Trapped in your own system

Enter Elizabeth of Valois, Queen of Spain. Appearance of the woman who was once very close to Don Carlos, but then married his father Philip, the king, reasons of state wanted it that way. The queen is naked. You can hardly see that, in the light of Tobias Krauss her body is a secret. Then Lisa Mies, who plays Eboli here, carefully dresses Llewellyn Reichman, first the white slip, then the dark brocade, which looks like armor locking the body in like a prison.

Jan Philipp Gloger, head of drama at the Staatstheater Nürnberg , staged Schiller’s “Don Carlos” there; he does it very cleverly, very precisely, incredibly precisely in the language. Someone should say, oh, these young actors today, they can no longer speak Schiller. Can they, and how. Feel the rhythm of the strict form and yet speak as if this language were their own. They don’t have much more than the language here, but that’s quite enough. When speaking, they (usually) wear very strict costumes, corresponding to the explicitly unfunny Spanish court ceremonial. And then there’s one more thing.

Gloger’s classic production is a perfect parable for today

The thing is a large wooden box made of differently perforated individual parts, tightly joined, but miraculously translucent. Marie Roth built the box, behind the walls of which other people can be eavesdropped on, and which you can unfold into five wings of a mill that are pushed by the performers, a system that turns and turns, which sometimes threatens to trap characters and then again there is a wall against which everything threatens to shatter. The box, the system, is always there, only once does it slowly begin to sink into the ground, when the idealistic Marquis Posa (Yascha Finn Nolting) demands freedom of thought from King Philip, when the thought arises, this system in which the King stuck like everyone else could be broken open.

They’re all prisoners, so it’s right that Llewellyn Reichman starts out naked, because you can see her fitting into that very system that doesn’t allow for individuality. Nevertheless, it will glow with wonderful warmth. Karlos, the enthusiastic Maximilian Pulst, and Philipp, Janning Kahnert, who is struggling with possible empathy, also take off their clothes once and try an escape that is bound to fail. Gloger tells – and in this the evening is what a good classic production can be, a parable for today – with the utmost precision, how power imprisons those who believe they have it. References to current world events are so obvious that they no longer need to be emphasized.

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