Franz Woyzeck is a soldier and barber, servant to the captain, but above all: precarious existence, maltreated creature. He keeps hearing voices, shows clear symptoms of schizophrenia. A fanatical doctor abuses him for dubious experiments - Woyzeck is only allowed to eat peas, nothing else. His pitiful fee for this unpalatable diet is paid to Marie, the mother of his child, who cheats on him with the drum major. When Woyzeck discovers this, he kills her on the lakeshore with a knife and finally disappears into the water. But it is not only Marie who has betrayed and humiliated him, the whole of society has Woyzeck on its conscience.

Woyzeck is not a play and yet so much more than a play. It is an unwieldy pattern that always allows for new interpretations. In the Bochum production, Woyzeck is not only a victim of class society and his detached perception is not only a concomitant of age and illness. For Woyzeck, everything he perceives in the world is information. He takes everything seriously. This inner maelstrom of thoughts makes him dangerous and vulnerable at the same time.

Georg Büchner, who began work on Woyzeck in 1836, was miles ahead of his time. With this narrow fragment, which only premiered in 1913, modernity entered German dramatic literature. The text contains entire continents of human abysses, heaven and hell in a scant 27 scenes. It is about nothing less than the complete deformation of man into an animal.

Johan Simons brings Büchner's groundbreaking fragment to the Schauspielhaus stage with Steven Scharf as Woyzeck and Anna Drexler as Marie.

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  • Woyzeck
  • by Georg Büchner
  • Direction: Johan Simons
  • Premiere: April 2023
A co-production of Schauspielhaus Bochum and the Vienna Burgtheater
Press voices:

Johan Simons versetzt das Stück in die Manege. Dem Text gibt diese Konstellation ganz neue Facetten und Möglichkeiten. Bemerkenswert ist auch, wie präzise das Ensemble zusammenspielt, wie jede Figur ihren Raum hat. Die Inszenierung enthüllt die tiefsitzende Logik der menschlichen Psyche, die in Wahrheit mit Logik, mit Rationalität am allerwenigsten zu tun hat. Es ist ein Abend, der hängen bleibt.

Man hat den Eindruck, bei etwas Einmaligen dabei sein zu dürfen. Bruder Woyzeck.
Wiener Zeitung