Coronavirus initially brought the boom in cruises to a standstill.  Now, however, uncertain customers are receiving advertisements: “Remain amongst yourselves: no worries all around – on board and on land.”

For many people this sounds more like a threat. A seven-day luxury cruise in the Caribbean, for example – for David Foster Wallace there can be no more concise definition of hell. In response to a commission from Harper’s Magazine in the mid-90s, the famous American author went on board the Zenith and set out to sea from Key West. A journey of self-exploration of a very particular kind. And a brilliant piece of travel writing that has been on the bestseller lists for years: A supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again.

Wallace places himself in the capable hands of the ship’s crew, whose slogan “your pleasure is our business” at times takes on a threatening undertone. He grapples with his fear of being disposed of by an uncannily efficient pressure toilet. He takes part in a contest for the man with the prettiest legs. He watches 500 American high achievers do the Chicken Dance. And he hears grown-ups asking at the information desk whether you get wet snorkelling, whether the crew also sleeps on board and what time the midnight buffet opens. 

For a whole week, he joins in with everything life on board has to offer a holidaymaker in need of recreation. Surrounded by celebration, excitement and good cheer, he himself becomes ever more silent and starts to confine himself to his cabin. As a result, this voyage across the sea also turns into a moving journey to find himself. But things need to be faced, especially something that other people think of as the highlight of their year.

David Foster Wallace’s comic and sympathetic observations about life on board a floating wedding cake, about the idiosyncrasies of his fellow travellers, unforgettable excursions on shore, the terror of compulsory amusement and his own doubts and fears was described as “a masterpiece of literary reportage” by the FAZ and as “a terrific book” by Harald Schmidt. Now it is a great acting solo. Anchors away – or would anyone prefer to stay at home?

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  • Schrecklich amüsant – aber in Zukunft ohne mich
  • after David Foster Wallace
  • from the American by Marcus Ingendaay
    Editing by Vasco Boenisch
  • Director: Tamó Gvenetadze
  • With: Stefan Hunstein, sowie der Besatzung des Schauspielhaus Bochum und einem Überraschungsgast
  • Place: Kammerspiele
  • Duration: 1:40, no break
  • Premiere: 12.06.2021
  • Language: DE
Back again
19:00 — 20:45
Videotrailer Schrecklich amüsant - aber in Zukunft ohne mich
(c) Siegersbusch Film
All people
  • With: Stefan Hunstein, sowie der Besatzung des Schauspielhaus Bochum und einem Überraschungsgast
Press voices

Auf dem Deckchair hockt der Passagier niedergeschlagen, erschöpft, leer. Regisseurin Tamo Gvenetadze erinnert an Autor Wallace, der sich mit 46 Jahren schwer depressiv das Leben nahm. Hunstein blickt mit seiner Figur immer wieder in solche Abgründe angesichts eines Tagesablaufs, der von Tontaubenschießen, über die schönsten Männerbeine bis zur Nordküste Jamaikas alles bietet, was niemand braucht. Mit beißendem Sarkasmus spießt er solche Erlebnisse auf.
Westfälischer Anzeiger, Achim Lettmann

Brillantes Hunstein-Solo in Bochum., Pitt Herrmann