Woyzeck is a soldier and barber, a Captain’s servant but above all someone with a precarious existence, an oppressed creature.  He regularly hears voices and manifests evident symptoms of schizophrenia.  A fanatical doctor misuses him for questionable experiments – Woyzeck is allowed to eat nothing but peas. His pitiful wage for this goes to Marie, the mother of his child, who cheats on him with a Drum Major. When Woyzeck finds out about this, he kills her with a knife on the banks of a lake and ultimately disappears into the water. However, Marie is not the only one who has betrayed him: the whole of society has Woyzeck on its conscience.

Woyzeck is not a play and yet it is so much more than a play. A spiky template that continually permits new interpretations. In the Bochum production, Woyzeck is not only the victim of a class-based society and his enraptured perceptions are not simply side effects of age of his age and illness. For Woyzeck everything he sees in the world is information. He takes everything seriously.  This maelstrom of thoughts inside him makes him both dangerous and vulnerable at the same time.

Georg Büchner, who began work on Woyzeck in 1836, was way ahead of his time. This small fragment that did not receive its world premiere until 1913 marks the introduction of modernism to German drama.  Its text contains entire continents of human chasms, heaven and hell spread across 27 brief scenes. Its theme is nothing less than the complete degradation of a human being into an animal.

Johan Simons brings Büchner’s ground-breaking fragment to the stage of the Kammerspiele with Steven Scharf as Woyzeck and Anna Drexler as Marie in a co-production with the Vienna Burgtheater.

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  • Woyzeck
  • Text: Georg Büchner
  • Premiere: Spring 2020
A co-production with 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.
nachtkritik.de

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