Theateraufführung von „Noch wach?“: Wie überlebt man die eigene Literatur?

In Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre’s novel „Noch wach?“, the themes of power and sexual abuse are explored. It is referred to as a „Schlüsselroman“ or a roman à clef. Although the author does not explicitly reveal which door the key opens in the book, a rumor mill that was set in motion around the release of the novel this spring left no doubt that Stuckrad-Barre was settling scores with the environment in which he had been highly paid for many years: namely, the inner workings of Axel-Springer-Verlag.

Im Hamburger Thalia TheaterThe dramatization of the key novel has now premiered, and the ambition of director Christopher Rüping is to shake and make the keychain clink with all the intricacies of modern text-based theater.

Das Medienmilieu übersetzt er ins Bühnenbild einer Geisterbahn, und der Romantext, der von (Selbst-)Ekel über den Medienjargon regelrecht kocht, wird hier von tollen Schauspielerinnen und Schauspielern so lustig und glamourös vorgetragen, dass man eher an eine Zwischenconférence bei der Gala des Grimme-Preises denkt als an ein Stück über Unrecht, Missbrauch, Unterdrückung.

How difficult it is to describe the circumstances without indulging in flattery as an honored guest is shown by the author himself at the end: during the final applause, as he jumps onto the stage and mingles with the actors, he almost has a Luis Rubiales moment – he looks so deeply into the eyes of actress Julia Riedler, who is standing to his left for an ensemble bow, that their foreheads almost touch and a Stuckrad-Barre kiss on Riedler’s mouth hangs in the air, perhaps as an ironic reenactment of the Spanish scandal situation. But then, at the last moment, the great observer of our conditions regains composure, he must have seen himself committing a serious mistake on his inner monitor, looking into the near future – and he interrupts the „situation“.

What we learn from this is: It is not so easy to transform one’s own life into a novel and also lead it at the same time.