The play is set in a mental hospital. The Marquis de Sade, who was locked up in the asylum of Charenton at the end of his life, stages Jean Marat‘s death during the French Revolution with the mentally ill inmates. It‘s about the differences between healthy and sick, up and down, poor and rich. Theatre group Monster Truck examines the thin line between madness and sanity with this drama. The production is part of the two-year project Irrsinn (insanity) in cooperation with NTGent. After the Bochum premiere, Monster Truck is building a Ship of Fools on the forecourt of the theatre, which will be transported from Bochum to Ghent on a one-week walk.

What are you interested in the mentally ill?

Manuel Gerst: One of our previous works was the performance Genghis Khan with mentally handicapped people, which was about stigmatization and insinuation. We want to continue investigating these topics with the mentally ill: when does a depressive mood become a dangerous illness? Can one tell from a person’s look about his/her mental illness? Why am I more afraid of a schizophrenic than an autistic person?

How does the revolution come into play?

Sahar Rahimi: In the 1970s, the Sozialistische Patientenkollektiv (Socialist Patient Collective called for "making the disease a weapon" and "making society healthy" through a revolution. It is about the escape from closed institutions, which – according to new law drafts – are becoming more and more like state prisons.

What relevance does Peter Weiss have today?

Marcel Bugiel: We are interested in two aspects of Peter Weiss‘s text: the Marquis de Sade coined the concept of sadism, which implies a great power gap. Marat, in turn, stands for the revolution that wants to "revolutionize" the differences, no matter what the cost. From the point of view of dissolving hierarchies, levelling differences and abuse of power, not least in theatre, the text seems to us to be highly topical.

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  • Coproduction with Monster Truck and NTGent
  • Text: Peter Weiss
  • Director: Monster Truck
  • #theatre
  • Kammerspiele
Sat, 29.06.
Premiere: 29.06.2019