The Man Outside

The Man O

By Wolfgang Borchert / Directed by Luk Perceval

The German army soldiers returning from the war in Afghanistan are forcing themselves more and more into our social awareness. High time too! The opening of the Berlin Trauma Centre for Federal Army Soldiers in 2010 is just one signal of this phenomenon.

Already in 1946, the 26-year-old Wolfgang Borchert was writing about the generation of veterans of another war. Totally without the benefit of trauma research he made the return of war veteran Beckmann to Hamburg palpable as a nightmare. As in a fever he wanders the streets of a lost yesterday and yet remains stuck in the middle: between life and death, past and present, dream and reality. Tortured by always the same dream in which the dead scream and play a gruesome concert on a xylophone made from human bones, he searches desperately for a place where it all may stop. Will nobody, nobody give answer?

In Luk Perceval's Production, this inbetween-ness becomes an absurd circus, a scenic concert in which spent life passes before us as dreamscapes. Beckmann sings, screams, whispers and rhymes his desperation off  his chest. The requiem of a beginner. A concert. Felix Knopp is simultaneously Beckmann and the singer of the band "My Darkest Star", whose music sends him on a nightmare journey of no escape. And above him soar and around him dance the angels, people with Down-Syndrome from the Eisenhans Theatre Projects who are performing for the first time on the Thalia Theater's Stage. "Are they beginners? Yes my good man, life isn't always as easy as all that. No, you're thinking that a bit too simply."

Premiere 2nd April 2011, Thalia Theater

On Tour

6th June 2015

NT Gent, Belgium


6th and 7th March 2015

Stuttgart, Germany


24th and 25th April 2014

Deutsches Theater Berlin, Germany


12th and 13th November 2013

Stanislavsky season International Theatre Festival, Mayakovsky Theatre, Moskow, Russia


13th December 2012

Waiblingen, Germany


7th April 2012

2. Siegener Biennale, Apollo Theater Siegen, Germany


28th March 2012

Theater Oberhausen, Germany


18th and 19th March 2012

Münchner Kammerspiele, Germany


12th and 13th January 2012

Landestheater Niederösterreich, St. Pölten, Austria


6th and 7th December 2011

Lin Zhaohua Theatre Festival, Beijing People´s Art Theatre, Beijing, China


22th November 2011

Festspiele Ludwigshafen, Germany