consummated at the end and the old order seems restored, doubt remains: has their journey opened the space for a freer, more autonomous life?

The characters talk like puppets. How do you deal with it?

Liliane Brakema: I just get the impression that the characters‘ language is "enriched" from the outside. Language creates a distance between the characters and themselves as if they do not know who they are. This enables the actors to expand the consciousness of the characters with new theatrical and personal levels. In general, I‘m fascinated when an actor or actress says something with his or her language while the body represents something completely different. I see in Büchner‘s characters an existential confusion and dissatisfaction. You want something "different", but don‘t know how to achieve this "other". Nevertheless, they keep trying.

What does it mean to direct at Zeche Eins?

Liliane Brakema: This room was not originally designed for theatre. That is essential. My work always begins with a strong image and a specific atmosphere. Only then comes the text, which is able to merge with this mood.

What is the specific atmosphere of the Zeche Eins?

Liliane Brakema: Uncanny, a room for stray people, a room with an unstable floor that immediately raises the question of who and what a person is. These questions are a perfect match for Büchner‘s drama.

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  • Duration: 1:30h, no break
  • Premiere: 26.05.2019
  • Language: German with English surtitles
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Press voices

Liliane Brakemas eindringliche Inszenierung von „Leonce und Lena“ in der ehemaligen Waschkaue der Zeche Eins zeigt eine groteske, düstere Welt am Rande des Abgrunds.
Westfälischer Anzeiger, Marion Gay

Liliane Brakema inszeniert Büchners Klassiker der Politikverdrossenheit am Abend der Europawahl bilderstark und fatalistisch., Cornelia Fiedler

Am Ende begeisterter Applaus für einen modernen Büchner, der uns auch heute noch viel über den Zustand unserer Gesellschaft zu sagen hat.
WAZ, Stefanie Stüber