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EXTINCTION takes the bustling artistic and intellectual life in Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century forms as starting point, literally transforming it into the ‘merry apocalypse’, to quote the expression coined by Hermann Broch in reference to the European period of carefree abandon that preceded the war. And, indeed, it is the apocalypse, the radical destruction of Western art and civilisation, that Julien Gosselin imagines here.


Based on Arthur Schnitzler’s plays and novellas, and the novel Auslöschung by Thomas Bernhard, EXTINCTION contrasts the nobility of Vienna’s elite in their strive for beauty and ideals with the sheer brutality of desire and death. In a mix of concert, live video and radical spoken theatre, the piece explores nihilism and destruction, while following the traces of a buried revolt and the possibility of reinventing the project of modernity.

The French director is renowned for his visually striking adaptations of great novels from Roberto Bolaño, Michel Houellebecq and Don DeLillo, among others. EXTINCTION is his second production at Berlin’s Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz following STURM UND DRANG (premiered 3 June 2022), this time in transnational collaboration with the collective theatre group Si vous pouviez lécher mon cœur, which he founded in 2009 together with fellow artists, including actors. EXTINCTION is the second part of Gosselin’s artistic experiment of appropriating German literature and history, with texts by Thomas Bernhard, Arthur Schnitzler and Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Rehearsals took place in Berlin Rummelsburg and in Calais, France. EXTINCTION will see its world premiere in Montpellier on June 2, 2023, with follow-up performances at the Festival d’Avignon and the Wiener Festwochen. In September 2023, the piece will open the new season of Berlin’s Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz.

In French and German with German subtitles

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Additional information
Participating artists
Guillaume Bachelé
Jérémie Bernaert
Lisetta Buccellato
Joseph Drouet
David Dubost
Denis Eyriey
Julien Feryn
Carine Goron
Julien Gosselin (Regie)
Julia Gostynski
Johanna Höhmann
Nicolas Joubert
Richard Klemm
Zarah Kofler
Rosa Lembeck
Pïerre Martin Oriol
Victoria Quesnel
Baudouin Rencurel
Elsa Revcolevschi
Kevin Sock
Felicitas Sonvilla
Gian Suhner
Phillipe Suss
Caroline Tavernier
Marie Rosa Tietjen
Maxence Vandevelde
Eddy d´Aranjo
Max von Mechow
Julien Gosselin (Autor/in)
Guillaume Bachelé (mit)
Joseph Drouet (mit)
Denis Eyriey (mit)
Carine Goron (mit)
Zarah Kofler (mit)
Rosa Lembeck (mit)
Victoria Quesnel (mit)
Marie Rosa Tietjen (mit)
Maxence Vandevelde (mit)
Max von Mechow (mit)
Lisetta Buccellato (Bühne)
Caroline Tavernier (Kostüme)
Guillaume Bachelé (Musik)
Maxence Vandevelde (Musik)
Julien Feryn (Sounddesign)
Jérémie Bernaert (Videodesign)
Pïerre Martin Oriol (Videodesign)
David Dubost (Videoschnitt)
Phillipe Suss (Videoschnitt)
Felicitas Sonvilla (Videoschnitt)
Elsa Revcolevschi (Videoscript)
Julia Gostynski (Videoscript)
Richard Klemm (Musik)
Gian Suhner (Musik)
Jérémie Bernaert (Musik)
Baudouin Rencurel (Musik)
Nicolas Joubert (Licht)
Kevin Sock (Licht)
Eddy d´Aranjo (Dramaturgie)
Johanna Höhmann (Dramaturgie)