And now let's imagine: we are nine years old and are meeting the love of our life. We don’t really meet her, it’s just one look. But it’s as if we’ve been blinded. When we’re 18, we see her again: she says hello (no kiss) far away. And that was it. No contact, not a word. But we will dedicate our entire life to this love.

Then we’re like Dante Alighieri. An Italian who, by 2021, died almost 700 years ago – and one of the greatest European writers of all time. But for the moment that is of secondary concern. Let us put ourselves in his position, the position of him and his beloved. Beatrice! He’s shy and keeps his distance because as soon as he gets near her, he loses his cool and people laugh at him. He even pretends to have other relationships in order to hide his true love. In the end, this only makes things worse. When the plague rages and Beatrice dies young, he has achieved nothing – apart from a pile of molten love poems and love songs. What use is love in thoughts alone? A great deal. Like in a diary, in La vita nuova (The New Life) he gathers together his experiences, dreams, spiritual numerology and above all his youthful love poetry, which he explains to his readership as if they were school poems in order to make sure that everyone understands him. For Dante, a new life begins through spiritual renewal. His work also stands for how poetry is inspired by love. And in the end, he has one wish: Dante wants to see Beatrice again. And this is why, around 20 years later, he writes his epic work: The Divine Comedy. A journey through hell and purgatory to paradise – where he meets Beatrice once again. And speaks to her for the first time. Something that is not possible on earth, but is in a fictional heaven.

The hope that we will have a second chance is something everyone has felt. Hope for a new beginning. How this might actually be achieved is what the director Christopher Rüping asks in his first work at Schauspielhaus Bochum. His productions are gentle yet ebullient evenings in which the actors and the audience can meet each other openly – and which have made him one of the most influential directors in the German-speaking theatre. Along with the ensemble he will embark on a voyage of discovery through Dante’s world of love – and that of his legacy in pop culture, from Britney Spears to Meat Loaf. Love is all. Together we will see, after this long period when interpersonal encounters have been restricted, what a new life can be when the old one is no longer possible. How do we make a fresh start? Where do we all go from here? Perhaps Beatrice has an answer.

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  • Place: Schauspielhaus
  • Duration: 2:10h, no break
  • Language: German with English surtitles
  • Tags: #theatre
19:30 — 21:40
19:30 — 21:40
19:30 — 21:40
19:30 — 21:40
  • CBplayer 1.2.4
00:00 / 00:00
Videotrailer Das neue Leben
(c) Siegersbusch Film
  • Premiere: 10.09.2021
A production of Schauspielhaus Bochum, as part of Transfer Bochum/Zürich
Press voices:

Jubel im Schauspielhaus Bochum, so dass die Toten erwachen.
kultur.west, Andreas Wilink

Aber nicht, dass man meint, es handele sich hier um einen lustigen Liederabend. Ganz und gar nicht. Humorvoll ist die Aufführung schon, aber in einem tieferen, nachdenklichen Sinn. 
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Martin Krumbholz

„Das neue Leben“ reißt das Publikum im Schauspielhaus von den Sitzen.
Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Sven Westernströer

More press voices

In Bochum bleibt Rüping ganz bei Dantes Geschichte und holt sie doch über die Epochendistanz in die Gegenwart. Es gibt so viele Momente puren Theatervergnügens, angefangen bei der Spielfreude der Akteure. Die ironische Brechung, das Einziehen der Metaebene. Die überwältigenden Bilder (Bühne: Peter Baur, Kostüme: Lene Schwind, Lichtdesign: Bernd Felder). Die Premiere wurde minutenlang bejubelt.
Westfälischer Anzeiger, Ralf Stiftel

Innig, zärtlich, anrührend, treuherzig in kindlichem Ernst ist dieses „Neue Leben“ – dabei nie ohne Raffinesse. Dantes Sonette öffnen sich hier mit einem anderen Notenschlüssel zu einem musikalischen Paradies, in dem Hymnen von Meat Loaf und Britney Spears etc. ewiglich funkeln. Sie feiern den popkulturellen Liebesgottes- und Diven-Dienst: „I will always love you“ erklingt als neue Marienvesper.

Eine ungemein sehenswerte Inszenierung.
theater:pur, Antje Hennrich

Eine erfischend lebendige Inszenierung.
Ruhrnachrichten, Kai-Uwe Brinkmann

Großer Applaus und stehende Ovationen für einen hinreißenden, berührenden, höchst authentischen Abend, der zum Lachen und zum Weinen bringt und der vor allem Freude macht, auf das was da alles noch so kommen kann im "neuen Leben"., Marvin Wittiber