With Leipzig becoming more and more international every waking hour, there’s no point wondering why cultural possibilities for people from all across the world are literally thriving. Being one of them, I’ve discovered, for instance, the English Theatre Leipzig.
Attending their plays has quickly become a favourite weekend past-time activity for some of us foreign souls.
Founded by Tom Bailey, a trained director from England, the ETL now has several plays under their belt in Leipzig, their latest being Venus in Fur.
After the great success that play proved to be, the ETL decided to collaborate with the Neues Schauspiel in Lindenau once again in 2017. This time, they’re staging a play by Swiss author Max Frisch, called The Arsonists.
The main story revolves around Gottlieb Biedermann, an industrial magnate whose wealth comes from producing a useless hair tonic. In fact, the product was invented by his former valet, but Biedermann decided to dismiss him when he started to ask for profits from the tonic.
The problem comes when a group of arsonists starts setting houses on fire in Biedermann’s neighbourhood. He soon runs into a duo of criminals who, without an invitation, decides to plan the next big crime in his home. As the press release calls it, The Arsonists is a moral play without moral, because reason and principle get tangled up with the need to survive. Sounds thrilling, right?
The language of this German play is now changed to English, and the ETL’s extraordinary way of production and directing techniques bring the play to life on the Leipzig stage.
With their version of The Arsonists, the ETL company is trying to break down the language barriers that are often present in the theatre environment. The international cast only helps this goal and, what’s more, guarantees that at the end of the play, we’ll still be sitting on the edge of our seats – clapping our hands until the curtain closes. Premieres Thursday, 7 September, @ 8 pm.
Directed by: Julia Kragh
Playing 7, 8, 9, 15 & 16 September @ 8 pm. Neues Schauspiel Leipzig, Lützner Str. 29