Michael Thalheimer, Faust
Photo: Katrin Ribbe
His style is distinctive—and controversial. Director Michael Thalheimer is considered to be one of the most creative and idiosyncratic theater directors in the German-speaking countries. The shooting star of the theater scene dissects the classics as if wielding a scalpel, reducing them to their essence and exposing their core. His goal is to make visible the quintessence of the classical texts, remove from them all frills and trappings and bring their emotionality into the here and now.
With his production of Goethe’s Faust Part 1 at the Deutsche Theater in Berlin, Michael Thalheimer once more succeeds in doing so. Against a minimalist backdrop, he shows Faust to be a self-centered egomaniac. “The discourse illuminating each corner of human existence, Goethe’s terrific crash course about life’s possibilities and impossibilities, his poetic and pointed discussion of the meaning of life, unique in world literature—staged as a magnificent one-man show. No brooding, no hysteria. Rather sober, but shot through with passion,” judges the daily Die Welt.
The cast consists of Ingo Hülsmann (Faust), Sven Lehmann (Mephisto), Regine Zimmermann (Gretchen), Peter Pagel (Wagner), Horst Lebinski (student), Henning Vogt (Gretchen’s brother), and Isabel Schosni (Marthe Schwerdtlein).
Michael Thalheimer, born in 1965 in Frankfurt/Main, studied drama in Bern and worked for many years as an actor. His breakthrough as director came with Franz Molnár’s “Liliom” at the Thalia Theater in Hamburg (2000). His production of Lessing’s “Emilia Galotti” at the Deutsche Theater (2002) was awarded the Friedrich Luft Prize and the Viennese Nestroy Prize.
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