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DIE SCHUTZBEFOHLENEN
by Elfriede Jelinek

Drama

When a group of asylum seekers gathered in front of the Votive Church in Vienna in 2012 to protest the unbearable living conditions in the camp assigned to them, the author Elfriede Jelinek climbed a nearby perch and drew the public's attention to the unannounced visit of a true rarity: “Human dignity is also just around the corner, here it comes! Take a photo, quickly, before it's gone again!” But nobody pressed the shutter release. And so human dignity was gone with the wind and Jelinek filled the resulting void with an angry and virtuosic tirade about the unprecedented chain reaction of humanitarian failure on Europe's external borders. Again and again, Jelinek, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Literature, cross-fades her text with Aeschylus' tragedy The Suppliants and has added five additional chapters over the past several years. Charges (The Supplicants) was never a play of the moment, but rather the beginning of a long-term theatrical observation that’s still awaiting its final results. One thing, however, can be said without a doubt: Human dignity hasn't re-appeared in the intervening period. And neither is it in sight. Reason enough for director Stefan Pucher to take a closer look at Jelinek's text and consider all the parts added between 2012 and 2016. And who knows, maybe she'll write a completely new appendix in the months to come. It would be welcome. And sorely needed.

Cast
Director: Stefan Pucher
Stage design: Barbara Ehnes
Costumes: Annabelle Witt
Music: Christopher Uhe
Dramaturgy: Malte Ubenauf

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