How can a man thrive if he does not seek out death? True death, real death. Your whole life you’ve been safeguarding yourself. Safeguarding, safeguarding – that is man’s fearful desire, and so everything stays at it is and doesn’t move on.
A man is released from prison. Reluctantly he returns back to
life, back to the city, a mass of vehicles, lights and people. He
has been locked up for four years for unintentionally killing his
girlfriend, and has now firmly resolved to lead a respectable
life. Or are these merely empty words? The man needs to navigate
a stony, almost deathly road until his eyes are opened and, “very
changed and battered”, he finally stands on Alexanderplatz
The man, Franz Biberkopf, is one of many, his fate one of thousands. All around him are other people, voices, noises, news, the weather, the trains – he is surrounded by talking, singing, hissing, screeching and banging.
Using the technique of montage, and in a radical new language, Alfred Döblin created a polyphonic world that captures the city and its life in a remarkable way. Sebastian Hartmann’s production provides space for the unique form of the novel, the multiplicity of voices and the different narrative forms. He depicts a human caught up in the fabric of society, an individual fighting against himself and others. It is the essence of existence – love, betrayal, death – that is portrayed in a symphony of language, images and music.